A College Education

cojalen
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A College Education

So I have a bit of a problem.

Right out of high school I was sent to a university. I'm currently a junior, and after a couple years of indecision plus some bad life choices, I'm majoring in English and philosophy. I'm in the introductory courses right now.

I've heard a ton of people say that I'm wasting my time. Some say that an English major is a waste. Others say a philosophy major is a waste. I'm very wasteful it seems! Though I don't necessarily think that when people say "waste," that I'm in agreement with their definition. As far as getting a solid job right out of college, English and philosophy might be poor choices. But I feel as though I'm more self-aware than I had been in high school. And more aware of things going on around me. And I'm learning about things that I enjoy. That has some worth, right?

They will say that those things won't get me a job, that I can just go to a library and learn more on my own for less money, and that I'm being brainwashed.

I came to my school and majored in these things because they're what I love. I do a lot of writing, I'm taking an interest in linguistics, and I've found that a lot of the things I'm assigned parallel in both subjects. They've given me a lot to think about, a lot to question, and philosophy has even opened up an interest to science and math. That's a big deal! I've never been interested in those two incredibly large subjects. And now that I think about it more, their influence on our lives is so strong. It would be a disservice to me not to look into them further.

As far as a career, I've always wanted to teach at the college level. Or be a writer... The typical careers people say are pipe-dreams, of course. I'm still a bit shaky on the whole career thing. Anyway, I've always excelled in the classroom, I'm totally in love with the subject matter (though I'm not very specific, yet)... But I wonder if what people say is right. That college is just a brain-washing machine, that it's a scam, that it's a waste. Maybe I'm one of the "machine's" best products since I want to be in the positions that fucking make the supposed "machine" work.

And the thing is, it's all my parents' money. If I were to rethink my college education and drop out, they would be devastated. But if I am to stay, I'm always going to be searching for some justification for me being here. Even if I feel like I've gotten something of worth out of these years, what if it really was a waste of time, and what if I could have lived life much happier doing something else? Am I just contributing to something that's ultimately harming our society? Just look around the internet, and there are a shit-ton of hateful posts against the concept of higher education in modern America. All I wanted to do was to understand more, please my family, and eventually help society in some way - a way found through educating myself. I had no idea I would be in such a situation!

So, aside from the admittedly emotional rambling, here is a recap of the questions:

Is college a waste of time, and how do you define "waste?"

If yes, why, and what's a better alternative?

If no, why, and are there any degrees you think are wasteful?

Do you have any recommendations for reading about this? I've found some things that I plan to read, but I've always gotten some good recommendations from here!

And finally, for people in college at the moment, what is your best advice for life post-graduation?

Thanks!


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 That last question should

 That last question should be "What is your best advice for life post-graduation for people in college at the moment."


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cojalen wrote:Is college a

cojalen wrote:

Is college a waste of time, and how do you define "waste?"

 

From a purely economic point of view, college is a waste of time for anyone who doesn't specifically need their degree to get a specific job. It used to be that college degrees were so rare that any degree was looked upon favorably by employers, now they are so common that it really means nothing. I would rather hire someone with four years of work experience than someone with a degree. And at the cost of college now, the only way you are really getting ahead economically is if you go into a career that requires the degree such as the medical field, engineering, lawyer or college professor. Any place where a degree is optional, you are probably better off getting four years of work experience.

 

That being said, if you are doing what you love, it is never a waste of time. My college was a "waste" of time in any economic sense, I've never had a job that would have required a high school education let alone a college degree. However, it was a lot of fun, I learned, made friends and met a wife. I don't regret it one bit- even the wife part (I'm divorced).

 

As for the whole "college is brainwashing" thing, it is usually touted by people who listen to right wing talk radio for 6+ hours a day.... and are brainwashed. Most college professors are left wing and many students do blindly accept whatever their professors say as absolute truth. But as long as you continue to question your professors and your own beliefs brainwashing isn't really a danger. 

 

cojalen wrote:

And finally, for people in college at the moment, what is your best advice for life post-graduation?

 

Do whatever makes you happy. Probably the biggest mistake I see people make is they worry about what other people think and do what they think will make others happy. If you are doing what you love and are happy with your life, those that love you ought to be happy for you. If you do things because you want to make other people happy or proud of you, ultimately you will find yourself in a life you hate.

