I'm A College Student That Doesn't Want Free Tuition

I'm A College Student That Doesn't Want Free Tuition

Nothing worth having comes easy.
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A word with four letters, many interpretations, and something that divides political parties. Free. Such a tiny word, yet it holds such great implications. What is free, then? It is defined many ways, such as: enjoying personal rights or liberty, independent, able to do something at will, to disengage or to clear, or without charge. But when you get down to it... is anything actually free?

Everyone has the right and opportunity to make decisions for themselves and to enjoy their personal rights or liberty. With that being said, it doesn't mean that people get to have a disengaged or clear paths without any charge. One of my favorite quotes, from Thomas Edison, is "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." If everyone is given a clear path without any obstacles, what does that teach? If everything was easy, wouldn't everyone do it? What would set me apart from others in life, on a résumé, in a career, as a woman, wife, future mother, and sister?

Something that has weighed heavily on my mind is the fact that most millennials are hoping, and voting, for free college tuition. What does free college tuition actually do for society as a whole, and not just for the individual? It may make a student debt free, but free tuition as a whole could "cost the United States $70 billion per year," according to Fox News. If you aren't paying for your classes, then who is? Where is that $70 billion coming from? Taxpayers.

If college becomes free, that means more people going to college. Which in theory sounds wonderful! Everyone should have the opportunity to go to school if they so desire. But I have always been told that if something sounds too good to be true then it probably is, and that is definitely the case with free college tuition. If more people go to college, the value of a college degree will decrease. A Huffington Post article in support of free college actually stated that a college education is essentially equivalent to a high school education of previous generations. Well if that is true, then what will the value of a degree be when even more people have it? It is simply the law of supply and demand. If a college degree is at the value of a high school diploma now, when it becomes free that would make it equivalent to, maybe, junior high.

Students would get a free bachelor's degree, but in order to set themselves apart, they would need to continue on with graduate school. Oh wait... students already have to do that! How would free college help the societal issue we are already facing of students graduating only to discover they have to do more school? Free tuition would only make this issue drastically worse.


Free things are usually things that no one wants, am I right? You get free koozies, free cheap sunglasses, free beach balls, free flyers and pamphlets, and you can find free, gross furniture on the sides of the road. These things are all things that people are trying to get rid of, hence why they are free. You don't walk into the mall to get a brand new Sony TV for free. You walk in there with your money in hand, money that you worked hard for, to purchase it. College is the same way. You can't just show up expecting something great without working in order to obtain it.

College is hard. Whether you are an art major, science major, economics major or education major, it doesn't matter. College is hard work. You spend endless nights studying and panicking and writing those term papers because you know those things determine your future. You work hard in college because it is important to you. You work hard because it isn't free. If college were free, students would become nonchalant about their work and their grades. If all those credits were free, students wouldn't worry about working hard for them because they can just get some more, right? I mean, when you break those cheap sunglasses, you don't stress because you can just go get some other ones.

I know people that are in debt because of their desire to go to college. They want the degree at the end because they want a better life for themselves and their families. What happens to that person when college becomes free? What happens to the debt they have already incurred while trying to take care of children, work a full-time job, and be a husband or wife? They worked for that degree, paid money for that degree, and you're telling me someone else can just come in who didn't put nearly as much time, effort, or money into their degree and get the same outcome. In the end, who do you think would be the better employee or boss, someone who worked hard and is proud of what they did, or someone that had it handed to them?

College isn't something that is nonchalant. If someone truly has a desire to go to school, then there are ways to make it happen. There are scholarships, federal financial aid if you qualify, internships, part-time jobs, even part-time and distance-learning degrees. The options are all there. At the same time, college shouldn't be something that is forced on people! If college becomes free, then everyone will feel obligated that they have to go due to the obstacles being removed from their paths. With more and more people going to college, what happens to the technical schools, the blue-collar jobs? If everyone is a doctor or a teacher, who is the plumber, the welder, the farmer, the mechanic? There is already such a negative connotation surrounding blue-collar, hardworking jobs, but in reality, these hardworking, undervalued people are who make the world go 'round! When something happens to my car, or my A/C, or my plumbing, I call someone who knows how to fix it. We don't need to make everyone think they have to have a college education to have a great job, a great payout, and a great life.

Forcing college on people and deeming it free to get more people with degrees not only hurts our society and economy, but it hurts individuals as well. If you believe in free college tuition, that is great! I'm sure you have your reasons, just as I have mine. Student debt has its own weight as well, but if a student picks a degree in a field that offers a great job market, scholarships, and opportunities for employment or graduate schooling then the debt wouldn't be such a hindrance.

I may not always like to work, but I do like overalls, and if together they are going to set me apart as an individual, then work is what I will do.

Cover Image Credit: The New York Times

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75 Things To Do Instead Of Studying For Finals

Need some procrastination inspiration? Here ya go.
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With the end of the semester nearly upon us, college students everywhere are trembling with anxiety over the impending doom that some call “finals week.” To prepare for this hellish week of exams, one might assume that students are hard at work reviewing class notes, practicing with flash cards, memorizing vocabulary terms and going over study guides. In a perfect world, that would undoubtedly be the case. But in reality, most students are probably just procrastinating.

