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College

What are your thoughts on going and graduating from college. I am in my 4th year, and still not a senior. I messed around a little before I took school serious. So I have another 2 years at most, probably a year and half left.

But for the first time in my life I am questioning on whether college is actually needed, or wanted, in my life.

My problems:

1: Money. I hate loans so I try to pay my way myself. 2. Learning skills that are not directly related to my survival as a human being in our world today are usually taught. 3. Feeling that if I dont graduate, I wont get a good job. 4. Feeling that if I graduate, its me playing into the trappings of the corporate world. 5. I feel that I have many MANY other things Id rather be doing.

Good things:

1. Im almost done.

I know its a personal decision, but what are your thoughts?

Comments

  • Finish. You are almost there. You don’t need to use the degree – it’s not a chain to the corporate world. But, there are many opportunities that might come your way later that are only available to someone with a college degree. Surviving as a human being in our world today takes a lot of skills – you’re right – but, depending on how you define ‘surviving,’ it can also depend on having certain qualifications, of which a college degree is one. Try to find the beauty in it and study something that interests you. Obvious, you are intelligent (based on yours posts) and analytical (based on how much attention and analysis goes into eating raw and understanding the reasons for it). Colleges and universities can be a lot of bullshit, but they are also institutions that exist because people love to learn and to teach and to communicate. Try to tap into that – there has to be something taught at your college that is genuinely fascinating to you – be it nutrition, history, art criticism, social sciences – something. Or, just treat it as a practical exercise – something you are doing for the end result – and take business classes or something along those lines. Just my two cents…

  • BeTheChangeBeTheChange Raw Newbie

    finish.

    that’s all I have to say.

    You will regret it later, and it is nearly impossible to get ANY job nowadays without any sort of degree—that’s why there are so many night schools and 2-year programs out there now! Because those who thought they could get by without a college education are realizing that they were wrong!

    Higher education is an absolute privelage that the majority of the world can never even dream about. Seize this opportunity.

    Finish what you started…you started for a reason, right? Even if you have no idea what you want to do with your life etc, it doesn’t matter. It is a challenge that will enhance your life and your mind, in full agreement with Dagny.

    You are SO CLOSE!

    Please, just finish. You will be happy you did. And you do not by any means have to become a slave to the corporate world by earning a college degree. My driving a car and serving lattes that include milk from factory farms is contributing to King Corporate, not earning a degree in costume design and eastern religion! (in my opinion). Also, something to chew on: If the day came where the only job you could salvage was an hourly job at a national chain something-or-other because you didn’t have a degree, THEN you would truly be a slave to Corporate.

    Feel free to argue with me, but this is my advice…!

  • iknikn

    FINISH!

    It took me 14 years to finish my B.S degree, but I did it. And it was an increadible feeling to walk down the isle. I had my two children at the commencement and they were so proud of me.

    Having a college degree will help you along the way. You might not work in your field, but it does open different doors for you than a high school degree would.

  • littlegemslittlegems Raw Newbie

    ditto, ditto, and ditto! definitely finish.

  • JKD_Soccer – I just checked out your profile and saw what the JKD stands for. How cool. I trained in Jeet Kun Do for 4 years, back when I first started doing muy thai. i still sleep with my escrima stick by my bed, just in case an intruder comes in and i need to bust out some moves (I told you I think I’m a ninja…). So, not to be totally cheesy, but I want you to note that Bruce Lee went to University of Washington to study philosophy. He knew that fighting was his life and he didn’t need college for that. He certainly didn’t intend to be just another corporate drone. Yet he realized that there is something to be gained through higher education. And look at the system of martial arts that he created – how it draws on so many other cultures and fighting systems, how smart it is – teaching fighters to use their opponent’s weight and strength against the opponent – and think about how everything in one’s life – even their kung-fu – is illuminated by studying what is occurring and has occurred elsewhere in the world. paying for school is a burden that people in other countries don’t have to deal with, but it’s our burden to handle. trust me, i’ll be paying off law school for the next 30 years. but don’t look at it as if you are just paying to go and you want to get out with your degree as soon as possible. find at least one class that inspires you – whether it is philosphy, anthropology, world literature – something. and milk that class for every idea and experience you can get out of it. and then realize that you are paying for that experience – the diploma is just the (raw) cherry on top at the end. (full disclosure – i love school and was a ‘professional student’ until i turned 30 5 years ago. between college and law school, i was doing a phd in literature and women’s studies. i have a demanding job now, but my brain feels stagnant in comparison to how excited i felt in school. change your attitude and get everything you can out of college. jesus, i sound like somebody’s mother… forget what i said. drop out. get a 9-5 job working with your hands. spend the rest of your life making fun of those ‘college boys’ who are taking all the jobs. smoke up, johnny.)

