Caroline Bird's College Is a Waste of Time and Money

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In her article “College Is a Waste of Time and Money”, Caroline Bird attempts to pursued her readers that colleges are overflowing with students who don’t belong there. Her article first appeared in Psychology Today (May 1975). Since this material is outdated, I find it hard to believe that most of the responses by students and parents quoted in the article still hold true. The author has set out to pursue the readers that college is a bad and unnecessary choice for today’s youth. Yet the author holds a bachelors and a masters degree from two different universities. I would think that if she thought college was really a bad choice and a waste of time and money, she would not have gone back to get her masters degree.

I am a college student myself and there were only two things in the whole article that I was in agreement with. One was that colleges try to market themselves. The other was her paragraph on how Americans are looking less and less for great paying jobs and are looking more for job that they like doing. This unfortunately is also a contradiction to her piece of writing, because college prepares, and helps you get a job that you will enjoy. Furthermore, the author’s main ideas were not well thought out or well supported. An example of this might be her money investment idea. She implies that if an eighteen year old invested his/hers college tuition money in a bank, and kept it there till he/she was sixty-four, they would be twice as rich as those who go to school, graduate and work in their field of study. What she fails to mention is that while their money is gathering interest, it can not be touched till their sixty-four, and in the mean time they have to be making a living in another job which they probably hate doing. Overall, Bird’s attempt to pursue her readers that college is a waste of time did not work on me.

Students are in colleges because they are told to, or because they still want to be financially depend on their parents and not have to worry about growing up to face the real world. The author in her article writes such ideas. Furthermore, since colleges became a big industry in the 60’s, and now the number of people attending has fallen, colleges use marketing skills to bring more students in. They try to make college sound as easy as possible to make more people register. Students, once in college are not happy and drop out,...

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...hat parents want a better and easier way of life for their kids. My parents send me to college so that I could make more money doing an easier job than they have to do, because they lack a college diploma. She feels that eighteen-year-olds should make their own choice whether to go to college or not. I think that when a person is eighteen, they are too young to make their own decisions. I know this from my own experience. If I had a freedom of choice when I was eighteen, I would not be writing this critique, because I would not be in college. But now that I have grown up and did some thinking I want to stay and get my degree. I feel that kids should at least try college, learn and see a couple of things and then decide whether they should stay or go. Generally, parents without a college education are the ones who put the most emphasis on their kids going to college and making something of themselves, in order to have a better life then they had. The author then goes on to challenge her own ideas by saying that college does prepare you for a job that you actually might like doing, and that is what most Americans want. So then would not college be a good choice for most Americans?

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