My Opinion

What’s doable and not … look inward

I graduated high school in June 1961 and went to work (actually went looking for a job; didn’t find one until November).

A few years later it dawned on me I should go to college so I started at night. That lasted a year. I became frustrated taking required courses of zero interest or need; I quit.

In May 1968 I was called into the army. In August 1969 I obtained an early out to attend college, it required I attend the equivalent of full time. By that time I was married and needed to work full time as well. So I worked full time, attended school two evenings a week and all day Saturday.

In July 1970 our first child was born, October 1971 #2, May 1974 #3 and September 1975 #4. By this time we had moved and I was still attending school three nights a week. I traveled from work to school to home and at 6 am back to work. There were days I never saw the kids. At times it wasn’t an easy nine years, but I don’t recall whining to a politician or the press how hard it was to work, go to school and raise a family. I and millions of others just did it.

Finally, in 1978 I obtained a degree, a piece of paper society and my employer said was necessary, but in fact had not one thing to do with my job and which taught me virtually nothing I hadn’t learned in high school. I know that’s not everyone’s experience, but it’s mine. How was this paid for? VA benefits, some employer tuition benefits and with my money.

For the next 32 years I worked, got promotions, increased my income and obtained a real education in the process.

In 2019 all we hear is student debt, forgive student loans, I have to work while going to school 😢, this couple accumulated $700,000 in student loans in quest of the American Dream.

Neither a college “education” nor making it free nor wiping out loans will lead to success. There is no magic wand. The people who complain today will always complain, about their job, their life and their lack of getting their fair share.

We need to evaluate what we teach in high school, why it takes four years for a degree, what jobs truly require a four or more year degree, why college costs what it does and what alternative forms of training and education can better serve the needs of the majority of people and our 21st century society.

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2 replies »

  1. I propose a new college entrance exam. You must successfully balance a checkbook and make an amortization table of your student loans and then write an essay or a business plan on how to pay the loan back using proven realistic facts of actual going wages and number of job openings.

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  2. I agree however the curriculum should include how to budget, information on 401K’s ,how to invest, credit cards , what variable rates mean, credit scores, none of which are taught in school and one has to learn by trial and error on most of those topics. Getting a person ready for a job and the responsibilities of being on one’s own is all too hard for these kids of today plus they are strapped immediately with Student loan debt. . I agree with you that what is taught is not necessary in some cases, bur instead of basic English, History, government that most students are required to take, they need to include some of the above mentioned in order to prepare these graduating students how to handle everyday responsibilities who haven’t the foggiest idea nor are they prepared when getting into the working world and being on their own. In the many jobs I have had over the years, none are the same and on the job training is a must in most cases.

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