Home Uncategorized College, A Waste of Time?

College, A Waste of Time?

by Kelly Crawford

Think about it…

For Most People, College is a Waste Time

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mrshester January 14, 2009 - 10:01 pm

I haven’t completely read the article, but what I have skimmed over sounds about right. With the exception of the health field and teaching (depending on the education the teacher received in high school) probably most jobs wouldn’t even need a degree or lots of letters following it. I know a few people that, despite their letter and “papers”, aren’t that smart after all. And too many people I know are brilliant, but can’t afford the classes it would take for them to be taken seriously for certain jobs. It’s a shame how many “educated” people see themselves as better, or “elite”. Not everyone, by any means, but way too many.

Catherine R. January 14, 2009 - 10:30 pm

Kelly, I know you will probably take flack over this but, my answer to the question is YES.

This is one major area of my life that I wish I could do over. I am now deep in debt with an interest rate growing like an evil fungus on steroids. People are so brainwashed about college.

My grandma would always tell me “You can’t be financially dependant on a man! You need a degree!”

Oh and supposedly the crippling debt is somehow worth it or easy to pay off. Good God, how I wish I was not so stupid!

Word Warrior January 14, 2009 - 10:39 pm

Catherine R,

Unfortunately, I think your plight is a common one. The lies, the lies!

Kim from Canada January 15, 2009 - 12:43 am

A waste of time? YES! A waste of money? YES!

I am also still paying off school debt after graduating over a decade ago.

And, Mrs. Hester, I have to disagree with the comment that the health field and the teaching field are exceptions to the rule. As a homeschooling mom, I know teaching does not require ‘higher education’. Also, as a nurse I teach home care to family members regularly who do a far superior job at caring for the patient than most of the ‘professionals’ out there. It isn’t the education, it is the individual that succeeds.

Just my two bits.

Angela January 15, 2009 - 1:32 am

Not only was it a waste of time in my case, but a den of sin. College has too many temptations for someone just leaving home and as foolish as I was at the time.

We should be encouraging our children to seek God’s will for their lives. If that includes college, so be it. But there are so many other options.

Regina January 15, 2009 - 8:04 am

My situation is identical to Catherine R. I count copllege and the easy money debt that came with it as my sole regret.

Dani January 15, 2009 - 10:18 am

YES and YES!! Both my husband and I have a BA. He does not use his so we are paying for something he will probably never use. (At least we were able to meet each other while there studying) I have a degree in Nursing. I could have easily learned my job as an apprentice from a great mentor. I mean in reality most of the things I do as a nurse, I learned after starting my job, not in school. Hopefully in the next few years I will not have to work any longer, so then my degree will be unnecessary as well.

I so wish most of the jobs today were like just 20 or 30 years ago, you learned as you worked. Now everyone wants a college or technical degree.

jonash January 15, 2009 - 10:26 am

Catherine, Kim from Canada & Regina;

It is voices like yours that cause me to encourage my younger brother not to aquire debt in college – aka loans. Sadly, I do not get the impression that he will listen.

My dh and both of his sisters completed BA's while working and had no debt when done – it CAN be done. But probably not if you party and waste lots of money and *have* to be done in 4 years. (Dh finished in 4.5yrs)

However, my brother veiws most jobs as "too much work". So he's most likely going to take out a loan to go to ART SCHOOL.

Yes, I'm frusterated. Oh, well. What can you do? Advise and stand back and watch . . .


jonash January 15, 2009 - 10:30 am

” I mean in reality most of the things I do as a nurse, I learned after starting my job, not in school.”

This is EXACTLY what happened to dh after he finished his degree in engineering. He took class upon class on company time, learning on the job skills and programs. Very, very few of the classes actually benifited him once he was hired! Isn’t that crummy?

He says his younger brother would be even better than he is at what he does, but b/c he lacks the piece of paper that, he’ll never be one.

Sarah January 15, 2009 - 11:35 am

I guess I’m the one dissenting voice here so far. This is just my own experience, but my life was impacted greatly by my years in a Christian college, both undergrad and grad school. I learned so much spiritually, as well as academically. Without being there I would not have met my wonderful husband, either!

College isn’t in God’s plan for everyone, but it was for me!

Civilla January 15, 2009 - 12:17 pm

I have mixed feelings about this. There is no doubt that higher education of every sort is a money-making racket. But, that is the American way — we turn everything into a business: church, job training, everything!

It is frustrating that today, you must have a piece of paper from some college or tech school for even simple things that could require just a mentor or personal instructor, and are learned by on-the-job-training in the end, anyway.

When my mother-in-law wanted to become a dental assistant in the late ’50’s, the dentist himself trained her. Not, you must go to a vo-tech school for that.

In our area of the country, you can still become a CNA (certified nurses’ aide) by getting a job at a nursing home or something like that. They will train and certify you if you can perform certain functions to their satisfaction.

Civilla January 15, 2009 - 12:35 pm

For many young people, college IS a waste of time. It is a holding-tank, many times, for middle-class children who don’t know what they want to do with themselves.

It is also a middle-class rite of passage. Middle class people look down on you if you don’t have a college degree. Working class people don’t care. So, it depends on who you want to hang around with — middle class people, or what?

I went to Abilene Christian University in the ’70’s. I was surprised to find lots of girls there who were there because they wanted to marry a professional man.

That was at the tail-end of an era in which you could still aspire to be a housewife if you were middle or upper middle class. Those girls didn’t want to marry a plumber. They wanted to marry a lawyer or a doctor or an engineer or a preacher.

