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  1. #51
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scienceresearcher View Post
    It's up to you whether or not you make the college experience worth it. You can learn as much about yourself or knowledge wise based upon what you want.

    I spent most of my undergraduate career figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. The general education portion solidified my belief in what I wanted to pursue. I hated the first few years of college because of the GEs and learning about things I didn't want/care to know but when I got to the Upper Divisions I certainly learned a lot. I became focused in my schooling and in my passions outside of the education field. I learned diligence and working hard to achieve understanding of my field but also found another way to approach and understand the external environment outside of school.

    I value school and intend on being in school for quite a while. I do think it's quite costly and I feel horrible for people who have to work full time in order to pay the bills and school.
    For every person like you at college, there are 30 like this:



    If you go in with a purpose and a drive then go for it, but if not....dont bother. We dont need more useless people who barely have a degree working in Mcdonalds.
    'One of (Lucas) Cranach's masterpieces, discussed by (Joseph) Koerner, is in it's self-referentiality the perfect expression of left-hemisphere emptiness and a precursor of post-modernism. There is no longer anything to point to beyond, nothing Other, so it points pointlessly to itself.' - Iain McGilChrist

    Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
    "Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
    Piglet was comforted by this.
    - A.A. Milne.

  2. #52
    Giggity Vie's Avatar
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    I went to college. Worked my ass off, had no fun, studied hard, slept little, volunteered quite a bit.


    I racked up some student debt, but that was my own decision and really has no effect on the argument that "college is worthless".

    I totally agree that it is though, in some instances. Just because I worked hard doesn't mean that I really learned anything of importance for the workplace, but I did learn better communication skills/life skills/people skills/blahblahblah.

    I think that some majors are definitely more important and useful than others though, so college probably is worthwhile for them.

  3. #53
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    Just read through the thread quickly and I'm feeling:

    1) Hatred towards capitalism (money just ruins everything)
    2) Pity towards US
    3) Happiness that I'm somewhere else.

    Here, in Finland, all education is practically free. My tuition fee for master's degree is around 95€ (~$120). This includes membership to student's union (discounts at various places, cheap food etc) and access to near free medical service (It costed me 3$ to have my wisdom's tooth pulled out). I also have gotten few opportunities to work in few experimental projects with Nokia and their devices. There are no sponsorship system here, students have to pass an initial examination test to get in (all though, prior excellency in grades might actually give you auto-pass, but you'd probably would have passed anyways).

    What I think of higher education:

    1) It should be free (or extremely cheap)
    2) It should try to reach as many people as possible
    3) Degrees should not be criteria for hiring people

    You see, the democratic process is heavily dependent on people being sophisticated and highly educated.

    I can't say much about the situation in the US as I have next to zero knowledge of the system there. But what I'm hearing from Obama, there's something seriously wrong with the system and he's having some good slogans ("No family should have to set aside a college acceptance letter because they don't have the money.") at least.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  4. #54
    Senior Member Hyacinth's Avatar
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    I don't think college is worthless, I just think a lot of people go into college for the wrong reasons or don't really know what they want to do for a living, or really put a lot of thought into it. I cannot wait to start school to become a paralegal, but I know I'll be employed when I graduate. I know that isn't something that happens for everyone. =/

  5. #55
    Senior Member Ism's Avatar
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    I kinda like college. I went because it seemed like the most natural thing to do post-secondary school. I'm not a mechanic, I'm not a business woman, and I'm a terrible manual laborer, and I'm not rich. Any other option just wasn't a good one. Not any of the ones I could conceive, at least.

  6. #56
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    As a university graduate I can truthfully attest, its a load of bollocks. 15yrs in the workforce and my degree was a zero value-add proposition. Well....if I'm really being honest any 'job' is a zero value-add proposition too. So why pay $$ to get one?

  7. #57
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    I think it really depends what you make of it, looking back upon it now I really have the following thoughts:-

    - College/university is not just about study, often its peoples first opportunities to live independently and be part of a community, you could, if you are fortunate about the university you choose and just, perhaps, the happenchance of the generation you happen to be part of, experience much greater community than you have before or will afterwards.

    - Consider all the extracurricular activities and clubs and societies, dont just look for parties, opportunities to hit on people, I did that to a certain extent and regret a lot of other missed opportunities now. Dont just choose those which friends are getting involved in or which you've tried before or which crafty ways to draw down money from the uni or students union (although you could try that, enough signatory members, a basic structure and enough people and you could achieve it, there was an "inflatable go kart society" at my first uni, yup, drinking club). It is probably one of the only times you'll have a chance to try fencing, a dozen martial arts, see those niche movies, go caving and potholing, bungee jump or whatever.

    All this is good on your CV because it can show that you've lived a varied existence and are not likely to disappear or be doing a lot of reckless things, getting injuried and costing a future employer days lost to sickness. It also can speak volumes about your so called soft skills and be an opportunity to develop those, are you a people person? At least are you not disagreeable and a team killer, introverts can be joiners too.