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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I love college.  I have

I love college.  I have more undergraduate credits than anyone else I know.  And I am back in college at age 60. 

My first degree was a BS Systems Engineering.  I got the degree not because I loved the subject - though I was vaguely interested.  I got it because I had been brain washed by my family to get a degree that was "useful" - you know, doctor, lawyer, engineer, architect, MBA.  And Systems was the only engineering degree that I could remotely see completing.  I have also majored in music, engineering mathematics, and marketing and management.  I am currently a computer science major, but I think I have finally grown up.  I hate it and I am going to switch to something I'm interested in and can feel some passion about - social/cultural anthropology.  Talk about useless.  I might get hired by some corporation with that degree, but it would be more likely that any career would be in academia.

And I may just retire after getting a PhD.  Straight to professor emeritus.

My so-called useful degree was useless.  I have never worked as an engineer, but rather as IT system administrator.  Systems engr includes computer systems but it is not only computer systems.  The degree might have had some influence on getting my first jobs 20 years ago, but now, as BS has pointed out, it is not so useful.  More useful would be to be 20 years younger and an expert in Linux.

But I can't do anything about my age and I am truly not interested in being an expert in Linux.  Not that I have anything against Linux, it just isn't interesting.  And it is isn't interesting being an expert in Windows (which I am).  So fuck it, I am going to do what I want to do and not what my grandmother (who died in 1973) wanted me to do.

A waste of time is doing something that doesn't need to be done and you don't want to do.  If you enjoy it, it is not a waste of time.  If college is enjoyable, you are not wasting time.

Post-college.  I have worked in the corporate world.  I find it boring and tedious.  There are all these reports and tracking and petty office politics.  I grew up in a small family owned business (not so small these days) and I have worked for small businesses.  A lot of work, flaky business practices (one employer had never had a budget in 12 years), and a lot of counting pennies.  If you are not interested in chasing pennies, if sealing a deal is no fun, business is not for you. 

My advice - you are fortunate to have found what interests you while still young.  Go for it.  Stay open to opportunities and lucky happenstance.  I hope your career will continue to be fulfilling 20-40 years from now.  And if not, take some courses. 

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

"We are entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts"- Al Franken

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 Hey cojalen, I don't think

 Hey cojalen, I don't think that you have all the big problem that you say you do.

 

Consider that your stated goal is to be a teacher. And you are majoring in two fields which are relevant to that goal? I am sure that whatever additional material that you need to cover can be worked out with the guidance office. That is kind of what they are supposed to do.

 

As far as a degree being useful, you might want to ask all the old people whom you know if they are doing what they studied. Odds are that they won't be. About thirty years ago, I worked as a line cook under a guy with a degree in marine microbiology. Don't ask me why I still remember that, memory can be funny that way.

 

Anyway, the guy had the certs to do a useful job as a scientist but he was economically productive in a very different area. He did not have a degree in business but he owned a catering company.

 

Bloody hell but I gave a pass on my education and I have been gainfully employed for most of my life. As of yesterday, not anymore though. Now I get to find out what kind of education all those years of paying for unemployment insurance bought me. If I have to pick a program based on what I think I would like to do, I would major in IT and philosophy.

 

Really, don't let people tell you that philosophy is not a marketable degree. If your goal was to head into a degree where philosophy was not relevant, that would be a different story. In the real world, there are few jobs for which knowing how to think clearly fails to be a positive thing.

 

Actually, I know a guy who has a few doctorates, at least one of which is philosophy. The last that I heard from him was that he was working for a company which was designing a new breed of computer processor. I don't know exactly what he did but for what he says, apparently there will soon be a product on the market which does not need to run binary logic. Of course it can but it can do a whole lot more.

 

If you like, you could google him and ask what he thinks. His name is Jim (or James) Hardy and the last that I heard, he was working in Idaho. Tell him that Malpine Walis sent you his way.

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cojalen wrote:So I have a

cojalen wrote:

So I have a bit of a problem.

Right out of high school I was sent to a university. I'm currently a junior, and after a couple years of indecision plus some bad life choices, I'm majoring in English and philosophy. I'm in the introductory courses right now.

