I went to College because someone told me to. Not because I wanted to, or because I value my education, but because society tells us that you’re supposed to go to college once you finish high school.
In about a year I will graduate college and be about $100k in debt. That’s my reality. And while education is valuable, I personally don’t believe my college experience was worth over $100k of debt.
Let me rewind a little bit. I knew even before I got to high school that I wanted to be a an artist. A photographer, to be precise (I even have a tattoo of an aperture on my arm now).
Despite wanting to be an photographer I had no idea how to make that happen after I graduated high school. I didn’t even have enough money to buy a decent camera, let alone buy any other necessary photo equipment to be an actual photographer. I didn’t have any sort of plan on what to do after high school. Everyone just kept telling me that you’re supposed to go to college after high school.
So I started applying for art schools. Until I saw the price tag… Instead of an fancy art school off in some coastal city, I wound up at the same local college everyone else at my high school went to. Even though I was set to go to a-middle-of-kansas college, I still had every intention of studying photography. Until I talked to some people and realized art school isn’t always worth it… Right before enrolling in classes I switched to a Marketing Major, and I’ve been studying marketing ever since.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my college experience so far. I love having my own dorm room I get to decorate on my own, I love all the friends I’ve made and the people I’ve met. I really enjoy the town I live in now. And I value a lot of the education I’ve received (besides the fact that I’m lazy and bad at math).
That being said, is my college experience worth all of the debt I’ve incurred? Maybe not.
The thing that people seem to skip over when they tell you that you have to go to college is that going to college doesn’t guarantee you a job. Let alone a job that pays well and that you’re passionate about.
The truth is, going to college isn’t the only way to be successful and to do what you love! I wish someone had told me there were other options besides college while I was in the process of graduating from high school. There are cheaper ways to continue your education, such as going to trade school, or community college. I highly encourage high school students to look into, and learn about all of their options before making a life determining, and a potentially financially devastating decision.
Tell me, did you go to college?? If you did, did you regret it??