As we’re growing up, it’s imbedded into our brains that going to college after high school is the next step in life. It’s become a part of living the “American Dream”: finish high school, go to college, get a job to pay for the college loans, buy a house, get married, have kids, retire. It’s what the cycle of life has become, & we’re taught at a young age that, in order to get a good job you need to go to college. I’m not saying that college isn’t great for your future, but from my stand point, it seems like somebody forgot to highlight the truths of going to college. Straight out of high school especially.
I went to a university for only one year, & I could not begin to describe how difficult it was for me. I had absolutely no clue why I was there, I didn’t care to be a doctor or a lawyer, I had no idea what I wanted to direct my education towards. I still have no general plan for my future, as I find my self stumbling across great opportunities, as long as I continue to look for them. To be completely honest, I am doing okay without a degree. I have definitely had a lot of help along the way, don’t get me wrong, but I am alright mostly on my own.
But my realization of college happened after I had decided not to go back & started paying off the student loans; that I’ve taken out by myself might I add. Taking out the loans that the school had offered me was simple. Too simple. At the time, I am almost positive that I’ve had absolutely no established credit, so why was somebody so willing to let me borrow such a large sum of money. I didn’t consider this at this at the time. I was ecstatic. Until I started paying them back. The payment wasn’t high, actually, it was very reasonable. But then as I got a little bit older, I looked deeper into these loans that somebody was so eager to give to a young college student who probably didn’t know a whole lot about credit & interest.
After putting so much money back into what I had borrowed, my owed balance didn’t look like it had been touched. At this rate, I would have been in debt with this company probably for the rest of my life. Which is exactly what these large companies want. They are making huge profits off college students who don’t know how to get loans otherwise. This is no joke. Everything is about money these days, & these large companies are feeding off the ignorance of my generation & younger. Another factor, you hear about people investing so much time & money into getting their college degrees, but they can’t find a job in their field of expertise. These people are expected to work somewhere with the rest of us, for a smaller wage than they have originally thought they had went to college for. This monopoly game is getting scary, & it seems like the next generation of this country isn’t getting a fair chance to be financially stable.
My advice for current college students is this:
Choose a relevant major. Something that will benefit you in the future. You are spending your own money on your education. Take classes you’d enjoy, not because a class should be easy to pass. I know that it is hard to pinpoint exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life, but if you end up being a graphic designer, would a class in agriculture be worth spending the extra couple of thousand dollars? Unless you learn something you can take into your every day life, or it’s something you can enjoy as a hobby, what was the point in wasting the money?
Talk to your family. Someone has been in whatever predicament you’re finding yourself in. Whether you need a boost of confidence, an opinion to help make a tough decision, or you’re finally realizing what I’m talking about above with the student loans, someone will have an idea that might help. The sooner you ask for help, the sooner you’ll be back on the track you’ve started.
When taking out a loan, know what you’re getting into. Know the facts & know your options.
Some all of the companies who seem to be throwing their money at you have a game plan. To keep you in their debt for as long as they can. The sooner you cut ties with them, the better off you will be in the long run. Again, talk this over with your family, they have most likely been in this situation too.
Save your pennies. I’m serious. Get a big empty jug & fill it. When you cash it in 5, 10, or 20 years later, any small dent will help when you’re in debt. No matter how long you’re in college for, there WILL be debt. Just trust me, any little bit helps.