    Its also an invaluable way to network and make useful contacts for the future, build a reputation and even develop interests which could be common among your future workforce or bosses. I really wish I'd done more in this respect, I did the safe thing and stuck with one club, one group of people, one thing.

    - Canvas carefully for room mates or accomodation, dont stay stuck with someone who has turned out to be an asshat, I did that during my final block of studies at uni and it ballsed up two years of my life, especially my final year and I could have had a masters, again, instead I left with a diploma. This was someone who was interested only in alcohol and pussy and wrecked my head living with him and getting unconsciously drawn into contests or being used as an excuse, ie I'm not really an alco or womaniser if I've a wing man doing the same.

    - College/uni is time and space dedicated solely to you and your development, in every way, I very much doubt that you'll experience that sort of freedom again, exploit the hell out of that opportunity, do develop yourself in everyway, use the uni gym and all its facilities, visit the library and read all the stuff there, not even all the stuff relating to your studies or course, just all the stuff there. Hell, if you can pull it off go to lecturers you're not even meant to be at. I did that. I did that even before I went to uni. While studying at an institute before university I went to the talks put on for those studying less vocational, more academic and prestigous pathways to see what the select few and elites were being told about education which I and those like me were not, you can bet that fired me up to attend uni for one thing.

    - Universities and academia are not the real world, two of the campuses I studied at were shite, one was bleeding awesome, the history of the site alone was odd and intriguing, it has a strange concrete temple, called "The Temple", on the grounds with a long fire pit leading up to it and no one knew what the hell it was all about, we sat drinking around it one day during a "day o' drink" which was an annual event of one of the clubs and societies. I wish now I'd known more about that and made it my business to know, enlisted some of the mega clubs and societies to dialogue with the uni management to put on a righteous ceremony or something. That uni also had fantastic track and field facilies, if I was there now I'd be going in and using all that.

    - Make your actual studies as interesting as can be, use opportunities to present or write essays to do something you're really interested in, dont go for the easy A, instead write the paper which is also your manifesto and you'll not resent one single minute being spent upon it. The years have a price tag attached and that sucks, although its years dedicated to pure, unadulterated LEARNING, if you make it so. Can you feel the passion? You should, if you dont change things up some how.

    If I was able to throw caution to the wind I'd take a year on and a year, two years or whatever off studying, I'd rotation between work, even if its menial and monotaneous or even dangerous, and the life of a scholar and I'd have no regrets about it. Not a single one. Learn and live my friends, learn and live.

  8. #58
    WhoCares
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - College/university is not just about study, often its peoples first opportunities to live independently and be part of a community, you could, if you are fortunate about the university you choose and just, perhaps, the happenchance of the generation you happen to be part of, experience much greater community than you have before or will afterwards.
    Not necessarily. I was living independantly well before I started uni, and my best sense of community and excitement occurred in my early 30's when I went backpacking for 3 years. Because I was more mature than most bacpackers and had more confidence ( and money) I was able to adventure solo to really interesting places, meet locals not just backpackers and spent less time in drunken stupors. I didnt need a uni campus to enrich my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    - Consider all the extracurricular activities and clubs and societies..... It is probably one of the only times you'll have a chance to try fencing, a dozen martial arts, see those niche movies, go caving and potholing, bungee jump or whatever.
    Life doesn't end after uni. I have learnt dozens of new skills, joined many clubs etc all as an adult in the real world. In fact the social mix of clubs outside of unis are better because you meet people outside of your own generation who are often vast storehouses of knowledge. In the four decades of my life so far I've participated in...horseriding, sailing, cob building, wu shu, silversmithing, wilderness trekking and survival, photography, ceramics, motorcycle clubs, sewing, historical costuming, musicianship, guerilla gardening, writing and the list continues. Most of those occurred during my first career break at 30.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    All this is good on your CV because it can show that you've lived a varied existence and are not likely to disappear or be doing a lot of reckless things....It also can speak volumes about your so called soft skills and be an opportunity to develop those, are you a people person?
    Actually an employer can only see those things once they've met you in an interview and it will be pretty obvious at that stage if you have people skills or not. Freaky recluses totally lacking in any social graces attend uni too. In my country whether or not you've held another job for more than 6 weeks is the prime indicator of your employability as a newbie to the working game. Most people here get a part-time job at 15. Once again varied existences happen after uni too and frankly uni is not a very varied existence anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Its also an invaluable way to network and make useful contacts for the future, build a reputation and even develop interests which could be common among your future workforce or bosses. I really wish I'd done more in this respect, I did the safe thing and stuck with one club, one group of people, one thing.
    So you're saying it wasn't a great way for you to network then. I don't know about anyone else but none of my future employers were hanging out on campus, they were in offices running companies, thats here I found them. I was never once hired for my social interests or ability to race yachts against the CEO of my company. I was hired for my ability to to a job and I've never found it hard to find a high paying one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    College/uni is time and space dedicated solely to you and your development, in every way, I very much doubt that you'll experience that sort of freedom again,
    Thats completely up to you. Every 10yrs I take time out to do just this. Not my 4 weeks annual leave but a year or two in which I don't work just for the sole purpose of personal development. People who decide that personal development stops after they enter the workforce end up in deade-ebd careers slavishly paying off mortgages and debt. Living that life of quiet desperation so many fall into. Its a personal choice not a certainty.

