Pretty much everyone in college has to take at least one foreign language class, and if you don't those of us who do hate you. After taking three semesters of a foreign language I still have no idea what I'm doing in class. Everyday I go through a mix of emotions that are hard to put in to words, so im going to let the cast of Friends speak for me.
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There are many things that happen in our lives for us to be proud of. Landing your dream job, getting accepted into a great school, and having your kids accomplish their life goals are all worthy of taking pride in. When you're in college, however, there are some weird things that we, as students, take pride in. Here are nine weird things that it seems like only college students are proud of.
1. Area codes
People at college will wear hats with their area code embroidered on them. They'll include them in their Instagram bios. Until you go to college, you'll never experience this level of obsession with part of a phone number.
2. Past experiences
If someone has skydived above the ocean, been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, or hand-fed a monkey in Africa, everyone will hear about it. A normal conversation about what kind of food you feed your dog can easily turn into talking about that one time you ate a parrot egg when you went to Brazil. The stories might seem completely unrelated, but people will find a way to connect them so they can talk about all the cool things they've done.
Some are proud of them, some are proud they don't have them. It just depends where you're from and where you're going to school. But either way, people in college tend to be proud of their (or lack there-of) accents.
Your best friend from high school's great-aunt's cousin's stepson is Ben Affleck? The girl from your rival high school was on the Olympic volleyball team in 2016? You better believe everyone you come in contact with will hear about it. People take pride in their connections. They could have never met the "cool" person in question, but you'll never be able to forget who "knows" who.
5. High school accomplishments
Maybe you were Valedictorian? Or possibly student council president? Maybe you were on the state championship football team (or just went to the school that won)? No matter what you or others at your school accomplished, you'll find some way to brag about it.
6. Amount of GroupMes
Group-Me is a college student's best friend. There is no better way to communicate with a large group of people. One "group" of people, such as a sorority, can have a serious group-me, a non-serious group-me, a group-me just for puppy pictures, and then a group-me with their favorite frat. College kids take pride in their group-me numbers and always seem to want to be added to more.
Hometowns can have some pretty wild backstories, and people take pride in them, especially students in college. A hometown might be home to the largest pogo stick museum in the world. Another might have the most coffee shops within a square mile. Or maybe a hometown made national news because it had dead birds fall from the sky two New Year's Eves in a row. Whatever quirky backstory a town has, its residents-turned-college students will be sure to talk it up like its the greatest place in the world (because to them, it is).
8. Home States
College students are proud of where they're from. This is especially true if you go to a state school in a different state other than your home state. Students from other states think their home state is especially great, while the students from the same state as the school tend to wonder why these students chose to attend there. They'll wonder "are you even really a fan of this school? Because I'm from this state and grew up rooting for this team so don't pretend to be a true fan if you're really not".
9. What things are called
My school literally has an ongoing argument about what you call the cheesy liquid you dip a chip into. Some of the most heated arguments I've seen since arriving at school have been about if its called cheese dip or queso (it's cheese dip by the way). College students stick to their guns when it comes to issues like this, and you can bet people take pride in what they called their cheesy dip, among other things.
There really is no time in life quite like the time you spend in college. You're not a full adult, but you're not a full kid. You're meeting new people left and right, and everyday you're becoming prouder of some weird thing. But that's okay because, hey, so is everyone else.
From the day we step foot into kindergarten, it's engrained in our brains that we need to go to college. If you hope to land a well-paying job, you better have a college education.
But we're reaching a point where a bachelor's degree is like a high school diploma: everyone has one. College kids are graduating with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, and many wind up working jobs that barely make ends meet.
Of course, this isn't the story for every college graduate. But for those who want a good-paying job and would rather not attend college, there's another option: the trades.
In 2015, NPR ran a story that encouraged millennials to consider a career in trades. According to the report, economists say there are millions of well-paying jobs in the trades, which includes plumbing, HVAC and electricians.
In fact, some trades pay more than jobs that require college degrees. The average electrician earns $5,000 more than the average college graduate. And with the baby boomer generation retiring, we're going to be needing skilled workers to fill these positions.
Here's a look at the average salaries of some of the most popular skilled trades careers:
- Aircraft Mechanic: $49,000
- Pipefitter: $49,000
- Driver: $51,000
- Sheet Metal Mechanic: $47,000
- Painter: $35,000
- Machinist: $37,000
- Maintenance Mechanic: $38,000
- Subway Operator: $60,000
- Locomotive Engineer: $63,000
- Aerospace Operations: $61,000
- Elevator Installer/Repairer: $73,000
For those who aren't excited at the prospect of attending college, the trades offer an alternative that still allows you to earn a good living.
Trade schools are also much cheaper, and training doesn’t typically take four years. Tuition costs have increased by 300% since 1990. The average bachelor's degree costs over $100,000 – up to $150,000 if the degree is financed entirely through loans.
Many community colleges offer training for the trades, and tuition can be as low as $2,000 a semester. Training is quick, too, lasting six months to two years. In most cases, the trades offer hands-on training or on-the-job training that makes it easier to transition to the real-world work environment.
If you're worried about availability of jobs, don't be. There are positions in the trades in every part of the country. You don't have to work for a small business either. For example, Mr. Rooter has franchises all over the country.
Skilled trades cannot be outsourced. Not only are there plenty of jobs, but there's increased job security with these positions. There will always be a need for electricians, plumbers, mechanics, welders and other similar positions. Bridges and roads will always be built here in the country. You can't outsource skyscraper projects overseas.
Without skilled trade workers, our country's infrastructure would literally crumble.
That leads me to another point: the trades can offer great job satisfaction. Our country literally depends on skilled trade workers to fix our roads, keep our cars running, make sure we have power and keep our plumbing working properly. Each day on the job, you know that your work is making a difference in some way and not just boosting a company's sales and profits.