I've heard a ton of people say that I'm wasting my time. Some say that an English major is a waste. Others say a philosophy major is a waste. I'm very wasteful it seems! Though I don't necessarily think that when people say "waste," that I'm in agreement with their definition. As far as getting a solid job right out of college, English and philosophy might be poor choices. But I feel as though I'm more self-aware than I had been in high school. And more aware of things going on around me. And I'm learning about things that I enjoy. That has some worth, right?

They will say that those things won't get me a job, that I can just go to a library and learn more on my own for less money, and that I'm being brainwashed.

I came to my school and majored in these things because they're what I love. I do a lot of writing, I'm taking an interest in linguistics, and I've found that a lot of the things I'm assigned parallel in both subjects. They've given me a lot to think about, a lot to question, and philosophy has even opened up an interest to science and math. That's a big deal! I've never been interested in those two incredibly large subjects. And now that I think about it more, their influence on our lives is so strong. It would be a disservice to me not to look into them further.

As far as a career, I've always wanted to teach at the college level. Or be a writer...

If those are the careers that you're seriously thinking, then, those would be good subjects to study.

cojalen wrote:
The typical careers people say are pipe-dreams, of course.

I'm pretty sure people mean well enough when they respond that way. However, my advice is try and pick something you really, really enjoy.

A lifetime at a job that you don't enjoy can depress the hell out of people.

cojalen wrote:
But I wonder if what people say is right. That college is just a brain-washing machine...

I've never heard that one before...

cojalen wrote:
...that it's a scam, that it's a waste.

I wouldn't call it a 'scam', or a 'waste', per se.

However, I do know plenty of bartenders who have degrees.

cojalen wrote:
Is college a waste of time, and how do you define "waste?"

I don't think it's fair to call it a 'waste'.

However, it's not quite the 'prize' that many project that it is.

It really doesn't distinguish you from another, in the job market, AFAIC.

Degrees are a dime a dozen, for the most part. Especially in areas like Literature, or History, etc...

I dropped out of college towards the end of my second year, while majoring in psychology, and minoring in music.

 

What coming from a business family, and being in my own businesses for over 20 yrs has taught me, is that it's 'who' you know, much more than 'what' you know.

My advice is to learn everything you can about networking, and everything you can about developing your skill at networking, and selling yourself.

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris


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Do what you love doing is

Do what you love doing is far more important than pleasing others. I went the route of pleasing others and got my degree in theology, became a minister, married a woman who wanted to be married to a minister and now I am no longer married to her or a minister. I am now an atheist. But this was my path and I don't regret it. It is who I was. These days I do what I want and am happier. I wish I had cj's energy and went back to school. I would go into science not for money but because of my great interest in it. For now I code linux and other languages and it takes nearly all my time and gives me a decent living. It is easy to ramble here.
Education is always valuable. You are learning important skills no matter the subject, the ability to research, articulate, compose your thoughts, be introduce to topics and people you would never have met otherwise. To have your work judged and evaluated in a far less subjective place than home. All these things make you a better person, more well rounded. I got these in a very conservative school as far as society goes, maybe not according to church biddies. It did get me thinking and being a christian and thinking ain't the best combo, its like oil and water. As Stephen Colbert said reality has a liberal bias.
I don't think you can go wrong with an education.
My one daughter just got her masters in education, she is an elementary school teacher. The other has her masters in literature and plans to get a masters in fine arts. Both love doing it. One of my son-in-laws is getting a masters in history. They all work in the school systems.
They all support themselves, not lavishly but enjoy what they do. I think that is key.
I had some hard years after I left the ministry and got a divorce, so did my ex. I changed careers 4 times. I had to keep searching until I found what I wanted and stopped doing things for others. but above all I am really glad I got a degree in yes even theology which is the anthesis of who I am today. No regrets. Maybe my story is eventually you will do what you want.

Religion Kills !!!

Numbers 31:17-18 - Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

http://jesus-needs-money.blogspot.com/


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I cant stand that bullshit

I cant stand that bullshit that a college degree is a waste if it doesn't lead to a career. Having a college education is a benefit even if it doesn't pad your pockets. It's nice if it does, but even if it doesn't it makes you a much more worldly person having a much better understanding of the world.

