College's are like drug-dealing pimps. Banks own the entire drug cartel and the students/graduates are all the little whores going out studying and working to pay off their bloodsucking pimps and thus the cartels. I hate it. Colleges are always pimpin' their hoes: "If you don't work fo' me baby, you ain't goin' nowhere. You can't do nothin' without me, baby. You need me." And it's true. No matter how worthless your degree actually is (Sorry, University of Phoenix Art History majors) most worthwhile jobs require them, even though students are graduating not knowing a damn thing.
Ok, now pump your brakes. I know college is important. I know it is basically impossible to procure a decent job without it. I know it makes people more analytical, cultured, knowledgeable, blah, blah, blah. I am completely aware of and understand it's inherent value. However, I do not understand its value at $100,000 per Bachelor's degree (the average cost at a private university). No matter how that is explained to me, I will never understand it. It's a racket. The Man* (yeah, he's still around!) is trying to trap us (the bright, promising youth) into demonic amounts of debt before we're old enough to drink away our sorrows and I for one say "No, thank you, sir!"
Unless you're headed for a career in a hospital, law firm, or some other specialized career that requires loads of specific knowledge, why on earth are you taking four years (two of which are high school nostalgia) of crazy expensive courses that often have little to do with your major? Don't give me that 'to make students more well-rounded crap.' Becoming well-rounded is the purpose of high school. It's to make The Man's* wallet more well-rounded. College is to provide one with real skills for the real world, i.e. a real job, making real money, paying real bills. I refuse to pay to be refreshed on all the crap I was forced to learn for free in high school (even though my high school wasn't free, I'm speaking for the peasants,) only to graduate from Idiot State University and work in a cubicle, barely affording my loan payments with my insulting entry level salary. I work at a restaurant and about 80% of my coworkers hold Bachelor's degrees. Out of that, I'd estimate that around 10% of them have Master's. And trust, not all of these degrees are in creative writing. There's a bartender with a Master's in chemical engineering! He makes minimum wage plus tips.
I am not against education, I am against college and the degree system as it stands. It is inefficient, manipulative, unethical and just about evil. Plus, there are other ways to learn and obtain education outside of college but the system refuses to place real value on anything other than the trap of the racket.
I am one of those debt-free people that proudly checks "some college." I attended colleges for 2 1/2 years total. I came to the conclusion that unless you're going to a truly excellent college (like, top 20) you can learn all the things you would learn at a lackluster school for free reading at home on your couch. (That is, if you are naturally smart and studious).
I chose to forgo college mainly because I am a genius who follows her own lead but also because I am an artist confident in my ability to generate income through the merits of my unique talents that cannot be taught or learned in a classroom setting. Sure, some people deem artistry as worthless and that's fine, I get it. I would just rather study at my computer, read books, and pontificate than use a fancy business degree to kill babies and destroy the world. The business degreed baby killer might make tons of money while I make peanuts (big ones!) waiting tables, but my conscience is clear and I aspire for greater things beyond my current state of being.
So why am I waiting tables? Why am I not starring in my own sitcom, movie or BBC drama? Why don't I have several novels, books of poetry, heady non-fiction books to my credit on best-sellers lists? Don't you dare even think it must be because I'm not good, because I'm effing brilliant. It's just because I am lazy. No, I'm crazy. No, I'm afraid of success...or all of those things. But that's a whole other story...don't get me started. But really:
WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS:
My parents were planted in very humble beginnings but blossomed into successful business people. I grew up under the impression that there was a trust, college savings account, bonds, stocks, a stuffed mattress, or some kind of money somewhere that would fund the beginnings of my adult life, including my higher education. I went to an expensive all-girls high school, thus I just knew that my parents would pay for college as well. Junior year, I told them my college of choice was the University of Southern California, as I was going to study Film (screenwriting). While my classmate's parents were beating them for getting B's and paying etiquette coaches to train them how to interview for Ivy Leagues, my parents panned my USC plan saying they had no idea who was going to pay for a school like that. See, my parents' higher education was paid for by their companies' very generous tuition reimbursement programs, so they could not relate to people, notably me, who did not have fancy jobs that would finance their overpriced education.
So I settled (excitedly) for a private film/art school in Chicago: Columbia College. I went to my classes the first day of the first semester, at the end of which I took a visit to the Financial Aid Department. Why do they even call it the "Financial Aid" Department? Those bastards told me I wasn't eligible for real aid (you know, the free kind) because my parents "made too much money" and I didn't have a bushel of welfare babies while I was in high school. Instead, the aid I was eligible for were loans. In my logical mind, aid is not a loan. Aid is help. Help should not be a game of Russian roulette with your financial future. I was handed a contract that detailed my agreement to borrow $15,000 for one semester of classes, and that in less than six months, I agreed to borrow another $15,000 to finish my first year of college courses. At that, I put down the pen and walked out of the office.
Columbia College Bachelor's Degree: $120,000
Dropping Out and Seeking My Own Education: $0
Textbooks cost loads of money. LIBRARIES ARE FREE.
College is a dirty racket. If you know what you want to do and it's something you can learn on your own or at a community college or through some other educational outlet, do that and start working for yourself. START YOUR OWN BUSINESS. College is for those that truly need specialized knowledge that can't be obtained elsewhere or for teat-sucking tools that cannot survive unless someone hands them a job. I'm a horrible employee so I ditched college. I may be a self-righteous waitress trying to be a movie/tv star/entertainment mogul but I have a point. Go figure.
*The Man: A nameless, faceless, masculine entity who is at fault for all ills in the world and whose eternal goal is to diabolically take advantage of the vulnerable.