Well, wait. If you can AFFORD to, without loans, then go ahead. If you want to be something that ONE HUNDRED PERCENT NEEDS you to go to college or university, then go, but also be 100% sure, without a fraction of a doubt, that it is something you want to do for the rest of your life. If you do want to go, but aren’t sure what for – WAIT! Almost no one knows what they want to be when they finish high school, and if they do, they’re very lucky, and even then, a lot of those things do not need school. There are lots of ways to learn.
Necessary schooling + passion = fine, go.
Unnecessary schooling + passion + money = fine, go.
Unsure + unnecessary + loans = STOPPPPPPPPPP.
Unnecessary + loans = nooooooooooo.
Necessary + money – passion = no no no no no.
Unnecessary – money + unsure = RUN FUCKING FAST
The majority of people going to school fall into the LAST equation. How do I know? I know lots of people! Including me! I was lucky enough that I chose short courses and that my parents helped pay my loans, which were diddly compared to what some people end up with. Basically everyone I know has massive debt, and basic jobs that don’t require their specific degree. For me, I have been to college twice and don’t do either of the things I went for.
The most valuable things I’ve learned have been from self study. Sure it might not get you a job easily, but it will allow you to LEARN FOR FREE. And it will make you use your imagination. It won’t force you to spend all your time on assignments and classes you don’t even want or need to take. You can learn at your OWN pace, and work at the same time! So many people get degrees and end up with ludicrous jobs anyway, because there is a million other grads just like them, scrounging for wages.
Spend your time doing what you love THE VERY MOST. The things you know you are meant to do.
I almost went back to school this year. I even registered, paid money, and all of it. I did this because I couldn’t find a job and figured having a degree would help me. Plus I hated regular work and wanted to just learn all day. However, with time and more thought, I knew it was a stupid idea. Especially since creative writing does not need to be learned in a school, nor does it guarantee a job. So instead of being $40,000+ in debt in 4 years, I lost like $150. Big whoop.
Part of what put me off is that even though I’d be a mature student, I would have to take a base year and a bunch of shit that had nothing to do with writing. Why the fuck do I have to take MATH to do a writing course? Or science?
There are a lot of jobs that require school, I know it, but unless you are completely dedicated, and know from the day you apply that it is what you want FOR SURE, and you will be able to get work or create work FOR SURE, that you LOVE…don’t. You will just end up a slave. To debt, to endless mediocre jobs, to a life you think you should be living.
Believe me, I would love to go back to school. I adore learning. I’d love to take creative writing. But at the expense of my life and freedom? No way. Debt is a death sentence. I want freedom. Freedom is my number one priority in life. Anything I choose to commit to, I CHOOSE 100%! Nothing is forcing me.
I can learn to write on my own, and if I really want help, I can hire a coach for way cheaper than going to school. I can read books.
When I did go to college, I ended up not wanting to do what I took. I took a multimedia course (and should have stuck with graphic design, like I was drawn to) and after I finished the course I realized I didn’t want a job sitting at a computer all day.
I also took a vet assistant course, and while it was valuable to me in some ways, I could have learned it all by volunteering at a clinic.
I have considered library sciences, but there is no guarantee of work after completion, either, and that is like 6-8 years of school. I don’t even want to know how much that would be in terms of debt, especially going to a place like UBC. Insane.
Commit yourself to freedom, unless your lifelong dream has been to be a lawyer or a doctor or a scientist. If you’re going to school to “get an education” – just go to the library instead.
Only put your money towards your health and your most BURNING PASSIONS. That’s what it’s for.
If you have debt (of any amount!), get rid of it above ALL ELSE as soon as possible. Eliminate EVERYTHING non-essential. Everything. Debt will weigh you down and asphyxiate the life right out of you, and you only get ONE.
Walden on Wheels (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED – this post was inspired by reading this book)
The Teenage Liberation Handbook (I read this 15 years too late)