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Is College Really Worth It?

Our society has changed a lot over the years: we charge our phones more than we sleep, we have access to news articles with the tap of a finger and we learn how to hack into free Wifi sooner than we memorize our times tables. Our way of life is insanely fast-paced, changing day by day, and shows no indication of slowing down. It’s no surprise that, in a society where one can learn from a computer screen easier than from a teacher, there have been a lot debates about the education system.

Centennials, Generation Z, whatever you want to call us, are beginning to break out into the world. We are the new millennials. We will further populate New York, protest from our laptops and advocate for safe spaces until they are universally available. We were born with a phone in hand and we are not afraid to publish our voices and connect the world. But the question we can’t seem to shake, is whether college is worth it.

We have been raised from the gecko to get good grades, to receive a scholarship, to graduate from college and go on to a successful occupation to provide for a family. But all we hear about are the student debts we will be paying well into our career, the competitive nature of any college worth attending, the dangerous and exciting lifestyle and the unfamiliarity of independence.

So is college really worth it? The short answer: yes. And no.

Many students end up borrowing money in the form of a student loan, this money will have to be paid back at a later time. If you plan to become a Neurosurgeon, you may be able to pay off the debt within ten years of work; however, many teachers or businessmen are saddled with debt well into adulthood. So is college worth it?

Yes: College provides us with means necessary to succeed and the opportunity to learn alongside those in the same boat. Instead of being thrust into an aggressive and competitive world the minute we graduate high school, we can use college to further our education in the field of our choice. We have a chance to learn how to be independent, gradually, and meet people who will become long-term companions.

Granted, it’s hard to buy into the idea of college while article after article features a successful entrepreneur who was a college dropout. The truth is, while there are diamonds in the rough and astounding cases do occur, most people need college to become successful. It’s like a roadmap, just a rough sketch of which direction you should be headed. Several students get disheartened after looking at one college; but just because one college doesn’t work for you, doesn’t mean none will. Colleges operate just like cities: big or small, rural or urban, where you live all depends on what best suits your lifestyle.

No: Not everyone is meant for college. Some people are blessed to know exactly where they want to go in life and sometimes, college isn’t a part of that plan. Others, because of the financial position the education system places them in, aren’t able to afford a higher education. But this does not make them any less of a person. These people can be the most gifted and talented people in the world, everyone deserves respect.

All in all, don’t be discouraged by YouTubers who never have to attend school again, or Movie Stars who receive their education from private tutors in between takes. Everyone has their calling, college can be a wonderful place to find yours, but so can many other places in this world. The key is to get out there, explore what other places have to offer and decide what works for you.

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Ariel Zedric is a student at Tufts University. When she's not studying, you can find her wandering around on her blog at arielzedric.wordpress.com. Contact via email at ariel.zedric@gmail.com or on Twitter or Instagram @arielzedric

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