UNITED STATES—We talk about it all the time: can you actually put a price on a college education. Is it worth the price that you pay? What do you actually learn in college? Why does it cost so much? I recently caught an episode of “Real Time With Bill Maher” where he discussed this issue. Education is a complicated issue. We’re constantly told the more education you have the more opportunities you have, but at the same time it is no guarantee people. Hell, some of your most successful people in the world did not go to college so you really cannot argue that point can you?

Guess it depends on who you’re talking to. For me personally, I think college was important because it did open up opportunities for me and I made the best of those opportunities. I do believe without a college education I wouldn’t be in the current career niche that I am in. However, people don’t always maximize opportunity and push themselves to their fullest potential as well.

My big issue is the cost of college. It is DOWNRIGHT, ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! You pay too much to sit in a classroom, read a book and be lectured for 2-3 hours and the professors half the time are not even doing half of the teaching. I had some professors who were fantastic and delivered top-notch educational skills; however, there were others who I cannot recall a name or a single thing I learned in the classroom. Why do I have to take humanities courses when I’m focused on learning to become a doctor? How about environmental science? Why do I need that as a theatre major?

Truth be told you do not need to do this and why the universities do this is simple: to make money. A traditional college requires 2 years of university requirements that you must take that the university deems worthy of producing top tier graduates. Most college students and college graduates want to focus solely on their major and I couldn’t wait till I started taking courses in my major because I was passionate about it and it reflected in my grades.

When you’re doing what you love it reflects in your performance not just in the classroom, but in the work environment also America. If you hate the course you’re taking you’re going to do the bare bones minimum and it is going to reflect in your grades as a result. In addition, you or your parents lose out on money. A 3 to 4 credit course is not cheap. At my university it was $600 for a 3 credit course nearly 20 years ago, now it is nearly $3k to $4k. Major difference people, major difference and for what to load the pockets of the university who never give back to the students who keep them operating.

So many of my pals graduated from college and guess what? Couldn’t find a job or found themselves stuck in jobs where the pay was so minute they absolutely questioned the $40k they just spent for a piece of paper and I would be pissed to. I’m paying all this money under the guise of being ‘guaranteed’ a decent paying job that never happens or comes to fruition that is no easy pill to swallow America. Here comes the question about the price of a college education.

Couldn’t you spend that time just focusing your energy on doing the thing or things that you’re passionate about? Getting an apprenticeship in your field of interest or just taking a risk and swinging for the best possible outcome? Some would argue with the latter and I’m inclined to agree those 4 years in the classroom, you could be utilizing that time actually working and pursing actual interest. It will create drive and that drive is ultimately going to help you see the results you want to see instead of delaying actual action because you’re in the classroom doing what we are told works and it is no actual guarantee.

Written By Zoe Mitchell