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College is so Overrated

Unfortunately today higher education is in a desperate state in our society.  The average tuition is far too exorbitant, text book prices are ridiculous and unfortunately many students are placed into paralyzing debt before they even start their lives. The federal government as a whole is supposedly trying to make college more accessible to all but at what cost? Read this article for more context.
With these questions in mind I will list 4 reasons why I believe a college education is not for everyone:   
1)  1) College is not for everyone:  The painful, but liberating reality is that not everyone who desires a college is qualified or has the aptitude necessary to succeed as a college student.  Students who fall into this category should not feel ashamed or pressured into going into college just to fulfill some unnecessary, imposed adult rite of passage.  People who fall into this category should not despair; there are many viable options that are far less expensive, such as vocational, trade schools, working for great companies such as Fed Ex, or UPS.

      2) College is too expensive a risk:  The unfortunate reality is that college tuition rates have risen more than any other sector in our society. Worst of all is our society has this mindset that college can serve as a time of inner, and self discovery, a time of searching, a time of ultimately finding oneself.  I am all in favor for self discovery, but not at the cost of my financial stability.  Get a job, read, travel, search for yourself  before you decide to go to college; because the reality is that going to college to discover yourself is just flat out too expensive and financially ruinous.
3) 3)College is a terrible way to begin one’s financial life:  Unless you are one of this rare souls who has received a full scholarship, or has a college trust fund, undertaking a college degree can be a devastating way to begin your earning life.   

4) 4)College does not guarantee success. A common misconception is that one needs  to go to college in order to become successful.  This is not true since some of the most successful people on this planet never went to college.  To be successful one needs to be, disciplined, entrepreneurial, courageous, self motivated, persistent, tenacious, a leader, innovative, upright, and principled.  None of these attributes for success require a degree. 

Here is a cool article written by Seth Godin titled Does School Work? from his book  that satirically looks at how school can negatively influence a person:

“Here’s what we’re teaching kids to do (with various levels of success):
·         Fit in
·         Follow instructions
·         Use #2 Pencils
·         Take good notes
·         Show up every day
·         Cram for tests and don’t miss deadlines
·         Have good handwriting
·         Punctuate
·         Buy the things the other kids are buying
·         Don’t ask questions
·         Don’t challenge authority
·         Do the minimum amount required so you’ll have time to work on another subject
·         Get into college
·         Have a good resume
·         Don’t fail
·         Don’t say anything that might embarrass you
·         Be passably good at sports, or perhaps extremely good at being quarterback
·         Participate in a large number of extracurricular activities
·         Be a generalist
·         Try not to have the other kids talk about you
·         Once you learn a topic, move on
Now the key questions:
·         Which of these attributes are the keys to being indispensable?
·         Are we building the sort of people our society needs? 

In closing I want to reiterate that I am not against a college education per se.  A college education when undertaken for the right reasons can be a wonderful and life changing opportunity.  The important truth that I am trying to convey is that one needs to discern carefully and critically before making this life altering decision because the risks and consequences of attending for the wrong reasons are far too costly. 


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