Every week in my inbox there is a new email about the latest scam or phishing scheme.
I don’t really care about a fake Google email saying I need to update my password for a random website; there’s no way I’m falling for that. What I think is pretty ridiculous is the fact that we pay thousands of dollars and take out tons of loans so that we can get a job to pay those same loans back.
Every little kid is asked what they want to be when they grow up. I wanted to be a ballerina or a pop star. Some kids wanted to be doctors or NASCAR drivers or vets.
Very quickly, I realized I was no Ariana Grande and that’s exactly when the push for going to college started. It was always expected that I would follow the collegiate path. I’m sure I heard “maybe you’ll get to Harvard someday!” about a million times.
All throughout high school, college’s merchandise was the second-best thing
you could wear after whatever the current fashion trend was. The college application process was stressful and definitely expensive; why are we paying eighty dollars to send a piece of paper for someone to read? Thank God for CommonApp, am I right?
Nonetheless I was excited to finally get out of Minnesota. I knew some people had their entire four years planned out, exactly what classes they would take to get the degree they were sure they wanted. But what can a degree actually give you? Besides crippling debt, of course.
For so many degrees, the paths that come out of those are super limited. For example, a quick Google search will tell you that a Bachelor’s degree of physics can get you to NASA or to teaching physics. There’s really no in between; your options are to be one of the smartest people on the planet or spending the day with snotty high schoolers. You graduate just to go right back into the school system on the other side.
This phenomenon is rampant in the collegiate world, and intersects a lot with misogyny. This also makes college even more of a scam for women than for men. There are now more women enrolled in college than men around the country. We pay the exact same tuition and take the exact same costly courses. Except that during these courses, we have to fight for respect from professors and peers. We are constantly having to prove that we belong in the classroom, as if simply being present in the room isn’t enough.
I know so many women who will go to tutoring and use as many resources as possible to get their questions answered because their male professors will not answer their questions in class if there is a man raising his hand at the same time. The campus resources like the EDGE are great.
But constantly having to use them and go out of your way to get one answer is exhausting and degrading. And when we get to the workplace, we are underpaid and undervalued in any space we occupy.
Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand why you need a medical doctorate to become a doctor. But most people will have lots of different jobs in their life and several different careers that are completely unrelated to their degrees that cost them thousands of dollars and years of time.
Here at Creighton they even tell you that the average amount of careers someone will have in their lifetime is seven. But courses fall short of actions speaking louder than words. Professors are so busy teaching their specific course material that they don’t get around to telling you that skill building is so much more important than what you major in.
The world is changing and advancing so fast these days that it is near impossible for anyone to keep up; by the time you graduate, the information you just spent four years learning could very well be much more nuanced or even obsolete.
Unless you’re in a highly specialized field that requires a specific bandwidth of knowledge, having a basic understanding of the job you’re applying for paired with a general skill set like working well with others makes a lot more room to learn and develop with the job instead of for the job. This way you are not playing catch-up with the job, but coming in with a fresh perspective and willing to learn.
This being said, maybe I should revise my initial statement: the specialization of college is an outdated scam that needs a major update in order to get up to speed with the rest of the world.