  • I agree with ikn-The accomplishment made me feel good-like when I finished my first marathon. There will be agonizing moments but the “thrill of victory” makes it worth it. But have fun with it, take classes that pique your interest-one thing I didn’t know when I was in school that alot of times you can create your own degree-meaning you don’t always have to take the prescribed courses with in a major. Finishing college gave me a sense that if I could do that- i could accomplish much more. :) Plus, what is the investment you already made toward your education worth to you?

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    looking at your list of “pros” it seems like they are all fear motivated. not a good start.

    if you are nearly there, i don’t see much harm in finishing, BUT coming from someone who graduated from an ivy league no less, i think college is the most expensive babysitting service known to man. TO ME college is an over-priced and artificially self-sustained institution. i went on a trip around the world when i graduated and learned more in those 4 months than in all 4 years… when i imagine all i could have done with the thousands of dollars spent in college… invested it, travelled, volunteered in a developing country, studied things experientially (rather than “in theory” in the “safety” of a classroom)...

    i’m absolutely not sorry i did it (regret is a useless emotion), but i just have to say my peace when people ask me if i would recommend it. absolutely not.

    self-study has been the key to enlightenment for me. discovering raw food, eastern philosophies, meeting all sorts of amazing people from different countries and age groups, decided what i wanted my life to look like and CREATING it… THAT is learning for me.

    i never thought i would say this, but i DO NOT believe in “school” as it exists in our culture.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    If you didn’t start college, then my advice would be to wait until you know what you want to study. But now that you’re in, and it’s a program that you are capable of completing, perhaps it’s wise to stick it out? Perhaps if you’re feeling burned out, you could take a semester or year off to work and save money, rest, and re energize for the final years.

    I dropped out because I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Now I’m going back to school, but it’s going to take me 5+ years to complete a bachelors degree as I work full time. It would have been easier if I took temporary employment then went to school full time. But I didn’t have money for school, so I couldn’t do that. I sympathize with your situation. Best of luck to you!

  • jkd_soccer, what are you studying in school? Does it relate at all to the many things that you would be doing if you were not in school right now?

  • FINISH!

    My husband went to college for 4 years and didn’t finish, and now he struggles constantly to find a stable job that enables him to support his children and pay his living expenses. If you ever might have aspirations of having a family, it is worth weighing this issue heavily in your decision.

    I have a Masters and even though my career has absolutely nothing to do with my course of study, I am able to provide for my family and live quite comfortably because of my degrees.

    MOREOVER, I literally learned how to think, write, discuss, negotiate, etc. in college. I spent a lot of time opening my mind and no one can ever take that from me. I was thankful for my experience with each student loan check I wrote. Whether I decide to trade my skills to a corporation in exchange for money is my choice. Without a degree, I would not have the opportunity to even make that choice.

    I hope you find your passion and figure out how to make a living doing that forever. It sure doesn’t hurt to have something to fall back on, though. Blessed be.

  • WOW! Thanks for all your replies :) I have been away from this board for far too long!

    Anyways, okay…

    Dagny: I always love meeting JKD enthusiats! Ive been training by myself for about 5 years. I want to go to a gym and train, but sadly college has been taking up most of my money. Bruce Lee has always been an inspiration of mine, and funny enough, he is the main reason why I have been questioning college. In once of his books, he doesnt exactly say “college is bad” but A LOT of his quotes state abviously that any school “system” is faulty, whether higher education or martial arts.

    To all the rest: I like writing. Im already an English major and have been taking LOADS of English classes. Which seems to have made me very well read, instead of teaching me anything new. On my own, I have already written a novel, and have already started a second one. I have written loads of short stories and poems.

    I signed up for classes this semester a couple months ago so I know I am going to school this semester anyways, no matter what my heart, or my head is telling me.

    Perhaps I just havent had any classes that push me to learn new things. In all my classes the past few semesters I rarely showed up for classes, and still got A’s.

