College?

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High school is coming to a rapid end, which means college is right around the corner for many seniors. However, for some students, graduation is a temporary, or permanent, end of their academic journey.

Earlier this month, many students declared where they’d be spending the next four years, however, there are others who do not have the intention of going to college. In today’s society, the value, and necessity, of education is considered extremely critical, which brings to question: What are the benefits of not going college, or taking a gap year?

The first obvious reason for not attending college is finance. Collegeraptor.com states that “Studies show that attendance of a private four-year college could cost up to $46,000, and the cost of attendance for a public four year could potentially cost up to 36 thousand.” It is no secret that college is expensive, and student debt can have a greater negative impact on your future then not having a degree. Also, “student debt is at an all-time high, higher than credit card debt” according to pbs.org. The financial burden and potential harm to your future finances, in terms of student debt, is a risk that students attending college must face. In addition to debt, the chances of finding a job post-graduation have decreased. According to an article on the University of Washington’s website, “approximately 50% of college students are unemployed or working in a position which does not require a degree.”

The college system seem to have become a system built to cheat students out of money: requiring young adults to take out large loans, that they are then later not able to pay off. The financial burden of college needs to be carefully examined, however, students who aren’t attending college, are relieved of this burden, which is a primary and major reason as to why to not attend college.

Another reason why students aren’t attending college is preparation. The lack of preparation, within the current education system, for the future evident. For Abdullaziz Munye, a current senior at Highland, preparation is a key factor in his decision to join the workforce. “The problem is that students are taught to work with their hands in school.”

Abdulaziz plans on working as an apprentice carpenter this fall. “I do plan on going to school in the future, however, as of right now, I want to chase my passion in carpentering.”

Abdullaziz continues to discuss the reason in which he came to his decision, along with the stigma that is placed on students who choose not to attend college. The argument is that college does not prepare us any more than high school does, although college provides us with a lot more spare time than high school. The majority of this spare time will be spent in libraries studying.

The constraints that college puts on building ourselves rather than becoming “corporate clones” are obvious. Students are going to college just to be able to add something on to their resume and find a job, but where is the passion? Why are we told that we will find ourselves during our college years if there isn’t any real chance of growth and development, and instead a rather high chance of having more student loans than job offers.

In an article for the Huffington Post, Michael Price writes “Spending 4+ years pursuing a college education in this day and age when the world is changing at the speed of light is not only silly, it’s absolute insanity! Since I dropped out of college and started my career half a decade before my peers, I’m 5 years ahead of the game, plus I have zero debt. No student loans for me.”

College has always been pressured as a necessity, however, it’s obvious in our day and age, that many people can be successful without a degree. Along with the fact that the college environment isn’t built for everyone. The concept of college is particular to each person, and some people want or need to go to college in order to pursue their dream. However, college shouldn’t be viewed as the only way to achieve success.

 

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