The College Conundrum

The College Conundrum
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Regret Regret Regret

I’m about to turn 25 years old and over the years I’ve made some pretty big mistakes and have plenty of regrets, however there is one defining regret that lingers in the fog of my mind.

It’s a regret that has lead me down a path of constant disappointment.

It’s a regret that has left with me a bruised ego and shattered confidence.

It’s a regret that has left me with a nagging monthly reminder that I no longer own myself.

It’s a regret that was a decision I knowingly made when I was an eighteen year kid; a time in which a person still have zero idea who they are and zero idea who they want to be – A time where the brain is still underdeveloped and unprepared

It’s a regret that has left me gasping for air.

My biggest regret was going to college.

$40,000 Void

Oh the feeling of soul crushing debt. There’s no sensation quite like it. It’s an itch that just sits in the back of your skull that flares up every time you have the thought of buying yourself something –

“Should I really be buying this $5 deodorant? That’s roughly 15% of the money I need for my monthly student loan bill.”

And what makes that itch even more painful? When you have absolutely nothing to show for that debt.

No prestigious career.

No prospects.

No direction.

Only a thick piece of paper* and a huge void that’s worth $40,000 (plus interest, of course).

(* I actually lost my physical diploma, So I don’t even have that.)

Free Alternatives

After changing my major close to six times, I finally settled on getting my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology. Everyone told me not to, but I loved the material and wanted to learn more – I even had a plan to go right to graduate school post graduation (up until a positive pregnancy test crash landed in my lap). I still love the topic and It’s still a huge factor in my life (see: this website) – but it’s still my biggest regret.

I could have taught myself literally everything I learned from every class via free resources. I could have taking free online courses. I could have read books and studies. I could have done my own informal research and experiments. I could have wrote articles for blogs instead of papers for professors. I could have truly absorbed the material instead of cramming ideas for the sole purpose of passing an exam.

I could be $40,000 richer (plus interest, of course).

In today’s technological world, the idea of college is, at it’s very core, 100% illogical.

Do a quick Google search and you can learn about virtually any topic, most of which at a low cost (or even zero cost) to you.

Yes, college is vital to learning specific topics – I wouldn’t go to a self taught dentist or a back ally proctologist – but I strongly don’t believe that I should be forced to pay a portion of my soul to fill credit gaps with classes like “How To Waste Time on the Internet“.

I also can’t seem to wrap my educated brain around the idea that so many non-technical careers require (actually demand would be a better word) a minimum bachelors degree as if those four years really cultivate skills and knowledge not found in other avenues of life.

The only skill I truly learned in those four years was how to cut corners on assignments and still receive a passing grade.

Turn Back If You Can

We’ve been hoodwinked.

We’ve been deceived.

We’ve been fooled.

We’ve been bamboozled, swindled, and diddled.

The university presidents, the banks, and everyone who profits off of another duped soul sits on their thrones of cash cackling wildly in satisfaction.

It’s too late for me, I already threw my anchor into the sea of debt.

But if you’re an individual standing on the shoreline of High School and College, take some time to rethink before you cast yourself off. We live in an unconventional world filled with wonder, excitement, and exhilaration – you’ll learn so much more outside the sea of students crammed into the conventional lecture hall.

Take some time to think about why you want to go. The college experience is obtainable without the hefty price tag, do some exploring and maybe you’ll find yourself a future with shoulders free of debt.