    Maybe once I actually get into the higher level English classes Ill start to have fun, but currently…

    Not to say Im NOT excited. There are a couple classes this semester I am genuinely interested in, but others that are mandatory for me to take that seem like a big waste of time and money.

    Also, and maybe this was a bad idea but I have been re-reading My Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, and its been depressing me haha!

    Im GOING to school, so dont worry. Im just trying to convince myself that it is the right thing to do and to like it, instead of just trudging though it.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Let me pipe in. I am very jealous that you have a chance to study English. Reading books has changed my perception of the world in a deep, profound way. If I could go back in time, I would have gone to college for English as I believe that is one place that the educational system doesn’t go wrong. Because you’re taking away your own impression from each book you read, that’s not something a professor can determine for you. All they do is save you the trouble of finding books, which I think is really wonderful! Perhaps to get more engaged, you could select some books beyond what’s required, to either supplement what you’re learning or to learn something new. That could be a challenge for you. I understand that some of your classes aren’t required, and those can be a pain to take. But I also wish I was in your position, where I didn’t have to try hard and get A’s. For me, school was/is so difficult that it takes every ounce of energy and focus to just manage B’s and C’s. I think that you’re in a good position to enjoy what’s ahead of you. Again, best wishes on this semester!

  • :) Thanks Winona.

    Math is the only class I struggle to get above a B. Normally I get C+’s and B-’s in math. I cant seem to grasp anything. Thats one of the classes I HAVE TO take this semester, which is really bumming me out, because I have yet to use the higher level of math required to learn to get a degree in the real world, ever. And probably never will.

    :)

  • If writing is what you like to do, and you’re an english major, then I would stick with it. YES- you will find it SO MUCH more interesting when you get into the upper-division courses. You will be able to take classes that are directly related to the genre of books you are interested in reading—and then, trust me, you will be loving it. I used to be an English major- I had about a year left to graduate and I switched my major to fine arts. I don’t regret it for a second—I love everything I learned as an English major.

    And you’ll be able to take creative writing courses too :) Yeah, the prerequisites suck, but once you can take more of what you’re interested in, then it’ll be worth it.

    Maybe you could take at least one upper-division course per term to keep yourself interested. For the courses that require a pre-requisite, the instructors will often approve you for the course if you can show somehow that you will be able to keep up (some old essays that you aced or something).

    You also might be able to talk to your advisor and see if you can replace certain courses with others—or see if you can do an independent study with a writing instructor that you like in place of some of the lower-division courses. At some schools this can all be approved by your advisor and it is so worth it because then you will be able to take (and spend money on) the courses that you are interested in and are challenging for you.

  • Well this is the last semester I have to deal with pre-req’s, after that I can take all the higher levels. It may just me be needing to get through this semester to enjoy whats coming. :)

  • hannahmariehannahmarie Raw Newbie

    meh. college.

    i felt the same way as you. i got my degree anyway and am doing nothing with it! still at a completely non-college-needed job.

  • I don’t truly rant that often, but I have to on this topic because it feels good! So please forgive me in advance!!

    I hate my school, my instructors, my classes, my potential degree, the students, the walls, the air; I hate everything about my school. Some days, I just want to scream because it’s humiliating just to walk through the doors. I rarely tell people I’m a student because I’m so embarrassed to go to a school not even worthy of the college title. It doesn’t challenge me; the work is all pre-laid, out meaning it’s straight out of a master text. Any idiot could teach this bull. There is no creativity or originality from the instructors. They are handed the work, then it’s passed onto us. Aside from that, last week my instructor from my phlebotomy class was demonstrating how to do venipuncture, ONE she demonstrated everything backwards and idiotically, forgot gloves, which I was going to let go because she caught her mistake, until she called them “gloovies” then she missed the damn vein and bruised the student!!! You’re telling me I’m supposed to learn from this woman? She is a good display of a sloppy charector. Shit, I can read the “bookies” and practice on myself better than she could teach me! It’s sad, high school was much more challenging than this joke of a building I’m stuck in. Most of the time I feel smarter than the teachers.

    Anyways, I dropped out once, and I very recently went back since I have less than six months left until I graduate. Most of which I’ll be on my worthless internship that will be hell in itself because the school refuses to let me work where I selected because of stupid ridiculous reasons that I’m sure make sense but I’m too irate to evaluate their reasoning with an open mind. I would be so much happier if I was going to Life University in Marietta, Georgia not this horrendous place that mirrors a clown college!!

