The Truth About College
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The Truth About College

"You win or you die."

The Truth About College

As of Wednesday, July 26th at 4:30 in the afternoon, I will no longer be a college student. I will be an official graduate of Georgia State University. I will have sat through my last lecture and read my last textbook. I will have taken my last final and sat in my last school desk. It's been a long, hard, exhausting road. And it feels a little bit like leaving high school: bittersweet.

But now, mostly just bitter.

I am thousands of dollars in debt. I still don't know how to mortgage a home or finance a car. I know nothing about 401K's or paying taxes. I don't even have a checkbook. I've spent the last three years listening to professors and writing papers and turning in assignments that I may as well have slept through completing. And while I have grown and changed into an entirely new person over the last three years, I can honestly and quite confidently say that Asher Roth was a lier, because I do not love college.

Sure, college is great for getting to know yourself and beginning to become who you're going to be in this life, but do you know what college is not great for? Money. Sleep. Stress. Self-care. Sanity.

And the biggest kicker? It's nearly impossible to find jobs, especially if you spent your college career working to be employed in a creative career field -- like the film industry. To get a job, you have to have a college degree (or so they tell you) and to get a college degree, you have to borrow lots of money, which you need a job to pay off. But you can't get anything other than unpaid internships, which don't pay bills, because you don't have enough experience because you've spent the last 3-4 years of valuable experience time going to school.

Do you see where I'm going with this?

It's insane. And it's the American education system. "Let's tell all these impressionable young adults that they have to go to college to get jobs, but make it impossible to afford and impossible to get jobs. Then we'll tell them that they're lazy, entitled 'millennials' and blame them for their debt."

I don't want to go off on a soapbox here but, honestly, if you don't take issue with that, check yourself.

I think college has the potential to be a very valuable experience. And maybe I'll look back in fifty years (after I've finally finished paying off my loans) and realize that it meant more to me than I think it does right now. But in my personal opinion, for something to qualify as a "valuable experience," it can't also be something that bleeds your bank account dry. And you need to get more out of it than a *teeny* bit of self discovery and an inbox full of thanks-for-applying-but-someone-else-is-better letters.

Don't get me wrong. I'm super thankful for the privileges that I've had over the last three years. I know some people out there don't have the same opportunities, which is a whole other issue in terms of access to education, but we can table that for later. I'm very thankful for the people I've met and the friends I now call family, and I'm even more thankful for the fact that I now have a much narrower description of what I want to do with my film degree (since that's all people know how to ask about anymore).

All sarcasm aside, the university system in this country needs so, so, so, so, so much improvement. It needs to cost less. It needs to be more accessible. It needs to be more practical in terms of actually preparing people to find jobs. Creative majors, like film, need to consistently be just as supported and hands-on as programs like biology, neuroscience, and nursing.

Long story short, yes, I am bitter about college. But I'm bitter with a passion for change, so that's something, right?

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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