Hey, I’m graduating come Saturday! I personally don’t feel like this is a noteworthy achievement since there are thousands of green-as-summer-grass kids graduating every year. However, I do realize that graduating from college is a privilege that is not shared by all. I value lifelong education and I don’t see education as a waste.
When I was in high school, I never questioned college. It’s just what I had to do. Looking back, however, I should have questioned the whole process. Hindsight is 20/20, yatta yatta…but college isn’t just something that you ‘do’ because you should. It should be to further your chances at being able to follow what you want to do. A lot of 18-year-olds don’t know what the hell they want to do for the rest of their lives, and even if they think they do, they could still be wrong (I was wrong). Being forced to pick a life path, even one that is more flexible, at such a young, immature age is ludicrous, but I guess the line has to be drawn some place.
I’m 23.5 and I don’t really know what I want to do with my life. Really my only passions that I perceive I have are traveling, eating, and meeting strange people. Can I make a living off that? I could scrape by…but with these loans I don’t think that I can. And this is why forcing (immature) kids to choose a life path at 18 is a little crazy: let’s make them pay a metric tonne of money on something that may or may not be what they want to do later. My declared major (nutrition) wasn’t really useless, and my school wasn’t really that expensive. But what if I had really enjoyed art or art history, and decided to go to a private school? I’d be out with more debt but with a less useful degree…I digress.
Watching the Graduate at a time like this is always reassuring. Granted, that was in the 60’s when America was prosperous, not like today, which is probably the worst time to graduate from college since the Great Depression, but it’s still reassuring. Even if I don’t know where I’m going or what I’ll be doing, life is good.