    To be honest nothing I discovered within the hallowed halls of an institution was halfway near as interesting as what I've discovered in the real world. For $80K in tuition fees you could travel the entire world or several years picking up functional languages, cultural understandings and a great many contacts. Universities are insular places compared to the real world. My advice would be to start work early, save the pennies. If you are good with money by 25 you'd have enough to do the above returning a richer person for it and very employable. Pick up another career, work intensely for 5yrs quit, do it again. You'll have real world skills and experience employers will fall over themselves to hire.

    Its unconventional, some might call it risky but my financial stability has only been improved by doing just this. I am debt free, builing my own home mortgage free and my retirement is less than 5 yrs away. I have no regrets apart fom wasting time at uni.

  9. #59
    figsfiggyfigs
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    Yeah they're pretty worthless, unfortunately most companies only hire those with degrees.

  10. #60
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoCares View Post
    Not necessarily. I was living independantly well before I started uni, and my best sense of community and excitement occurred in my early 30's when I went backpacking for 3 years. Because I was more mature than most bacpackers and had more confidence ( and money) I was able to adventure solo to really interesting places, meet locals not just backpackers and spent less time in drunken stupors. I didnt need a uni campus to enrich my life.



    Life doesn't end after uni. I have learnt dozens of new skills, joined many clubs etc all as an adult in the real world. In fact the social mix of clubs outside of unis are better because you meet people outside of your own generation who are often vast storehouses of knowledge. In the four decades of my life so far I've participated in...horseriding, sailing, cob building, wu shu, silversmithing, wilderness trekking and survival, photography, ceramics, motorcycle clubs, sewing, historical costuming, musicianship, guerilla gardening, writing and the list continues. Most of those occurred during my first career break at 30.



    Actually an employer can only see those things once they've met you in an interview and it will be pretty obvious at that stage if you have people skills or not. Freaky recluses totally lacking in any social graces attend uni too. In my country whether or not you've held another job for more than 6 weeks is the prime indicator of your employability as a newbie to the working game. Most people here get a part-time job at 15. Once again varied existences happen after uni too and frankly uni is not a very varied existence anyway.



    So you're saying it wasn't a great way for you to network then. I don't know about anyone else but none of my future employers were hanging out on campus, they were in offices running companies, thats here I found them. I was never once hired for my social interests or ability to race yachts against the CEO of my company. I was hired for my ability to to a job and I've never found it hard to find a high paying one.



    Thats completely up to you. Every 10yrs I take time out to do just this. Not my 4 weeks annual leave but a year or two in which I don't work just for the sole purpose of personal development. People who decide that personal development stops after they enter the workforce end up in deade-ebd careers slavishly paying off mortgages and debt. Living that life of quiet desperation so many fall into. Its a personal choice not a certainty.

    To be honest nothing I discovered within the hallowed halls of an institution was halfway near as interesting as what I've discovered in the real world. For $80K in tuition fees you could travel the entire world or several years picking up functional languages, cultural understandings and a great many contacts. Universities are insular places compared to the real world. My advice would be to start work early, save the pennies. If you are good with money by 25 you'd have enough to do the above returning a richer person for it and very employable. Pick up another career, work intensely for 5yrs quit, do it again. You'll have real world skills and experience employers will fall over themselves to hire.

    Its unconventional, some might call it risky but my financial stability has only been improved by doing just this. I am debt free, builing my own home mortgage free and my retirement is less than 5 yrs away. I have no regrets apart fom wasting time at uni.
    My point wasnt that you can not find alternative ways to accomplish the same things without college, my point was that people should recognise how to use the college years or experience better than they do and that it is not worthless. I'm sorry that it seems like you had such a negative experience of university, good to hear that you've had counter balancing or surpassing experiences since. I dont believe it is a case of either or but I know that the variety and community at UCD the year I was in attendence has been unsurpassed since, and I've been seriously looking, perhaps its a context or culture specific thing which has caused this.

    So far as opportunities for career breaks go, I have one, my employer offers one, and I've always kept it on the back burner should I need it in a crisis rather than as an opportunity for study again or travel, I worry about how I'd react to the death of one or both of my parents.

    In the corporate structures in which I work, and it is a single structure unless I move within the UK or regionally, which I dont really care to do, breaks, sickness, protracted leave are seriously frowned upon and it can damage prospects or even security of employment. I personally dont see a problem with servicing debt and paying off mortgages, a lot of people do it and accept and live within limits instead of seeking a dreamt of freedom and finding only insecurity and a range of menial, temporary and unrewarding jobs which barely cover their living expenses.

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