12 March 2013

What Now?

A lot of things have happened since I've quit school come home. For one, I'm learning to embrace the "college dropout" label people are putting on me because yes, technically I am a college dropout. I was an undergraduate student at an accredited institution of higher learning and I left one and a half semesters in. Well, so what?

In the past couple of years, there has been ongoing debate on whether or not college is worth it. In fact, I distinctly remember reading an article on the value of college while I was sitting in the Media Lab in the Art building at Mount Holyoke while I was waiting for my architecture class to begin. Why do I remember it so prominently? Because a group of grade-school students was touring the building on a class trip to learn about art and all that jazz. And they happened to stop right in front of me while I was reading this article with the proud label "Is College Education Worth It?" (or something of the sort). While they admired the piece of work right above where I was sitting, I wondered if they noticed the irony in the situation. Here I was, a college student, reading a magazine article about whether college was worth it or not. And there they were, elementary school students and their mothers watching me read it. The verdict? College isn't worth it (according to Forbes Magazine).

But really, is it?

Here's the fairy-tale story our parents tell us: We go to college to get a good education so we can earn a degree that will get us a well paying job that will support us and our future families with three kids living in a lovely suburban home.

The problem with that story is that
1, Not every institution of higher learning provides a "good education," and
2, "Earning" a degree simply means passing all your classes.

But beyond that, does a college education contribute to a happier life? Maybe.
There have been a number of studies concentrated on the correlation of happiness and money and guess what? They are, but only to a certain extent. These studies have thrown around a range of salaries from $20,000 to $75,000, claiming that people's happiness increases as they reach the $75k point, but after that, it starts to level off.

What I'm trying to get across is that college always seems like the best thing to do after graduating high school, but I don't think it has to be. Society has pretty much labelled that people without a college education are generally dumb and lack motivation and whatnot. But look at me: I left school and my mother even told my sister and I that we're smarter than the average American adult (after we asked her why she didn't breed us into brainchildren-genius-prodigies).
To be honest, I think I could be happy working full-time at Starbucks for the rest of my life. And do you need a BA for that? Absolutely not! I could forget about school and even work at McDonalds while being able to afford a 1-bedroom apartment in Manhattan. So why don't I?

Read what Forbes has to say here

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