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Should I Go To College?

Should I Go To College?

 

I started college right out of high school. I was 18 at the time, and unsure of what I wanted to do with my life. There were no particular interests of mine that fit the mold college offered at the time. I just wanted to explore life. So I bs’d through my first year, ended up not going back and finishing until my 30s.

I worked many different jobs throughout my 20s, cleaned oil tanks, valet parked for a high rise of wealthy people, did HVAC in an apprenticeship, did things I wasn’t supposed to do. So when I went back in my 30s with more clear eyes (no more smoking weed or drinking) I was finally able to commit to finishing and doing well.

That’s not to say that it was necessarily completely worth it. What I do now did not really require any college degree. The astrological, business, investing knowledge I’ve gotten has been from my own studies, research, and attending seminars. This question is a deep question for young adults now and the stakes are high. You might be asking yourself …should I go to college?

 

Loans And Debt

 

Debt is crushing young adults, millennials. I don’t have to give you the numbers, you might be reading this right now under a mountain of debt. I did not have to go into debt for college, my brother did, I  was fortunate enough not  to have to. But if I had to go into debt to go? I wouldn’t have.

I rather not be in debt than to go. Student debt is an economic catastrophe that is waiting to explode: Student Loan Stats/

45 million people with student loan debt amounting to 1.56 trillion dollars. 45 million people is about 1/6th of the entire population and 1/3rd of the entire adult population. Clearly, this isn’t sustainable.

And it seems there is no end or relief in sight.  The financial portion of this hits different demographics much harder than others on top of it. So It may not be the best move to haphazardly take out a loan in a field you’re not sure you want to pursue.

Vision

 

What do you want to be when you grow up… I remember getting this question as a child. I said bus driver because I could travel everywhere, then I said archeologist, and as children our wants are fleeting. They change day by day.

There are many examples of families and cultures where the career path is laid out already for the children. I like to always point to strong patriarchal figures that produced children and had their path already laid out. Richard Williams, the father of Tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams, along with their mother, already knew what path they wanted for their girls. Now they’re wealthy Tennis legends who have enough money to support their bloodlines for generations.

Floyd Mayweather Jr. has a pro boxer father and uncles who raised him to be an elite prizefighter, and it turns out he’s one of the wealthiest pro athletes in sports history. Kobe Bryant was brought up in a similar situation, his father laid out the path for him.

In many different cultures, the parents choose your career field for you, and you must do it.  Or there are parents that run a family business or have a trade they want their children to take part in to pass it on. I think to have parents like this is a blessing and saves young people from themselves.

If you’re in a situation where your path is laid out for you, and you’re entering a field where money and security will pay off those loans. A situation where your father or mother is a doctor or surgeon so there is a common culture around that career path and support system in that field… by all means follow their direction. Then the loans aren’t as frivolous.

My father was a musician and mother was a music teacher. My brother and I were pushed towards music but not in the same way as a Richard Williams or Floyd Mayweather Sr pushed their children.  So I didn’t pursue music, even though I took piano lessons when I was little.

So there is much confusion from young people about their direction, and I believe they prematurely take loans out to go because college to them, and often their parents, is a panacea.

Go To College If…

 

There are situations where I believe that it’s wise to go to college and may be fruitful to take loans out. Hard sciences, STEM, engineering, are all in demand. If you find something that has a solid career path, by all means go hard.  This is the mistake most people make. No plan, no direction, take out a loan and go to college.

NOT SMART

Saddled with debt and no career prospects. Tough spot to be in.

Don’t let it be you.

If you have the previously mentioned career path lined up for you by parents, family, or just have a clear trajectory through a hard science field, once you’re done you can always change things up. You can work in a good job, save, invest, get out of debt, and if you decide it’s not what you want, you always have that to fall back on.

 

What You Can Do Instead

 

If you’re not sure what you want to do, it’s definitely best not to take out a loan for a degree with questionable career prospects. Staying out of debt is critical.

You’re probably thinking “what do I do with my life if I’m not in college”.

Work (and Invest)

Find Interships  ( You can gain a lot of experience this way and actually sell your knowledge, or do consulting)

Apprenticeships and Trade Schools

Start Your Own Online Business

Read:

Why You Need To Start An Online Business Today

Read this article and determine ways that you can contribute and provide value. You’d be surprised at what value you can provide people.  While you’re gaining these experiences and maturing, what you don’t want to do, and what you want to do will begin to crystallize.

We don’t truly reach adulthood until 30-31 (Saturn Return- Astrological right of passage). So that whole decade of your 20s  is meant for exploration, trial and error, self-evaluation IF you don’t have a predetermined path.

We don’t realize it while we’re young, we think parents are trying to control us and boss us around, but really it’s because they know the path chosen for you works already. They want to see you succeed and do well. Those of us who have to go through trial and error need time to make mistakes. Even if your path was chosen you’re going to make mistakes.

And the first mistake we can all avoid is not undertaking massive debt.

 

  • Go If you have a clear path
  • If you don’t look into alternatives
  • DO NOT take out loans without a clear path

 

What is your own experience with college? Did you go right out of high school? Take on debt? Share your story below.

 

 

 

 

 

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