Colleges alone provide a microcosm of diversity. It teaches you much more than deadlines and time management. You learn things that most in the world will never learn. You create relationships that are unique to college. You also learn to meet challenges.

I know lots of people who get degrees they end up not using. I have a co-worker who is a career waitress who has a college degree. I can have conversations with her that I cant have with others. I don't care what part of the economic chain you end up in, society is always far better off the more people OF EVERY CLASS get an education.

Even the lowest paid in Europe are on average are far more educated than those in the states.

It all depends upon WHY you are getting a degree. If you are out for money, then you may want to go for a degree in a field that you may not like. But, if you love a subject, and that is your goal, then the money afterwords should not be your focus. It all depends on what you want and what your idea of happiness is.

I would NOT trade my college education for anything even though I am not using it to make money. What IS just as important to me is the wealth of knowledge I gained from it. I have a better understanding of the Constitution, how media works, how the ancient Greeks influenced everything in our modern movie and drama and how it influenced philosophy and the world.

I met so many people from all over the world too. I think that experience helps me cope with differences and conflict in my daily life.

An education should be worth it no matter where you end up in life. It is much more valuable than a title or status.

Go for what you want in life no matter what it is, but if it is merely for the love of it, that can be happiness too.

Don't take advice from others. Just determine what it is you want. If it is money, fine, but love of a subject can be the goal as well. Happiness is what you make it, not what others dictate to you.

 

 

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Beyond Saving wrote: I

Beyond Saving wrote:

 I would rather hire someone with four years of work experience than someone with a degree.

 

 

 

That.

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robj101 wrote:Beyond Saving

robj101 wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

 I would rather hire someone with four years of work experience than someone with a degree.

 

 

 

That.

It depends. I wouldn't hire someone simply because they have work experience. If they are bigoted assholes, or professional lazy people, people who do merely make do by doing the bare minimum and only impress you with their title or having two jobs, then no.

I have met plenty of people who have worked long hours and hold more than one job, but don't do shit while they are there unless forced. Long hours don't automatically equal a good work ethic.

I would rather have someone who wants to be there and someone who doesn't think they are better just because of their title or the amount of hours they put in.

I know business is about money and I am not fooling myself. But there is also something to be said for ethics and work ethic.

I would rather hire someone who busts their ass for 6 hours than someone who works a 12 hour shift and is only there to collect a paycheck.

Attitude counts and if someone doesn't have a good attitude all the experience in the world wont motivate them if they don't want to be there.

But like I said, it cannot be all about money all the time. You look at other developed nations and on average all their classes are much more educated by comparison.

I might look at experience to hire them, but that alone wont mean they will keep their job.

"We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers."Obama
Check out my poetry here on Rational Responders Like my poetry thread on Facebook under BrianJames Rational Poet also on twitter under Brianrrs37


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Brian37 wrote:robj101

Brian37 wrote:

robj101 wrote:

Beyond Saving wrote:

 I would rather hire someone with four years of work experience than someone with a degree.

 

 

 

That.

It depends. I wouldn't hire someone simply because they have work experience. If they are bigoted assholes, or professional lazy people, people who do merely make do by doing the bare minimum and only impress you with their title or having two jobs, then no.

I have met plenty of people who have worked long hours and hold more than one job, but don't do shit while they are there unless forced. Long hours don't automatically equal a good work ethic.

I would rather have someone who wants to be there and someone who doesn't think they are better just because of their title or the amount of hours they put in.

I know business is about money and I am not fooling myself. But there is also something to be said for ethics and work ethic.

I would rather hire someone who busts their ass for 6 hours than someone who works a 12 hour shift and is only there to collect a paycheck.

Attitude counts and if someone doesn't have a good attitude all the experience in the world wont motivate them if they don't want to be there.

But like I said, it cannot be all about money all the time. You look at other developed nations and on average all their classes are much more educated by comparison.

I might look at experience to hire them, but that alone wont mean they will keep their job.

I was just going with the generic "college degree" vs "work experience". Of course there are always other factors and plenty of grey area.

I went to "gary job corps" and took carpentry. I graduated with a 5.0, top of the class, went to look for work and was all but laughed at. They wanted people who had actual experience not just someone who knew what a floor joist was and what different kind of nails you are supposed to use in various situations. Experience or maybe had I been mexican hmm...

