The Moment I Realized a College Degree Doesn't Secure Shit
So, is it even worth it?
I did the thing. That thing that everyone says is supposed to secure your future stability. College, they say, guarantees a good career, a good home, and a good life. In college, you'll be able to master your craft and form a broad network of connections for lifelong success. But here's the thing that they don't tell you—a college degree doesn't secure shit.
This isn't to say that college can't be useful. There aren't many times in your life where that many resources are gathered in one place with the purpose of trying to help you figure out the next stage of your life. Many people grow up with dreams of becoming doctors, teachers, scientists. School is absolutely important to provide students with the resources they need to conquer in these fields. Not to mention the personal growth that comes from likely your first four years of living away from home, making your own decisions, or paying your own bills.
College served as the best four years of my life to date. I did learn a lot about my chosen profession. I learned how to write in so many different styles and for a variety of audiences. I learned how to market myself. I learned how to network and collaborate creatively with others. I also learned a lot about myself. I became more comfortable in my own skin and with my own opinions. This was the first time in my life I could be truly vocal about what I liked and what I didn't like—regardless of whether it was about movies or politics.
In college I was able to interact with people from all different walks of life. This was the place where I met some of my best friends. I've shared my hopes and my fears with these people, and have formed lifelong bonds in such a short amount of time. I don't regret any part such a momumental learning experience.
But I think I went into it all thinking that I would be set for life when I got out. I thought that after four years I would know exactly what I was going to do and where I was going to go. College was supposed to write out all the answers for me. But of course, none of that happened.
I left college feeling more confused about the world than when I got there. There were job opportunities that I didn't get even though I was a qualified candidate on paper. There were job opportunities I wanted but wasn't experienced enough for. There were job opportunities I never even heard back from. This whole post-graduate experience left me constantly frustrated at this perfect life that was promised to me since I was young. And while the biggest disappoint concerned my lack of career prospects, I began to notice that there were other areas of my life that had become blurry since leaving that secure bubble of college life.
The people I had grown so close to were now being spread across the world like dandelion seeds. The resources I could once turn to were no longer afforded to me. And perhaps I didn't take more advantage of these things while I was in school. But I didn't think I'd still need this much advice once I left. College was supposed to prepare me to leave, to be an adult, and take the world by storm. But instead, I began wondering if going to college was a waste of my time from the beginning.
There isn't anything wrong with going to college. But I think it's important to remember that despite how much you put in, sometimes you don't get what you think you deserve back out. And sometimes what you get wasn't even what you were looking for. When you put out lemons, you don't always get lemonade back.
The moment I realized a college degree doesn't secure shit was the moment I felt better connected to the people who had chosen a different path in life than I did. There are many more ways to find success and fulfillment that don't depend on higher education. Passion, dedication, connection, and more are all factors in our lives and our success that college doesn't ever guarantee. There isn't anything wrong with going to college. But there isn't anything wrong with not going to college either. There isn't one way that works better than another. We're all just making choices to secure the best life we can—with or without a college degree.