Re: Why is the idea that every kid should go to college so prevalent when for many it seems like it makes them no more employable and just replaces four years of earnings with four years of college debt?

Because the end of education is not employability. The end of education is the wise use of leisure.

theredditerguy – Please tell me you went to college.

I did, yes, but I did not like what I saw. The highest paid, tenured professors were clearly suffocating from all the bureaucratic red tape and had no time to explore what interested them in their subjects in the first place, for fear of cutting into their professional and teaching responsibilities. I heard the same thing from top illustrators and video-game artists (a career path I was considering all throughout college), and at some point I decided that I was not going to allow a job control my passions like that. I was very disillusioned.

Believe me, although I was able to do quite a bit of soul-searching in those four years, I felt like I was wasting an enormous amount of time and money, but I didn’t know how to do any better. The best education I got, which was indeed spent by myself in the library (occasionally in lieu of some particularly dreadful classes), taught me how to do much better with my time and money. It’s really a difficult question to answer, whether I could have done this without paying for tuition. It was a very chaotic path that I took to get to where I’m at now, but I like where I’m at. A linear path, on the other hand, is very dangerous–it means that very little exploration was done, and that’s what a career path sounds like to me.

I now happily work as support staff in a restaurant (busser/food-runner/barback), and don’t see any reason to aspire to higher-paying jobs. I am convinced that I make better use of my expendable income and free time than if I had a job that paid me millions of dollars a year. And I attribute this to the freedom that I had in those four years to explore my options, and avoid any serious pitfalls. In the long run, the money you could’ve earned from age 18-22 is going to look very pitiful if you look back at it decades later and regret how that money (and your free time) was spent.

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