I took a year off after high school not because I was wary of college; it was because I hadn’t taken the initiative to apply to any colleges during my senior year. That, however, turned out to be the best choice my laziness ever made for me. If you have read any of my entries from last year you know my current life situation - i.e. working full-time at a real job to save for continuing my post-high-school education. I have decided that I am fine with however long it takes me to save enough money, provided I have a steady job. I imagine myself doing a job interview in the future and saying “Yes, it’s true, I don’t have a degree in business administration. I do, however, have excellent references from a company I worked at for four years right out of high school and was promoted three times in.”
This hasn’t happened yet, but I don’t think it far-fetched at all.
Back to the article, I was particularly struck by the idea that colleges promote that their graduates get good jobs. From the article:
“Colleges trumpet the statistic that, over their lifetimes, college graduates earn more than nongraduates, but that's terribly misleading. You could lock the collegebound in a closet for four years, and they'd still go on to earn more than the pool of non-collegebound — they're brighter, more motivated, and have better family connections.”
This is me. In NO way do I feel that not being in college now has forever barred me from returning to pursue a degree. The only reason I don’t return to college under a college loan is because I don’t know what I would use my education for. I don’t want to accumulate debt only to graduate and go flip burgers to pay my $700-a-month loan payments. Colleges don’t guarantee you a job. In fact, it seems more and more that a diploma just proves that you paid a lot of money for four years of organized education.
This isn’t to say that the non-college-educated have totally equal footing when competing for a job with a recent graduate. Certificates still look good on a resume.
But, debt looks even better.
Think about it. College students with massive amounts of debt need jobs. They need jobs badly. They aren’t going to quit a job just because they don’t like it, because they have that loan payment coming up next month. If I was a manager, I would totally hire someone who was dependent on the position I gave them - no matter how crappy. Graduates also maybe getting married around the time they leave school, having postponed the wedding until “we’re out of school, babe.” A recent graduate who has to keep his new family financially afloat?
“We can get some good overtime out of him!”
I have no beef with a college degree - I just don’t want it unless I need it. besides, I actually rather enjoy being totally independent at age 20, away from college parties and wanton pleasures offered to the normal, ‘independent’ college-aged coed.
I went to college to learn stuff, but learning certainly doesn’t end now that I’m taking a hiatus. Heck no. I still learn stuff, read books, churn out essays, thoughts, and blogs, and have philosophical debates with friends. I do, however, look forward to the day where I have the means and the motivation to continue my pursuit of higher education.
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