Jacque Anderson: Going to College is a Gamble

College, like all new things, is scary. You arrive thinking that the world is at your fingertips. Often times it is. You think that you’ll go to college, have the time of your life, graduate, then get a great job and go from there. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes you go to college, do great in all of your classes, graduate, then can’t find a job and have to move in with your mom again and never get to pay off the debt you acquired while getting a degree. With all of this said people are often found asking themselves if a 4-year college education is worth it. Is it worth the emotional stress, financial burden, and immense time commitment that comes along with being a college student if no one can guarantee a successful outcome? My answer to that is maybe, going to college is a gamble and it is hard to know if it will be beneficial later in life. When you enter into college it is hard to tell if it will end in success.

A 4-year college education, in today’s society, is something that is thought to be needed in order to be to be successful in being a productive member of society. The amount of people within the united states receiving 4 year degrees has skyrocketed within the past 40 years or so. Society is run by it’s people and that is why every society across the world is so different. WIll Durant, a famous American writer, historian, and philosopher said “Education is the transmission of civilization.” Durant traveled and studied civilizations across many continents on the earth. Not one civilization is like the next. Some people made and continue to make bigger choices, especially when it comes to school. The price is big and what it gets you in the end doesn’t confirm you a career. Picking a school also doesn’t entail what you will experience while being there. The interactions with roommates, the outcome of class success, and the social experience of an on campus experience are simply all left to the unknown. It is impossible to know what college will be like before going and most certainly the future after graduating.

Not only is education an advancement of civilization, it also plays a primary factor in the outcome of someone’s income and net worth. A college degree doubles the typical person’s annual person’s income. An income that someone can live off of comfortably is ideal because it will not only allow for a pleasurable lifestyle, but student loans will also be able to be paid off sooner too. The debt to fund higher education is now the second highest debt in America so having a degree that will earn you more money will pay off in the long run because it will pay your debt plus earn you a lifestyle of comfortability. The federal reserve conducted a study showing that a degree from an associate’s degree to a doctorate will earn you what you invest in a higher education. John Maxfield, who studied the in depth surveys of the federal reserve, released the outcomes that were found about the factors that college degrees play in someone’s net worth and he stated, “The benefits of both a bachelor’s degree and an associate’s degree still tend to outweigh the costs.” The study shows that they earn someone a return of 15% and that it would take only 10 years to pay off what they owe for a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is estimated by the reserve to be worth roughly around $300,000 in modern day society.

Although many dollars are being put into the outcome of a college degree, the exploratory aspect of college should not be lost. It is so important to experience sets of new things while in college especially learning how to interact with an abundant amount of different people. The field of work is filled with more than one type of personality, it is only vital to learn how to deal with them in a system that is put there for you to learn. College is a key stepping stone into opening the door to adulthood and exploring what is on the other side. There are different cultures, personalities, ideologies, artforms, and experiences waiting to be found.

With all of these points made, the system of higher education and the world beyond is not so simple. Colleges are looked at completely differently in the eyes of who will get a job over another. There are colleges in the ivy league such as Harvard University competing with small community colleges that house natives who have never seen other parts of the world. It is pretty evident on who will receive a job over another. Not only is the outcome of a job unpredictable, a person’s personal experience at college can vary too. Bad things can happen such as housing conflicts with roommates, tension between peers, and anxiety and depression due to schoolwork and a change from childhood to adulthood. It all just depends on the specific person and it can never be said in a permanent way what college will be like for someone; every aspect is unpredictable.