 I feel bad for some of the college kids but at the same time I feel bad for some of the older folks who are losing their jobs and having hell trying to find another one these days.

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cojalen wrote:So I have a

cojalen wrote:

So I have a bit of a problem.

Right out of high school I was sent to a university. I'm currently a junior, and after a couple years of indecision plus some bad life choices, I'm majoring in English and philosophy. I'm in the introductory courses right now.

I've heard a ton of people say that I'm wasting my time. Some say that an English major is a waste. Others say a philosophy major is a waste. I'm very wasteful it seems! Though I don't necessarily think that when people say "waste," that I'm in agreement with their definition. As far as getting a solid job right out of college, English and philosophy might be poor choices. But I feel as though I'm more self-aware than I had been in high school. And more aware of things going on around me. And I'm learning about things that I enjoy. That has some worth, right?

I don't mean to be a dick, but no it's not worth it, certainly not in this economy - unless your parents are rich and you're just going to college for fun more than anything else. Philosophy is widely considered one of the worst possible major choices - you'll probably end up working at a convenience store, and unless your parents are rich and paying all of your college expenses, you'll be stuck making minimum wage with loads of student loans to pay off. So you're basically paying to make LESS money, not more.

English isn't much better.

Quote:

They will say that those things won't get me a job, that I can just go to a library and learn more on my own for less money, and that I'm being brainwashed.

They're right - go to a library or go online and read all the philosophy you want for free, and learn what you want at your own pace to boot instead of being at a professor's mercy regarding what you get to study, and having to pay to sit through their lectures. Paying 1000s of dollars in college classes for a degree like this is INSANE, even more so if you're not wealthy and are on any type of financial aid.

It would be like me paying $500 for a pair of sunglasses with a Gucci logo when I can buy a pair which are just as (if not more) functional for $5. If you're rich, even then I would considered that a poor choice, but if you're not, then I can't think of a worse choice. Why not just give your money away?

Quote:

I came to my school and majored in these things because they're what I love. I do a lot of writing, I'm taking an interest in linguistics, and I've found that a lot of the things I'm assigned parallel in both subjects. They've given me a lot to think about, a lot to question, and philosophy has even opened up an interest to science and math. That's a big deal! I've never been interested in those two incredibly large subjects. And now that I think about it more, their influence on our lives is so strong. It would be a disservice to me not to look into them further.

As far as a career, I've always wanted to teach at the college level. Or be a writer... The typical careers people say are pipe-dreams, of course. I'm still a bit shaky on the whole career thing. Anyway, I've always excelled in the classroom, I'm totally in love with the subject matter (though I'm not very specific, yet)... But I wonder if what people say is right. That college is just a brain-washing machine, that it's a scam, that it's a waste. Maybe I'm one of the "machine's" best products since I want to be in the positions that fucking make the supposed "machine" work.

And the thing is, it's all my parents' money. If I were to rethink my college education and drop out, they would be devastated. But if I am to stay, I'm always going to be searching for some justification for me being here. Even if I feel like I've gotten something of worth out of these years, what if it really was a waste of time, and what if I could have lived life much happier doing something else? Am I just contributing to something that's ultimately harming our society? Just look around the internet, and there are a shit-ton of hateful posts against the concept of higher education in modern America. All I wanted to do was to understand more, please my family, and eventually help society in some way - a way found through educating myself. I had no idea I would be in such a situation!

If it's there money, then you should use it to further your career instead of treat college like an all-expenses paid vacation just because you "like" philosophy. If you like it, then it can be a great extracirricular hobby for you, but as far as a degree goes, it IS a scam.

Quote:

Is college a waste of time, and how do you define "waste?"

College isn't a waste if the degree is useful. For example, a person with a 2 year dental assistant degree can make up to $41,000 or more a year. A person with a 4 year philosophy degree will make the same as someone with no degree. It's just a novelty.

Quote:

If yes, why, and what's a better alternative?

Objectively speaking, trade school is a much better choice in general - it's less expensive, and gives you hands-on work experience instead of just a "degree", therefore making it more easy to get a job, as well as get a better paying job - electricians for example can make the equivalent of $40-50 per hour - but if you want a specific job which requires a college degree, such as a medical degree, I would not consider college a waste.

