The Education Controversy
This post is written for my friend Bianca.
So something that we all are well aware of is that it seems that education => higher pay. Okay… so simple logic would deduce that in order for a person to obtain a higher paying job, they will need to obtain higher education. Basic positive correlation right? Yeah… unfortunately it’s just not that simple.
The average 4-year college tuition (including room and board) these days can range from anywhere from $60,000 – $200,000. And let me reiterate that this assumes that the student manages to actually complete a full degree within four years. For those who have been bombarded by the incorrect social media, the average student takes 4.5 years to complete a bachelors, NOT 4 years.
That being said, let’s set aside people with full rides (which are very much a rarity these days), a majority of their tuition paid, or have parents to pay off their educations. With those people aside, we are left with the majority of students who have to take out MONSTROUS loans. Now some people might argue, “I have some scholarships and stuff, I’m only taking $30,000 in loans for school.” Erm… yeah…. so $30,000 sounds a lot better than $200,000… I get that. But let’s phrase that in a way that’s simple for us to understand.
If someone were to work at a job that paid $10.00 an hour, and let’s assume that you get to keep all of it (which we all know is an utter lie), you would need to work 3,000 hours = 125 days = 17.86 weeks to pay that off. And that’s JUST the actual loan for TUITION, ROOM, & BOARD, which means we haven’t calculated compound interest (which just KILLS you) and the fact that you’d probably like to have a life as well. I would get more into how badly interest slaughters us, but that would diverge from this post’s purpose.
So here’s something that I’m not sure people are quite aware of… but because it’s so critical, I’m going to state this as clearly as I possibly can.
STUDENTS LOANS WILL NEVER GO AWAY.
Are we clear? This means that even if you try to declare bankruptcy, you’re still obligated to pay back your loans. Something to keep in mind.
Now that we have all that established… let’s talk about what I like to call “The Education Controversy.”
As we stated before, there is research and a widely held belief that if you obtain higher education, you will have a better paying job and a better life. That was true for the majority before Generation Y’s time. Nowadays, I would say that obtaining higher education is actually a risk. It is a risk that too many people take without realizing they are taking it. I know this sounds crazy, but hear me out.
Problem #1. First and foremost, a lot of people go to school simply “to go to school.” They are getting a college education because they think that’s what they should do. After all, society seems to ostracize anyone who takes the highroad and avoid college and labels them as failures. Two names to them: Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. Moving on.
Solution – People should NEVER do things simply because they “should” or because it’s what is done. Now people are going to cry blasphemy and say, “So what are you saying? I should just become a self-certified doctor and skip college, MCATs, stressful med applications, and so on?” Wrong. In fact, that statement right there illustrates the one point that is the solution. The VISION of being a doctor is the X factor that makes all the difference. And no, to those naysayers who say that getting a “degree” is a vision…. unless you are guaranteed a job/pay raise once you get X degree, you’re wrong. And actually, you’re still wrong in that exception because the job/pay raise is the vision. That being said, if you’re wondering how to craft the vision I’m talking about, be on the lookout for my next post. Although I will say that getting a degree can definitely be an achievement and a milestone that people want to hit, but again I must reiterate that it’s not something that simply “should” be done.
Problem #2. Education is a double edged sword that people try to wield and end up stabbing themselves in the gut themselves more often then ever. Although education could provide a gateway to a better job and better life, it also comes with the possibility of BURIED ALIVE in DEBT.
Solution – To those who cry bloody mary to my statement in Problem #1 about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates about them being the exception, I would say you’re partially right; but at the same time, you’re mostly wrong. It’s true, breaking norms does not equate a corporation that controls a part of the world; but what makes Steve Jobs and Bill Gates successes is that they were fighters. That’s right. The solution to avoid stabbing yourself by your own sword is being a FIGHTER. If you’re going to try and wield this mighty weapon, I would hope that you have the spirit to go to war with a ferocious battle cry and a never ending desire to keep fighting no matter how difficult the odds may seem. And in continuance with the vision post, I’ll write more on this as well.
I thought about writing about more problems with education, but I think that these two are the crux that too many people fail to recognize (not to mention this post is getting a bit long and I don’t want to bore any of you). So although I wasn’t aware of it when I started this post, I hope you enjoyed the first post in a destined series on this blog, “The Educational Controversy” (TEC). As always, I welcome any contrary views or insightful comments!