You have to go to college right? Wrong. Everyone thinks, especially growing up in a public school system, that they need to go to college and get a degree to be successful. While it is true that getting a degree will bring some individuals success, others it may not. You can be successful in your life without getting a college degree and sometimes getting a degree can really suck. Entering the workforce straight out of high school isn't such a bad idea if you aren't looking at your life 30 years down the road. Moving out of your parents house and living on your own while earning a college degree is a huge culture shock for most people that have no experience of life on their own. While some people can handle it, others simply can't. Entering the workforce right away allows you to get a taste of the real world while slowly earning your foot out the door and on your own. Can everyone do this without going to college? No. You really need to know who you are and what you want to do with your life. No one will ever figure out the specifics at an early age but at least a general idea of where you want to be helps.
1. You don't get work experience
This topic is a pretty big deal. While I understand that you can have a job while going to college and that a lot of people do this successfully, it is really hard to be a good full time student while also having a full time job. Not a lot of employers like to hire people as part time when they are working on a school schedule because it makes it really difficult to find the labor to schedule you in the times you want it. Starting out in the work force allows you to gain experience and truly figure out what you want to do and most importantly what you don't want to do! While a student spends 4 years in a college learning about what they think they would enjoy doing, another person is actually working, earning money, learning how to prepare for interviews, learning how to file taxes and doing things that they will have to learn how to do after they get out of school.
2. You don't get paid
This is an issue I briefly described above and it is that you don't get paid and you don't start a savings. Majority of college students are actually in debt. They have taken out student loans that they will have to pay off with interest over time. The person who went straight into the work force actually started saving money and is in a surplus in comparison. President Obama even said that he just recently paid off his student loans. Let's do the math here. Let's say an individual that went straight out of the work force saves 500 dollars a month every month. They would accumulate 6000 a year in savings with interest. At the same time a college student enrolls in school and takes out 24,000 dollars in loans to pay for tuition. By the time the student graduates they will have 24,000 in student loans, plus interest while the worker has 24,000 in savings with interest. Let's take the myth in consideration that a college student earns twice as much in college and they are able to pay 1000 a month from their debt. It would take them 24 months or 2 years to pay it off not including interest. The worker got a pay raise and now saves 600 a month. Over the next 2 years the worker saves an additional 14,400 dollars which brings their total savings to 38,400 dollars. The student now has broken even 2 years after college and at the rate of 1000 a month, it would take them 38 months, or about 3 years to even catch up with the worker. If the student started at 18, they graduates at 22 and spend 2 years breaking even and then 3 years catching up, they are 27 by the time they have caught up with the worker. Lets not even mention while the student caught up, the worker made another 14,400 dollars or more. You don't get paid!
3. You Get Stressed Out
I know that a job can be stressful, because it really can. Dealing with customers or doing work that your boss told you to do that doesn't make sense and ends up back firing on you when everything hits the fan. However, let's compare that to studying for a test and cramming information you don't know to hopefully pass a test so that you don't have to retake a class that takes up an entire quarter and costs hundreds of dollars while not getting paid or gaining work experience. I will take a job with issues any day. College entails a lot of things other than class work. Those who join clubs or play sports also have to balance that into their schedule which leaves them with even less time to do what they want or be a successful student. A lot of students that go to college are also getting stress from family back home that are pressuring them to do well. There really is no room for error in college and if you fall within that margin you will probably drop out or repeat classes which increases stress even more. Is it worth it? It is up to you to decide that one!
4. You Become Unhealthy
I know so many people that are or were in school that lived off of beer, soda, Ramen noodle, macaroni and cheese and fast food. Why? Because that was all they could afford or all that was available to them. If you want to eat anything that is remotely healthy you have to pay for it. Whether your scholarship that you may or may not have covers a meal ticket, your eating standard may go up a bit, but that is if you chose to eat healthy. In order to buy and prepare your own healthy food you need some type on income. There are two people that fall in to this category and that is spoiled people who have their parents pay for everything, or people who have jobs that use all of the money they make to pay for transportation to and from college and work and on meals. If you pick up a job you have to factor in the stress factor. Those who are full time students and have a job have stress coming in from both angles. That's why most people just eat Ramen noodles, pack on that freshman 15 and never lose it. You become unhealthy!
5. You Pick Up Bad Habits
Last but not least, the bad habits. So many students start college never having done drugs or participated in binge drinking. That is pretty much what the college life is all about. Sororities, fraternities, or even weekend parties consist of nothing but bad behavior that is masked by a few good deeds they do for their school. The only frat houses that don't participate in this activity are the ones no body is in. What it comes down to, and a big reason why people go to college, is to have fun and meet people. So many people don't even care about the education. They just get intoxicated and get in trouble. I know there are exceptions to this rule as there are to every rule but that is the majority. A lot of people can't handle it. They go to college and have so much fun that their academics fall behind and they can't keep their GPA high enough to pass their classes and end up dropping out. When you stay working, you really don't have time to party all the time and experiment with random drugs or get drunk 24/7, because you have to be at work the next day! This is partially an opinion based on what I've experienced, and partially the truth. Anyone who has gone to college can vouch for me when it comes to this being common.
What can you do besides college?
- 5 Alternatives to Going to College
Going to college isn't everyone dream. Starting life without a direction can also be difficult. It is possible to find alternatives to have a successful life without going to college. Try these!
Should You Go to College?
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Go to College
College is a wonderful place to be. You meet new friends, learn more about the things you love and have something to show for it by the end of it all. Still debating whether or not to go to college?
Let's Take a Vote!
MountainManJake (author) from Seattle on April 25, 2013:
Thanks Conservative Lady! Don't get me wrong, I completely agree in furthering your education. I just don't like how the media makes it seem like if you don't have it you are going to be a failure. I am going to school to help my writing by pursuing an English degree. Public education tells me I need to be a business major, a doctor or a lawyer to be successful. I beg to differ.
Sheila from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State on April 25, 2013:
I believe that College is a good idea as long as you are attending to get a degree in a field that you will be able to find a good paying job. I have improved my earning capability to the tune of tripling what I would have earned had I continued in a dead end minimum wage job. You have some good points to consider but I still think choosing a sensible degree and not attending the big name University can pay off well for most.