They majored in home-economics while they were looking for a husband who would be a professional man someday. Most of them achieved their goal. I don’t know if that happens today.

I don’t think that college is a waste of time if you know exactly what you want to do, set your mind to doing it, and cut out all the stupid stuff, like going to Florida for spring break.

If you are just there because you don’t know what you want to do with yourself, you’d be better off working until you DO know what you want to do.

A book written in the ’70’s called, “The Case Against College” by Caroline Byrd is a very good book. She makes some very good points.

Word Warrior January 15, 2009 - 12:41 pm

I agree with all your comments. The thing that bugs me about college is not so much “it’s bad or good for everyone”, but that it has such an artificial “clout”…there is way too much power of the paper, which sometimes means a lot, and sometimes means nothing.

I’m a big fan of apprenticeship.

Catherine R. January 15, 2009 - 2:53 pm

Couldn’t agree more with your last statement Kelly. Hooray for apprenticeship! Be a hair dresser, be a macanic…DO NOT go to get a degree in Native American Lesbian Poetry (yes, this is a real field of study, I wish I were joking).

And I must add if you can’t do it without getting into debt, that’s a sign that you don’t need to do it.

ASHLEY! Tell your bro not to go to art school. That’s what I did. Beware!

Civilla January 15, 2009 - 3:28 pm

Yes, I think apprenticeship is great, if you can find somebody to take you on. Usually people take on their own sons or nephews, etc., which leaves people like us out, because we don’t own a business or a farm, etc.

My brother owns the biggest biker bar on the east coast and has offered to teach my sons to tend bar. Hee-hee. I think they would have to provide their own Harley, though.

If you want to go into the ministry, it helps to be related to the district superintendent…

Just throwing out suggestions. I am as frustrated as anybody else.

Civilla January 15, 2009 - 3:56 pm

I agree, the piece of paper wields way too much clout. It is a weeding-out process of sorts. But, if it isn’t that, it’s “who you know”. It’s always something.

Apprenticeship is great, but people usually apprentice their own sons and nephews, etc., so unless we want our sons bartending in a biker bar, that leaves our family out. Anybody we know with a business around here has their own sons to apprentice.

My husband learned a skill, land surveying, while in the military. To do this in civilian life, though, you must be licensed. The G.I.’s who learned surveying in the military quickly learned that to practice it in civilian life, they must apprentice under a licensed surveyor to be licensed themselves and guess what? The licensed surveyors all apprentice their own family members, NOT YOU!

Too much licensing required for everything these days, in my opinion.

If your mom is a hairdresser, she can teach you what she knows, but then you still need a license, and to be licensed, you must have so many hours in a certified school.

It is good if you can have your own business and apprentice your own children. That’s what people used to do, I think.

If you can find somebody to apprentice your children, more power to you!

shanie81 January 16, 2009 - 12:25 am

A lot of wonderful opinions have been voiced here, and I shall offer mine. I LOVED my college experience, but then, I didn’t come from a great home experience. I grew in college, and I loved every minute of it. I was lucky enough to have savings and scholarships so I didn’t accrue horrible amounts of debt. After college, however, was HORRIBLE. I had to move back in with my mom, since I could not find a really well paying job that wanted someone with no experience. My mother and father were angry, because they had put money into my education for nothing. THey wanted to have me OUT of the house as quickyl as possible. Things worked out in the end, but barely. And really, they only worked because I met a wonderful man who i married. Funny thing? My husband makes almost triple what I do, without having EVER gone to college. I’m after my master’s now, and in theory i will out- earn him (which he is looking forward to to be honest) and I don’t regret my years in college (my current job is great, and I couldn’t have it without my degree) but college wasn’t the “ticket out” my parent’s told me it would be. It didn’t mean “job” it meant… well… “hey, you went to college, neat” and that’s about it.

MamaJ January 16, 2009 - 5:43 pm

I agree that college was a huge waste of time for me! I was studying Spanish to be an English Second Language Teacher. That profession seems to be almost completely useless in our country nowadays! The attitude seems to be that “since people don’t necessarily NEED to learn English to survive, get benefits, etc. why should they bother to learn it?” I left college after one and half semesters and joined the military. Now my husband and I both have the GI Bill that we could use for a paid-for college education. But, we seriously don’t see the need to use the tax payers/government’s money on a degree we don’t need.

Jennifer January 21, 2009 - 11:31 pm

I loved and appreciated my time in college. I am not a self-directed learner, so sitting in a classroom really is the best way for me to learn. I didn’t become a feminist. Didn’t get into a bunch of trouble. I earned a degree in history and it has served me well since I graduated 8 years ago.

People have this idea that you’re supposed to come out of college a genius in whatever field in which you’ve majored. Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes discipline and commitment to succeed at any school worth its salt. You learn many more skills than just memorizing facts. If you go with the notion that a college education does nothing more than prepare you for a career, then, yes I guess it could be considered a waste of time. However, historically, this has not bee the purpose of a university education.

I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my husband intellectually and I seriously doubt he would’ve married me if I hadn’t finished. Marrying a woman with a higher education was very important to him and I’m glad. I saw the disparity between my parents’ educational levels and how it affected their marriage… and it wasn’t always pretty. In fact, it hurt their marriage in very tangible ways.

Frankly, I worked darn hard and am proud of my accomplishments, including graduating magna cum laude and with straight A’s (my first time EVER) for my last semester during which time I married my husband. It wasn’t easy, but it taught me self-discipline and I will value those lessons for as long as I live.


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