College: The Good, The Bad, and The Debt-Ridden


Photo by: Lauren Dedvukaj

Adam Garfinkle signs onto Common App in preparation for applying to colleges.

Lauren Dedvukaj, Staff Writer

Anticipation for fall is at an all time high this time of year. Maybe it’s the fact that fall weather has been replaced with 80 degree days in mid-September or that seniors have been completing college application essays since the day they were released. Lunch room conversations have transitioned from immature junior discussions about whatever was on TV the night before to examinations of every college within a 300 mile radius.

Seniors these days are easily confused with fortune tellers, considering their recently developed skill of predicting acceptances. Upperclassmen have been consumed by the idea that their futures will shatter if they do not get into their so-called “dream school.”

It is great to strive for great things, but there is a universal pressure on students that they are defined by what schools they get into. Students seem to neglect the fact that they will receive the same degree as someone from a lesser known school.

The biggest problem with the public education system is the imperative future of a  prestigious four-year university. Students have been groomed since a young age with standardized tests and Common Core requirements with one goal in mind: getting into college. In this day and age, the name of a university is surrounded with so much discussion. Positive connotations are only attached to colleges that leave people thousands upon thousands of dollars in debt. The average student loan debt for current and future college graduates is more than ever before; this should definitely be a factor when thinking about which college to attend. Do people really want to be successful, or do they just want to brag at high school reunions about the great college that has left them in a mountain of debt?

Of course, it is hard to believe expensive top name schools do not result in automatic prosperity, but excellent, lesser-known institutions are cast to the side too soon. Going to a certain college does not guarantee a student will be successful; it is a tool. How students use their college degree is the real determinate as to how triumphant their futures will be.

Sometimes, of course, college is not a perfect fit for people. Success should not be attached to just big name schools; there are plenty of other paths to take after graduating high school. Trade school, for example, is cost efficient and prepares high school graduates for the workforce. Oftentimes, students can become certified in a trade by the time they receive their high school diploma, and it can range from cosmetology to things like welding. This provides jobs almost immediately after graduating high school. Graduates of trade school are offered high paying jobs almost instantly. This option appeals to many because of the lack of student loan debt and the fact that people can jump right into a job they love.

Hopefully, the Senior Class can take a breath and enjoy the soon to be fall weather. Surely, they will realize the stress they are facing is unnecessary; wherever the Senior Class wants to go, whatever they want to do, they will be ready to take on any and all challenges.