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College: Worth It or Not Essay

“College is a Waste of Time and Money” by Caroline Bird suggests that a college education is forced upon those who attend. As a student you shouldn’t lack the enthusiasm or motivation or it won’t be what you thought it would be. Bird states that those who think that going to college is a way to prepare for your future job are wrong, for there are students who are successful because of their family background.

Bird makes valid points in her essay, but it isn’t all true to say that college wastes a student’s money and time and showing that going to college can benefit you in the end by giving you a well-paid job and having knowledge of new skills. Throughout high-school, students are taught that college is a great route to take. Bird states, “This is the way it used to be with women, and just as a society had systematically damaged women by insisting that their proper place was in the home, so we may be systematically damaging 18 yr-olds by insisting that their proper place is in college” (p.9).

They even have classes now that prepare you for that next big step, like taking AVID classes. AVID is a college readiness system for elementary through high school. AP classes are also available to students in high school. AP stands for advanced placement classes, which have a curriculum that you get when in college. Many may say that it is not worth taking classes like that, but also some may say that it is beneficial even if you don’t go to college or not. It has become “The thing to do’ says Bird.

Going to college has now become something like a popularity contest, where you attend because everyone else is and your parents think it is right. Parents go along with it, not “thinking of the “higher” good at all. They send their children to college because they are convinced young people benefit financially from those four years of higher education” (p. 24). Parents are only thinking of the money that will come from spending money on that education. My parents in are complete opposites of all that.

They encouraged me to go college so I can better myself as a person. I will be the first, also, to go to college to get my degree in a profession. Students also feel like ‘they are not needed” so they attend college where they can feel like they may become something. Bird argues and tells us that we should force our students to go into college, and according to a study by Leon, 200 of 300 students felt that college education is a waste of money, so forcing them to go may not even work. (p.

18) Bird isn’t in an agreement that college education will help the students to make money in the future: “if making money is the only goal, college is the dumbest investment you can make” (p. 24). Bird furthers this testimonial by comparing the money that would be spent on education versus money that is put in a bank for interest. Even when the graduates do succeed in having good jobs, there is no evidence that money comes from the college education as college can attract students who have a wealthy family background (p. 31).

There are those who just go college to go, but than can take over a family business or something. Then their wealth comes from that. College can open doors to jobs in the areas of teaching, medicine and research though such opportunities are scarce. Bird says that studies show that very often, the work attached to the jobs is totally unrelated to their college education and this is true for architects, nurses, teachers and other professionals (p. 48). So those who go into a profession that is meant to help others, you don’t take what you learned from college into that profession, you learn throughout your working years.

This means that college education does not prepare the student for the job market. Bird is convinced that “college doesn’t make people intelligent, ambitious, happy or liberal. It’s the other way around. Intelligent, ambitious, happy, liberal people are attracted to higher education in the first place” (p. 52). Bird concludes that college education is for students who can afford money and time to read and learn and there must be alternatives provided for youngsters to have a good future. “College is a Waste of Time and Money” does give valid points in what Bird was trying to argue.

College has become more expensive for a few days of school work that may not even help you in the future and students do have the wrong perception on what college is. But a college education does have its upsides. A college education is a journey that everyone, who has the right attitude about education, should take. College prepares a student for being independent by teaching them learning skills that can be used lifelong. The values you learn, leadership and social skills that you can gain, and the character and attitude of a student is enhanced by going to college.


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