Another alternative would be a "certificate" or "license", instead of a degree. For example bartending school (full costs is about $600), bartenders make decent money for someone with no degree, but a lot of their money comes from tips. Or licensed insurance sales - it costs around $300-400 to pay for an insurance agent license - but this job would be commissioned based - if you don't sell, you don't make much (if anything).

And a good alternative to a traditional job is an "independent contractor" agency, because you are considered self-employed, and they aren't as concerned about past work experience because they aren't losing any money by hiring you (you pay for your own background check, phone line, report your own taxes, etc) - for example, there are several call center agencies that offer work-at-home jobs - I work at one right now that pays very good - at one point I was making $25 per hour working at home and taking sales calls - but the hours and income at my job aren't very stable either.

Quote:

If no, why, and are there any degrees you think are wasteful?

Any degree which does not aid in getting a job is not useful.

Quote:

Do you have any recommendations for reading about this? I've found some things that I plan to read, but I've always gotten some good recommendations from here!

And finally, for people in college at the moment, what is your best advice for life post-graduation?

Thanks!

Drop your philosophy and English degrees ASAP - if you want to be a professor, get a degree in education. If you want to be a writer, you don't need a degree for that. Just start writing, and read authors who inspire you and imitate their style. A degree in English will not do anything to aid you in getting a writing job.

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Brian37 wrote:I cant stand

Brian37 wrote:

I cant stand that bullshit that a college degree is a waste if it doesn't lead to a career. Having a college education is a benefit even if it doesn't pad your pockets. It's nice if it does, but even if it doesn't it makes you a much more worldly person having a much better understanding of the world.

Colleges alone provide a microcosm of diversity. It teaches you much more than deadlines and time management. You learn things that most in the world will never learn. You create relationships that are unique to college. You also learn to meet challenges.

I know lots of people who get degrees they end up not using. I have a co-worker who is a career waitress who has a college degree. I can have conversations with her that I cant have with others. I don't care what part of the economic chain you end up in, society is always far better off the more people OF EVERY CLASS get an education.

Even the lowest paid in Europe are on average are far more educated than those in the states.

It all depends upon WHY you are getting a degree. If you are out for money, then you may want to go for a degree in a field that you may not like. But, if you love a subject, and that is your goal, then the money afterwords should not be your focus. It all depends on what you want and what your idea of happiness is.

I would NOT trade my college education for anything even though I am not using it to make money. What IS just as important to me is the wealth of knowledge I gained from it. I have a better understanding of the Constitution, how media works, how the ancient Greeks influenced everything in our modern movie and drama and how it influenced philosophy and the world.

I met so many people from all over the world too. I think that experience helps me cope with differences and conflict in my daily life.

An education should be worth it no matter where you end up in life. It is much more valuable than a title or status.

Go for what you want in life no matter what it is, but if it is merely for the love of it, that can be happiness too.

Don't take advice from others. Just determine what it is you want. If it is money, fine, but love of a subject can be the goal as well. Happiness is what you make it, not what others dictate to you.

I think you misunderstood the point - in this day and age people can get any amount of education they want at the library or on the internet for free, no one here is dissing the value of education (if it wasn't for self-education, I would probably still be a fundamentalist Christian), and to me self-education is much more valuable and productive, especially with the academic standards today - I think someone like the OP would probably be "ahead" of most of his class - and can learn way more on his own than in front of a teacher who sets the pace so that the people at the bottom end of the class can catch up, while the studious ones have to sit around and wait on them, when they could be reading and learning so much more on their own.

The point here is that PAYING outrageous tuition fees for an "education" which anyone with a library card or computer could get much more of for free - is absurd. I look at it this way - let's say a guy wants to buy a Corvette just because he likes fast cars, not because he "needs" a Corvette just to get from point A to point B. I wouldn't find anything foolish about it, even if personally I would choose a less expensive car which gets better gas mileage. Now if the guy had more than enough money to walk into a dealer and buy a Corvette - I'd tell him to go for it, but hypothetically this guy's only income working part time at a fast food place for $7.25 per hour, and he decided to take out a $50,000 loan just so he could get a Corvette - now that would be foolish.

