A Degree’s Value

“No one told you to return to college.”

This statement comes from my mom when I make the mistake of of venting about my frustration of paying for college out of pocket.

When I remind her she, and the rest of the family, nagged me relentlessly about college when I was in high school, she retorts, “You were a teenager!”

I feel this sums up the mentality surrounding college in a nutshell. If nothing else, it proves many people who relentlessly push college, like my mom, do so only because it’s “the next step”. Not because they have any understanding, not because they know what it entails, not because they think the cost is worth it, but solely because “it’s what you’re supposed to do”.

But the super irritating part for me is this statement makes my mom a hypocrite. She returned to college beyond her teens. She attended college when I was fifteen years old, putting her in her late thirties. However, nothing came of that experience and the college shut down some years later. Supposedly, the college was not consider legitimate. I don’t know for certain if that’s the case, but I know my mom did not research colleges beforehand (she never researches anything) and she’s technologically illiterate in general, so I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the case.

A few nights ago, three friends and I had a night out together. We talked, played pool, and ate at a restaurant (with unpleasantly loud music). Something I found interesting is we all had degrees – or, in my case, in the process of getting a degree – but none of us were in our fields.

  • Friend #1 has a degree in criminal justice, and works in recruiting for a major company (unrelated to police or security).
  • Friend #2 has a degree in early childhood education and works as a security guard (albeit in a high school, so he still works with kids).
  • Friend #3 has a degree in liberal studies and works as a cashier at our local mall.
  • I am completing a degree in information technology management, and I want to be a designer.

I commented I was the last to have a degree, and one friend said, “At least, you’re getting it.”

Despite none of them use their degrees beyond the sake of getting their resumes past the filters – and that will likely be the case for mine as well – they were all content with their careers and expressed no regret for their degrees. I share this sentiment about getting my degree. I don’t like the debt, but I enjoy the experience and am eager for December.