Is College Worth The Effort?

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Is College Worth The Effort?

"College has been a total waste of your time and money!"

Imagine telling that to a student who just finished four years of hard, grueling, expensive work; or, even worse, a parent who paid for their child to finish that same grueling work. But, in some ways, that statement can’t be any further from the truth. College can prepare a student for life in so many more ways than for a career. However, in the way that college is supposed to prepare soon-to-be-productive students, that statement could be right on. As a student myself, I’ve found college to be a little bit of both. I often find myself asking, "How will this help me later in life?" But, then again, college gives me more control over my life and where I want it to go. In trying to figure out what exactly made college like this, and whether the way I felt was felt by others as well, I interviewed an Anthropology teacher at Las Positas College, Mr. Toby Coles, and I examined an essay by Caroline Bird called College is a Waste of Time and Money. The two sources offered interesting views from both side of the spectrum.

While interviewing Mr. Coles, I found I tended to agree with him on several of his points. Mr. Coles summed up himself, and how I feel, quite simply: "College gives you options." Unlike high school, you’re not required to fulfill a certain number of units in one year. If you have other plans for your life, you can accommodate those while going to school. But, that applies not only while you’re in college, but also when you get out of college. "Life’s about choices," Mr. Coles continued, "it’s about having choices. You come to critical points in your life where decisions have to be made, hopefully you have some options...[...

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...of the basic purposes of education: career preparation." I don’t agree with this at all. I think that college should really be a little of both. Obviously you go to college to get a degree, which starts you in a career, so that’s the career preparation part of it. But, there’s also so much more to college that helps you with later in life.

Both views that Caroline Bird and Mr. Toby Coles had on what college does for a student are opposing, but both are interesting. I don’t feel that college has been a waste of my time or money. At least not yet.

Works Cited

Bird, Caroline. "College is a Waste of Time and Money." The Norton Reader: An Anthology of Expository Prose. 9th ed. Ed. Linda H. Peterson et. al. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1996. 481-490.

Coles, Flournoy "Toby", Anthropology Teacher, Las Positas College. Personal Interview. 19 April, 1999
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