  • OH No, chakra essence! To you, my friend, I would probably say don’t go to college. Well, not that one anyway.

    Hope you can switch to something more worthwhile, challenging, and joyful soon :)

  • So, an update…

    As I was told two years before, I believed I only had two classes left to take to finish up my ge’s and get my associates. I was excited for school for this semester surprisingly, until I went to see an adviser. Unlike all the other school advisers I spoke too before, this one told me there was some new rules in place, and after these classes this semester, I still have to take ANOTHER FULL semester worth of classes to graduate. This was the FIRST time I ever heard about these extra classes, and she apologized to me saying the other advisers must of not known what they were doing.

    This put a horrible feeling in my stomach as hasnt left. At one point I felt excited and confident in my decision to go to school this semester, now I feel disappointed and very unconfident in myself.

    I dont want to go to school this semester at all, seeing as they are now just trying to take my money, instead of actually having me take classes that will teach me things.

    This is not to say Im dropping out of college completely, but just this school. If I dont go to school this semester, I can save up enough money to move out of Utah (i dont like Utah) and move to Portland, Oregon, the place where I want to spend the rest of my life. Then when I settle down there, I can then go to a school i WANT to go to, and finish up college for good.

    Your thoughts? This hasnt been decided yet, as I still have a week or two before the last day to drop classes happen so I have some thinking to do.

    I know I have to make this decision for myself, but sometimes I feel that the people close to me that helped me into the decision to take school this semester will look at me as a failure. Which would suck, but I wouldnt feel that way about myself at all. Id probably feel a little disappointed, but knowing that once I move I can finish school. shrugs

  • emtpdmomemtpdmom Raw Newbie

    JKD, I fully understand the frustration with changes in requirements. I experienced this several times. It took me several years to finish, and I also transferred a couple of times (was married and husband’s work meant moving to different states). Before you make your final decision, consider contacting the college you want to attend in Oregon and determine their current requirements … what of your credits will count toward their requirements, etc. Get it in writing if you can. You may be better off staying where you are. If you decide to make the move, there’s always the risk that the requirements will change before you get into the program in Oregon.

    Good luck.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    Dropping out of college was the best decision I ever made. But it was because I carefully considered everything that was going on. I needed to change majors, I was stressed beyond belief. I had to heal/self improve before returning to school. If you feel that every bone in your body is rejecting school, take a semester off – at the least. Give yourself time to make this decision. You shouldn’t be rushed into it. Then when you have the whole semester to work and think, you’ll be able to easily make the decision that you know is right for you. That’s my two cents.

    By the way – if you end up deciding to stop attending college, DO NOT feel ashamed. Don’t let anyone even hint that you’re doing less than your best. Because sometimes by quitting, we are taking the HARDER path. For me – it was difficult to quit!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    If you have any paperwork from the previous advisory sessions, you have some backup of what you were told. Make an appointment with the Dean or whoever is the appropriate person for these matters and discuss the situation. It just might be the last adviser has things wrong or doesn’t have the “authority” or interest to sign off on the previous requirements. Even if you don’t have paperwork you can find copies of previous requirements. You might have a case to be exempt from new requirements or the new requirements don’t apply because of the closeness to completing the previous requirements. Sometimes it takes a bit of “chutzpa” to get through school and other situations. Leave the anger and frustration at home. I had to crash almost every upper division class I took. My major was heavily impacted. On day one of one of the classes I didn’t get when preregistering people were out the door trying to get in. The professor required those that weren’t registered in the class write an in-class paragraph why you should be let into the class. If your paragraph satisfied the professor, he would put you on the waiting list. I was not put on the waiting list. Now I could have just thrown up my hands and ditched the whole thing. Instead, I went to every class, did the work, and participated. After a few classes, there were seats available. After one class I went up to the professor with my add card filled out and in hand and requested to be added. He asked if I was on the waiting list. No, I said. I then asked him if there was anyone in the room on the waiting list requesting to be added to the class (the room was completely empty except for the two of us!). He took my add card and signed it. This is how it went for me for many classes… They bank on people being lambs and not going beyond what they are “fed.” Decide what you really want. If you want to graduate like you had planned, it might take a bit more energy to accomplish it than you thought… BTW, I’m not a big fan of school for me (I love learning, just not the tests and other politics and regurgitating involved). I got my degree to “document” I have a brain ala the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz. My best to you in whatever you decide.