Sorry I think the advice you're giving him is foolish - he's young and you're telling him to completely ignore others' advice and make a decision which could have long term consequences. No, in the long run he'll have to make his own decision, but "going with your heart" and making the decision which "feels good" at the time, without considering others' advice is not rational at all.

Optimism is reality, pessimism is the fantasy that you know enough to be cynical


Recovering fund...
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robj101 wrote:I was just

robj101 wrote:

I was just going with the generic "college degree" vs "work experience". Of course there are always other factors and plenty of grey area.

I went to "gary job corps" and took carpentry. I graduated with a 5.0, top of the class, went to look for work and was all but laughed at. They wanted people who had actual experience not just someone who knew what a floor joist was and what different kind of nails you are supposed to use in various situations. Experience or maybe had I been mexican hmm...

lol they all say they want "someone with experience", but since they all want you to have prior experience - there's no way to get any since no one will hire you. That always rubs me the wrong way. How the hell do you GET experience if no one will give you a freakin' job?

Actually here's a way to get some easy experience:

http://careerexcuse.com/

 

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 Thanks a ton for all of

 Thanks a ton for all of your comments! They were inspiring and informative.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do. In order to be a professor, you are required to specialize in a field. You don't need education classes unless you are teaching primary or secondary school (or if you're going to teach education at the university level!). In order to be a writer, it's true, you don't need a college education as long as you know what you're doing.

On the one hand, it would be nice to not have to worry about college and just focus on myself in a different way- getting a job and working on my writing.

On the other, I have changed in a big way since I entered college, and it's in no way an "all-expenses paid vacation." The most important thing college provides is full, usually uninhibited access to professionals in academia. They push me harder than I push myself (which is an example to look up, for me) but also provide perspectives that I can't find alone in a library.

It seems that there is one thing that people usually disagree on, and that is what is useful what is wasteful. I understand that having a solid job (or at least a better chance at one) post-college is reassuring and useful. I also understand that that reassurance is used to bar the individual from any other path, in this case other "useless" majors. Both make a good point.

If I'm being honest with myself, though, I don't see getting a lot of money as very useful. I have a lot of stuff already, and I've been unhappy 95% of my life (no self-pity or any of that shit, just a fact!). And I have talked to my parents, and they agree that I am here to pursue what I love, not to get a job only for the money (as long as I work my ass off and achieve my goals (writer or professor in something I enjoy)). Not only do I not want to mess up their investment by continuing to be unhappy, but I also want to do it for myself.

So maybe I do know what I want to do somewhat. I think I will stay in college and study what I want. I think I may need to kick it up a little more, though.

And if it's a bad decision, then I will find out through personal experience, which is the best teacher around, yeah?

Again, thanks a lot for all of your comments. And I look forward to others! This topic is always on my mind, so I like to hear what you guys have to say.


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Recovering fund... Wrote: go to the Library or online and its...

 ... not worth it. You make some very good points (in my humble opinion) but you forgot to ad that if a person takes the money that it cost for 1 year of college, and invest in silver or gold instead, at the end of say ten years, you most likely will be able to buy your own house and be debt free, but your college educated counter-part will be in debt for many years ! It is a waste of time,money and your energy, must you conform ?

Signature ? How ?


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Ken G. wrote: ... not worth

Ken G. wrote:

 ... not worth it. You make some very good points (in my humble opinion) but you forgot to ad that if a person takes the money that it cost for 1 year of college, and invest in silver or gold instead, at the end of say ten years, you most likely will be able to buy your own house and be debt free, but your college educated counter-part will be in debt for many years ! It is a waste of time,money and your energy, must you conform ?

It's not about conforming. It's about doing what I think is best for me.

Debt is cool with me.


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Ken G. wrote: ... not worth

Ken G. wrote:

 ... not worth it. You make some very good points (in my humble opinion) but you forgot to ad that if a person takes the money that it cost for 1 year of college, and invest in silver or gold instead, at the end of say ten years, you most likely will be able to buy your own house and be debt free, but your college educated counter-part will be in debt for many years ! It is a waste of time,money and your energy, must you conform ?

It's not about conforming. It's about doing what I think is best for me.

