Will school pay itself off after graduation?

Have you ever thought that maybe paying for an education won’t pay itself off in the future? I do every time I go to pay for my semester’s tuition.

Looking at the amount of money I owe in loans makes me want to cry. Especially when I don’t even know what job I want.

I have taken a variety of classes over my three years here at Gannon and I enjoyed them for the most part. A few made me question why exactly I have to take this class or how it will benefit me for the future, but I have definitely broadened my educational horizons.

I am only 20 years old. How could I possibly know what I want to be doing for the rest of my life? But then again, who really does?

I think about my parents when they were my age and I wonder if they knew. If I truly think, I can see that they really didn’t. So does that make it OK for me to not know?

In this current job market, I am not sure if uncertainty is something our generation will have the luxury of experiencing. Our parents are, for the most part, still working when we finish school. If they are still working, where are we supposed to work?

If we have no place to work, how are we going to pay off grants and loans? Working for minimum wage at a McDonalds? I have applied there several times and it’s harder to get a job there than you might think.

I did, however, have a job back in Canada over the summer, where I basically did all the work the higher paid employees didn’t want to do. And I am completely OK with it because I was lucky enough to even have a summer job in the first place.

I fixed street names for the municipalities in Ontario for 7.25 hours a day, five days a week and obviously, as a journalism communication major, it had nothing to do with my field of study.

But this summer job allowed me to only have enough to pay for one semester of school.

Even if I could work in the United States and get enough hours during the school year to pay for the second semester, would I truly be getting the education I paid for?

I don’t understand how some students get their homework done and have time to work two jobs. Bravo to those who can do that. I don’t have a life as it is playing lacrosse, taking classes and working for the paper. I couldn’t imagine work on top of all that.

So this leads me back to my main question: does a college education have value for me in the future? Of course having a degree gives you a leg up on your competition in the work world, but who doesn’t have a degree anymore?

Now it feels as though even a bachelor’s degree isn’t enough and if other students are seeing this too, then I am going to be living like a poor college student when I am out of college.

Don’t get me wrong. I am extremely grateful that I am even allowed and able to have the opportunity to get a college education; I am just worried that it’s not going to pay for itself in the end.

BECKY HILKER

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