  • Winona thank you! Its SO hard for me to quit something, because once I start something, I am of the mind set I HAVE to see it through no matter what! And I started feeling like a quitter just thinking this way.

    I have struggled through this for the month leading up to school, and now that i am in school I am stressed beyond belief. Not because of classes, the classes are easy. But because I just dont want to be there and feel cheated. Its not making it enjoyable at all.

    And im Not quitting college all together, I would be going to another school later one after I move.

    I have to keep reminding myself that having a college degree does not necesarily equal a good job or having a job I like.

    I keep thinking about my future, and I dont have a plan for a career. All I know is that I love to write, paint, play guitar, grow food. I want to have my own little farm somewhere where I can do all that and eat off the land. Thats my one and only goal for the future. And all I want in a job is a job well paid enough to get me to that point.

    I was reading my goals this morning along with my daily affirmations. I read an affirmation by Bruce Lee that said “I will encourage my conscience to guide me as to what is right and what is wrong, but I will never set aside the verdict it renders, no matter what the cost may be of carrying it out.”

    I believe that this could be the decision I have to do right now… and damn the consequences.

  • Blue. I didnt read yours until after I posted the last one.

    I want to finish school, that I know. Im my heart of hearts I want to finish, but circumstances that have happened in the past month all are seeming to VEER me away from going to school.

    I know it takes a bit of guts to finish, I have been goig to school for about 7 years already! I know what is required! I just dont believe at this time in my life its something I need to be doing shrugs

  • Yay for Portland Oregon! There are some great schools here! Here’s to your future, jkd; it sounds like you’re on an exciting path! :)

  • Paxton SquiggledyPaxton Squiggledy Raw Newbie

    Finish, definitely.

    I’m going now at 36. Wish like hell I’d gotten it out of the way when I was in my early 20s. I could have been making decent money all this time if only I had. It sucks being a pauper. In general, the less one is paid, the harder they have to work. There are exceptions, but you get the idea.

    Good luck with your studies. :-)

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    I haven’t read all the post but I remember how we were ranting about school in the Into the wild thread.

    Since you are so close to finsihing, yes, just go and finish. A degree of any sort can also come in handy in some way. Never know when you are going to need it to try to get a job whatever somewhere down the line. If you can’t finish now for some reason, you can also go back and finish. (yeah, they will probably change the classes which they do every year but oh well you can’t do anything about that).

    I wouldn’t consider anymore school unless you really want to do it – see if you can get to do what you like without any more school and take it from there.

  • Update!

    I talked to a school official here in Utah and they told me that the last adviser I talked to was mistaken, and I only had 1 credit hour to get my GE’s for Utah. Great! I thought.

    So then I called Portland State…

    I was on the phone with PDX (portland state) last night for about half an hour and they told me as an English Majory, no Math is required, and that with all my credits Ill be transfering up as a Junior anyways.

    So that made me happy, and I went back to SLCC (utah community college) and dropped the math class they were requiring me to take since its irrelevant in Utah.

    I am still going to school this semester there but I feel MUCH better about everything now that I have a solid plan.

    Thanks for all your help!

  • BluedolfinBluedolfin Raw Newbie

    jkd_soccer801~ Way to go!!! Sounds like your last “adviser” needs some additional training… Something to think about… if that math class is needed to complete your AA after this semester, you might consider completing the class so you walk away with a degree even though the class is not required for Portland.

    BTW, I actually don’t know how many years it took to get my BA… I don’t have enough fingers to count it all up. ;)

    Congrats again!!!

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    Cool!

    I hate math too and I so suck at it. I can’t tell you how much “math torture” I went through when I was trying to do my degree in Biology only to find I couldn’t pass chemistry to save my life (I failed it like three times) and ended up switching to Psych which requires no math! Yeah! how happy I was to get that damn math out of my life. It was honestly holding me back!

    Isn’t weird how when to BS around with the counselors at the school that you can find some way to get some of the classes knocked off? One of my friends was so great at that – she could get credit for almost anything and end up with like no required courses to take. :)

    So glad you worked it out!

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