Should You go to College?

Posted: May 19, 2014 in College
Tags: , , ,

Finals, graduation, pomp and circumstance, grad parties and back woods 30 packs of Busch light all around. Sounds like nothings changed since I’ve graduated high school four years ago. With graduation around the corner for high school seniors I bet they’re pandering the age old question “Should I go to college?”. What a question indeed. Preaching to the choir when I continually tell prospective students to absolutely read Aaron Clearey’s Worthless before going to college. Now again, to reiterate, this is not to say there is worthless information, but the majority of liberal arts degrees are not all they are cracked up to be for 15 grand plus a year for something you can get at a library or the internet for free.

In my experience, running on four years at a state university, is DO NOT GO TO COLLEGE STRAIGHT OUT OF HIGH SCHOOL. Their is scientific research backing the idea that you brain is not fully developed until 21-22 and you will only kill more brain cells drinking, smoking, doing drugs in a party school environment as a previously sheltered teen under your parents watchful eye.

If you don’t know what you want to do with your life yet this only re-enforces my suggestion to not go to college. Why spend the money going to classes you don’t enjoy, in a foreign city if you don’t even know what you want to do in the first place? But won’t college and my adviser help me figure out while I’m there? …You kidding? Hell no. Those who haven’t done it are going to tell you how to do it? I don’t think so. These people are advisers. They have made a career out of advising people because they couldn’t do anything else. However, once you get into you core major classes you will be transferred over to a faculty member who WILL know what they’re doing in their field and will be a little more helpful and instructing you in what to do with your degree, but only slightly.

I have found at a collegiate level more likely than not, your professors will be more interested in their research than their teaching abilities. And if they are on tenure, multiply this by 10. Not only this, add to the experience that, and I quote, “if you want something more practical, go to vocational school to get Microsoft certified.” This gem came straight from the professor’s mouth teaching the most difficult class in the Compute Science department. I cannot speak for all departments, but this hit a nerve with me after putting in four years and feeling profusely over schooled and under prepared for the industry.

If you DO know what you want to with your life and you are in your early twenties over the age of 21, go only if the degree you wish to pursue is necessary for the job you think it will help you land. If you want to be a writer, start a blog and try your hand at E-lance writing.. If you want to be a musician, master your instrument or voice. If you want to be an actor, audition for plays, perform an act for open mic night at your local bar. You get the idea. Even in my experience where I thought a degree in computer science would help me be prepared for a job fresh out of college I am still significantly under prepared for the job opportunities out there. I will be teaching myself most of what I will doing for my anticipated first real job. Did I mention I can do the majority of it for free online, or get paid for it through an internship?

If you look at the major colleges these days the debt you accumulate to prepare you for jobs that may or not even be there or pay you enough to pay off you loans with a reasonable standard of living just isn’t worth it. My recommendation is wait on it at first to avoid unnecessary debt on worthless gen eds and to figure out your true passion. If you feel you still want the “college experience” move to a college town, reside in shitty apartment, living out your youth as the Van Wilder of the college without the responsibility of class. One of my buddies is doing this post graduation and never wants to leave. He’ll grow older and maybe grow out of it. No college kid wants to party with a burnt out 40 year old at the bar.

If you do go to college, I have given to tips here to help you a long the way, but if you decide not to go you might find yourself asking, “Ok, now I’m not going to college, what do I do now?” Well, this is where you figure it out. No shame in living with your parents for a while longer because I guarantee your college counter parts aren’t letting their parents dime go unused. Develop a PhD. on your own terms. Travel if you like, study anything that interests you whether it’s money making or not. You’ll learn a lot more this way compared to liberal arts general education. Get a shitty job somewhere while you’re at it. It is six years of working at grocery stores that has motivated me to build the skills I need to not work some run of the mill minimum wage slave job. I will bet this blog on it that a similar job will teach you the same.

Once you decide not to go college there will be some unpleasant reactions from the people around you. Your friends will think you will live with your parents forever and your parents may fear the same. In a society that values competitiveness over collaboration and knowledge over creativity, they will tell you education is the key.

Ignore Everybody and do your own thing for awhile. I am not saying you should never go to college, however, do proceed with caution spending thousands of dollars on something that will supposedly determine the career for the rest of your life. This will definitely not be the case in my experience, but the people who tell you who go to college, land some job security, and work until you can retire tend to think so.

Thanks to Danger and Play for the idea and more to come.

Join the movement.



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