College! That’s the only road high school seniors seem to get a grasp of. Why? Could it be because society chooses this for us? Because teachers, parents, politicians have drilled this idea into our brains? Or are you on campus reading this article because it means something to you?
College won’t offer you anything if it doesn’t mean anything to you. If you are here to please society you will not make it. I’m arguing that we, as a society, need to stop this because it will only lead our future students to a bitter lifestyle.
I say that the pen isn’t mightier than your passion, you don’t need to depend on a pen and paper to establish your future, but what you do need is determination and love for whatever you seek.
Yes, I have to admit students do attend college and have successful futures. You can see them with a new BMW flashing their degree. Then behind comes the white and black and yellow and purple and pink Honda driven by a college graduate with the same degree stopping by McDonald’s, not to eat, but to apply.
Why is this? Well according to the American Student Assistance website, “48% of [college graduates ages 25-34] are unemployed.” In today’s unforeseeable job market, going to college is risky. How can you show up to class for more than four years knowing that you will possibly just be a statistic?
This study determined that the median income for “young adults with a bachelor’s degree was $45,000.” My father makes around $50,000 and never graduated elementary school.
My brother, a high school dropout, is making $90,000. Both my father and brother have an overall better lifestyle than most college graduates. Heck, next thing you know, convicted criminals in jail will be making a better paycheck than college graduates.
I believe that students need to realize that a degree won’t assure you anything. According to the Bureau of Labor, “25% of college graduates are currently working in jobs that don’t require a degree.” And that $45,000 they are making will not be enough to support a family.
First, remember you have an unlimited number of options — college is one option not the only option.
Second, always keep a book in front of you: knowledge is power. Deciding not to go to college shouldn’t mean that your brain stops functioning. If you think that is the case then you are the reason why society believes college is the way to go.
Third, don’t be afraid. You might become the next Bill Gates, or possibly the next Kim Kardashian. But it doesn’t matter as long as you are emotionally released, debt free and satisfied.
In conclusion, we students need to see college as an option. We need to encourage future generations to look above and beyond. We need to let them know that not going to college is perfectly normal. We need to let our future kids do whatever makes them happy.
If they can see themselves working as teachers in the future and being happy then encourage them to go to college. If they visualize themselves being something out of the ordinary, just know they are doing it for a good reason.
Remember, love it, be happy and above all, be determined.
And take to heart Dr. Seuss’s advice: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And you are the one who’ll decide where to go.”