For some people, college is essential – they’ve dreamed of being a lawyer or a doctor their whole life, or perhaps a school teacher, and they really need that degree. For those people, college is worth it.
For a lot of people, college is just “the next step.” I went to school with a TON of people that had no idea what they wanted to do in life, partied a lot more than they studied (hey, it was a big state school), and acquired a lot of debt along the way.
Before, college was something that set you apart, gave you an advantage in the work force, possibly allowed you to get promoted over others. Times have changed, the economy stinks, and EVERYONE has a degree. I have known many graduates who can’t land a job. I’m good friends with an awesome lawyer who rocked her bar exam and can’t get a job because there just aren’t any openings in the areas she lived. Lots of news and online articles have been written about college – how it’s become a money industry for the colleges themselves and isn’t necessarily beneficial for a lot of the work force. A degree and experience should mean more pay, right? Nope, just like everyone you know companies are trying to save money wherever they can by NOT hiring those who demand better salaries and instead hire the inexperienced who they can train and pay little.
Do I have a degree? Yep. Do I have a lot of student loans? Yep. Do I have a good job? Sure. Does it make me happy? Nope. If I could do it again I would definitely do something else… something that was flexible enough to let me take care of a family, something I enjoyed and hadn’t invested years and years pursuing. So many choices – hair stylist, realtor, paramedic, CNA, photographer, medical transcriptionist, paralegal, etc.
Bottom line? Follow your dreams, and if those dreams don’t include college, don’t feel bad about it. You can always go to college later in life if things don’t work out. =) Why not take a ‘gap year?’