Debt is cool with me. (Edit: as long as it's for what is, in my opinion, a worthy purchase)


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cojalen wrote:Ken G.

cojalen wrote:

Ken G. wrote:

 ... not worth it. You make some very good points (in my humble opinion) but you forgot to ad that if a person takes the money that it cost for 1 year of college, and invest in silver or gold instead, at the end of say ten years, you most likely will be able to buy your own house and be debt free, but your college educated counter-part will be in debt for many years ! It is a waste of time,money and your energy, must you conform ?

It's not about conforming. It's about doing what I think is best for me.

Debt is cool with me. (Edit: as long as it's for what is, in my opinion, a worthy purchase)

I've heard this shit before about "good debt vs bad dept". I have never understood why it is ever good to owe other people money?

Don't get me wrong, I understand in life people get to a point where they need to borrow and paying on time is good.

BUT why go out of your way to put a noose around your neck?

I like cash. It is simple and quick and no contract required. You don't have to worry when you pay cash for something, someone following you around hounding you or putting you in the position to be manipulated.

Ben Franklin said it best, "Never a borrower or lender be"

With my friends, if they need something, I prefer to simply give it to them. But with business, I avoid every contract I can if I can help it.  If I can pay cash for it, I do, otherwise I don't buy it.

I had a friend a long time ago say to me, and to this day it still makes sense "The more you own the more owns you".

Getting others to trust you, is what they mean by "good dept". But I really think that our society has fallen for the quick fix consumption sound bite "get it now" mentality that it has gotten away from what I really think would make corporate America listen.

Corporate America has been experts in marketing quick fixes and getting us dependent on dept. IF most Americans were not subject to the problem with our exploding pay gap and cost of living gap, we could use our purchasing power much more effectively.

I can remember when I was a kid with my mom, when you had a credit card you paid on time or you got cut off. NOW, the credit card companies HATE the people who do the right thing by paying on time because they cant get them pinned on the revolving dept that actually makes them an absurd profit way beyond what the product is worth.

Our dept market is basically become legalized loan sharking.

 

 

 

 

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Brian37 wrote: I've heard

Brian37 wrote:
I've heard this shit before about "good debt vs bad dept". I have never understood why it is ever good to owe other people money?
.

ROI. 

Brian37 wrote:
... why go out of your way to put a noose around your neck?

ROI

Brian37 wrote:
Ben Franklin said it best, "Never a borrower or lender be"

That's a patently stupid saying.

In the right circumstances, there's no quicker, easier, lower risk way to make money.

Brian37 wrote:
 ... with business, I avoid every contract I can if I can help it. 

Then that means you have a problem with doing business.

Brian37 wrote:
If I can pay cash for it, I do, otherwise I don't buy it.

That's dogma.

For example: If getting a much faster computer will help generate $1000.00 more a month in sales, make my life easier, and cost me $100.00 a month in lease payments, that's a 'no brainer'. It would be foolish not to upgrade.

Depending on the tax laws where you live, you may be able to deduct the lease payments from your taxable earnings, whereas a purchased computer is an asset that is deductible, but over years, and at a depreciated rate.

Brian37 wrote:
I had a friend a long time ago say to me, and to this day it still makes sense "The more you own the more owns you".

He's wrong.

Money is power. Assets are money. Everything has a price.

Having credit is invaluable to me. It's stupid easy to make money with credit, sometimes.

Brian37 wrote:
paid on time or you got cut off. NOW, the credit card companies HATE the people who do the right thing by paying on time because they cant get them pinned on the revolving dept that actually makes them an absurd profit way beyond what the product is worth.

Unless you're careless, there's no problem. You have an entire billing cycle to pay back the money with no interest penalty.

Don't blame the game. Blame the player.

Credit card companies like it when you don't pay, because they like to make interest?

What's you point?

Brian37 wrote:
Our dept market is basically become legalized loan sharking.

Supply and demand.

I'm not sure what your issue is with lenders and borrowing money. It takes money to make real money.

 

I keep asking myself " Are they just playin' stupid, or are they just plain stupid?..."

"To explain the unknown by the known is a logical procedure; to explain the known by the unknown is a form of theological lunacy" : David Brooks

" Only on the subject of God can smart people still imagine that they reap the fruits of human intelligence even as they plow them under." : Sam Harris