A year and a half ago, I was ecstatic to finally be leaving the realm of education. After spending roughly 20 years of my life in some form of schooling or another, it felt good to finally hang up the “student” hat and step out into the “real world,” whatever the hell that means (because apparently I’ve been living in a fake world this whole time?).
But now, a year and a half later, I’m no better off than I was before I earned that expensive piece of paper they like to call a diploma (which is somewhere buried beneath a pile of random stuff, still encased inside the special envelope it was mailed to me in). Four mediocre jobs and lots of credit card debt later, I’m back to square one, with no job, no money and no real reason why I should believe my college education is going to save my ass, especially in this economy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, in a lot of ways, a college degree is very useful. Like, say, for using to brag to all your non-educated friends, or for using as kindling to start a fire when your electric is turned off due to lack of payment (see: insufficient funds).
But I feel there are several good reasons why my college degree is completely and utterly worthless, some of them being:
A college degree doesn’t guarantee you a job. Basically, there are no guarantees in life. I get that. But I sure wish someone would have warned me before I wasted five years of my life and thousands of dollars of my dad’s hard-earned money (thanks though, dad, really, I appreciate the support) that the piece of paper I was busting my ass for would only marginally help in getting a halfway-decent job. Classroom learning is important but I’ve always believed life experience was more vital when it came to knowing a profession, especially after all the times I’ve been told there are no entry-level jobs when it comes to publishing, that you have to know what you’re doing before you do it (which obviously makes no sense and clearly supports my belief that experience is more necessary than education), which brings me to my second point:
I graduated with (one of) the most useless majors. Don’t get me wrong. I love English literature and clearly I love writing (who would actually waste their time writing a blog this cynical if they weren’t finding some sort of pleasure from it?) but having a degree in it is like having a degree in cat-napping; you can’t actually do anything with it, except go on for more schooling. Or maybe be a teacher, but even then you have to jump through more hoops and are simply better off with an education degree. A Bachelor’s in English nowadays is a good foundation for any other type of degree or major, and if I was planning on being a lawyer or a psychologist or a publicist, it would be very useful in providing the groundwork I’d need to go on to pursue those careers. But heaven forbid I actually want to utilize the degree as is and have a job that means something without putting myself in student loan debt and spending more years in a classroom. It’s basically impossible. Finding a job in my field (whatever that means) is like finding a needle in a haystack, cliched as it sounds (hey, when you’re this stressed, you can’t think in anything other than cliches). When I was a student, I never had to worry about landing a “real” job, because whatever crap-ass job I was working while attending classes didn’t matter, because there was always the promise of something better that was just out of reach, waiting for me after just one more class, just a few more credits. But sitting around as a broke, unemployed college grad doesn’t exactly scream success, so what’s a bitter, almost-twenty-four-year-old like me to do?
Ok, screw this “real world” business, I’m going back to school.