Why You Should Drop Out of College

Real world experience is more important than spending your early twenties in a classroom. But millennials have always be told that college is “going to get you the job of your dreams!”. This is not necessarily a completely true statement; at this point it seems like most millennials/ generation z are actually experiencing the debt crisis of their nightmares. Is this simply an antiquated cultural stepping stone? Or is there some validity to our societal belief that the only road to success is to go to college?

Not only are millennials facing skyrocketing tuition costs and crippling student debt, students are feeling woefully unprepared by their university for the harsh job market. Young people are left feeling cheated once the student loan payments come calling and that piece of magical paper they signed their life over for is not producing a job as promised.

I could list the the successful zillionaires as a way to convince you the dropouts are incredibly successful, but we all know that most of us are not the next Bill Gates. College itself isn’t the problem, education is a wonderful and important part of our society; it’s the current approach to higher education that is deterring people from really utilization such an incredible tool. As a college student myself, I fail to see the point of this education if we literally can not support ourselves? Can you even be successful in a wildly changing world without a college degree? Our grandparents were able to get by living a middle class life with a high school diploma but the process has changed your bachelor’s degree is the new key to a house in suburbia and a high school graduate will have trouble staying above the poverty line. Once college was an unnecessary privilege, a tool to better oneself beyond the norm but as the world progress it has now become an extension of a person’s necessary education, replacing highschool as the end all.

rising tuition costs are killing the american dream

The truth is that college has become nothing more than another greedy corporation. Private institutions are raking in thousands of dollars but what are they offering their students that public institutions can't? I interviewed WWU student Carly, who attended a private art school in Seattle last year before transferring to Western Washington University. I asked her what caused her to leave behind such a sought after school and her views on private schools in general:

“Well, in my experience, although you allegedly have freedom to immediately hone in or specialize on your specific academic interests, your resources are naturally limited because private schools are smaller schools. I personally felt like I was lacking an academic rigor that would expand my worldview, or challenge me beyond what I already knew. There are less options to choose from. And because private schools also cost more, a certain social group that can afford it is usually the majority in attendance, meaning that it can be difficult for some to integrate into the social environment, and hinder those initial connections-networking-students make that steer them in the direction of their goals. It creates stress when students cannot integrate into the social fabric of the community, particularly because it is small.
Additionally, the material and technological requirements for the curriculum taught at the private school I attended were very expensive for the limited number of times I actually used it. This could be because of the recent change in the courses in quick response to budget (students provide much of the funding).With fast-paced 5 week modules, I would hardly delve into the digital programs I was required to purchase, then be advised to google hands on techniques (not just research information) rather than see demonstrations from the instructors…something that frustrates me because Google is free, and a college education — from a school that prides itself on close, individual instruction-is certainly not free. Overall, it is extremely expensive, and so far I have just as much if not more assistance at the public college (wwu) I attend, and certainly more resources and opportunities.

But then there is the fear that many, especially art students feel, that you must go to Art School™ or the equivalent to have any sort of validation in your preferred profession.

“One can earn a degree in their desired field and not feel required to attend a private school. It is definitely possible through public school. Also they spent a large amount of time promising that it was worth the time and money to be there. At my current college it is assumed.

Private school isn’t a requirement for success in college. So is college a scam or is that just private school? How many students can pass a class, get great grades but don’t remember a single thing a quarter later? Are we graduating with knowledge and the ticket to a better future or are we graduating in debt to a capitalistic system?

“Something that frustrates me because Google is free, and a college education — from a school that prides itself on close, individual instruction-is certainly not free.”

Sure, college can put you into debt and ruin your life; however…

  • College pushes the individual in ways most people aren’t willing to do independently.
  • College will expose students to interests and ideas that would have gone unexplored otherwise
  • College gives people the necessary tools to become well rounded and educated participants in the world.

If you’re here why not make the most out of it? You’re in a micro culture of like-minded peers who all want to change the world in their own way. Over the past century people fought for the right to go to college, it’s not something that should be taken for granted but for those who chose that it’s not for them our society should not look down upon that choice.

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