So if you’re busy not studying for finals but quickly running out of things to do, here are some ideas:

1. Think about all the studying you have to do

2. Cry

3. Sleep

4. Make yourself a cup of coffee

5. Take a shower

6. Watch an episode of a series on Netflix

7. And then another one

8. And another one

9. Well, you might as well finish the whole season now

10. Clean your room

11. Do laundry

12. Order a pizza

13. Eat the pizza (bonus points if you can finish the whole thing by yourself)

14. Regret eating all that pizza

15. Get over it because pizza is always worth it

16. Go to the gym

17. Check Facebook

18. Refresh Facebook, just in case something new happened in the past 53 seconds

19. Write a letter to your best friend

20. Look at cute pictures of puppies—for six hours

21. Make cookies

22. Watch that “Spongebob” episode where he tries to write an essay but ends up procrastinating for like 14 hours (we can all relate)

23. Organize your closet

24. Get sucked into an Instagram-stalking black hole

25. Accidentally “like” your ex-boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend’s best friend’s Instagram post from 129 weeks ago

26. Have a mini freak-out because, wow, that was so creepy of you

27. Stare blankly out a window

28. Go for a walk

29. Watch a Christmas movie

30. Listen to music

31. Try to figure out how to lick your elbow (nope, still can’t do it)

32. Look up videos of the Peanut Butter Baby

33. Recreate the original video with your friends

34. Take another shower to wash off all that peanut butter

35. Write down all the things you have to do before the end of the semester in your planner

36. Close your planner without actually doing any of them

37. Look at fun craft ideas on Pinterest

38. Call your mom

39. Go through all the old pictures on your phone

40. Do some jumping jacks

41. Write scathing reviews for all your professors on ratemyprofessors.com

42. Wash your walls (walls get dirty too, OK?)

43. Question your sanity

44. Look up how many licks it really takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop

45. Text a cute boy

46. Write a short novel

47. Realize that creative writing really isn’t your strong suit and throw that short novel away

48. Eat some popcorn

49. Research the unemployment rate for college dropouts

50. Ponder the meaning of life

51. Repeatedly say the word “ponder” out loud because it sounds really weird

52. Paint your nails

53. Rearrange all the furniture in your room (after you let your nail polish dry)

54. Redo your nails because they weren’t quite dry and you messed them up

55. Go Christmas shopping

56. Plan your wedding

57. Look up the nutrition facts for your favorite Subway sandwich

58. Snapchat really hideous pictures of yourself

59. Learn the choreography for all the dance numbers in "High School Musical"

60. Make a killer video of yourself performing the routines

61. Delete the video and never tell a soul about it because, wow, that was really embarrassing

62. Take a Buzzfeed quiz to figure out which Disney princess you are

63. Watch all the Disney movies you can find illegally online

64. Get addicted to a stupid game on your phone

65. Calculate how high you have to score on the exam to still get an A in the class (258 percent is totally achievable, right?)

66. Run a marathon

67. Just kidding about that whole marathon thing—maybe start out with just running around the block?

68. Make a scrapbook full of pictures of your dog

69. Buy a super cute dress online that you really don’t need

70. Decide that your self-worth is not dependent on your exam scores, and resolve to stop studying altogether

71. Change your mind because you’d actually like to have a decent GPA

72. Try out meditation

73. Braid your hair into an extremely complicated up-do for no reason

74. Come to the conclusion that you should probably start actually studying now

75. Start back at #1 and repeat

Cover Image Credit: studygram.tumblr.com

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An Open Letter To Professors Who Assign Group Work

In the classroom, there is NO strength in numbers.

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There is something to be said about the workings of a well-oiled machine. The swift cohesion of pieces working together to create a masterful finished product. Each individual part bringing its own unique gifts and interesting character together to create an impeccable arrangement of academic collaboration. It is absolutely awe-inspiring that professors dream of this sort of outcome from the random chunk of students that they forced together. So sorry to break it to you, professors, but the group project you assign in your class is not going to work like this. The final product will not be a meticulously crafted work of art. It is going to turn into a flaming disaster as your bitter students shamefully share the work they have thrown together.

Group projects are the bane of my, and most students', existence. You assign them in large lecture halls, small discussion courses, and every class in between. Most of the time you assemble the members of each group yourself, creating the saddest excuse for a team to ever grace the planet. This leaves the students no choice as to who they will be working with, which essentially makes the grade out of the individual's hand because they have no power over which random stranger will be tossed into their group. In the rare occasion that you do not assign the groups yourself, you leave the fear-stricken students to frantically gather their own clusters of people. This is just as bad because in this case students typically choose groups based on geographical location in the classroom, their seats that they chose on the first day of class and never got around to relocating.

Regardless of how they were gathered, every group project will introduce your students to a dynamic range of personalities. There is the one super intense leader that thinks this project grade is the single most important moment of their entire life, and if everyone does not commit their full selves to it they will actually burn the school to the ground. Conversely, there is the lazy, weak link; who is consistently dropping the ball on the group's shared research document and honestly none of the other group members even know what this person looks like because they skip class so ridiculously much. There is the one person who works every second of every day and can never fit your group meeting into their schedule because their nannying job is so important (this is actually a subtweet at me, my apologies to all of my past group members, I just have a really busy schedule, okay). Please, do not subject your students' grades to depend on the work of these insane classmates. A student's grade should reflect their own, individual work, group projects skew and make that impossible.

I understand that you mean well by assigning these projects. You hope to teach us how to work well with others, a valuable communicative asset in the real world. However, in the real world, there are standards for hiring at a company and if a worker does not perform well they will be fired. There are no standards for getting into my psychology class, any student with a laptop and a break in their schedule on Tuesday and Thursday mornings is welcome to join the class. There are no standards for performance either. If a student does not perform well in a group project their grade will plummet, which to my surprise does not greatly bother as many students as I thought, as does every other member of the group's grade. So unfair, so unparallel to the real world. Stop comparing your English 101 class to the real world.

Please professors, just stop with the group projects. I will happily write all of the papers, study all of the lectures, and even read all of the chapters in my textbook. Just don't make me create another Google Slides presentation with a bunch of strangers again.

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