Is A College Degree The End All To Success

Camila Gonzalez, Sports Editor

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For four years of our lives we spend eight hours a day for five days behind a desk, preparing ourselves not for the real world, but for college. If going to college is one of the school’s top priorities does that mean being ready for the real world isn’t as important? We don’t get told why we should go to college, only that we should go.

47 percent of Americans say the purpose of college is to teach work-related skills while 39 percent say it is to help a student grow personally and intellectually.

College was once seen as a place where people would go to explore what they wanted to do for their life’s work, to discover what interests and passions they want to pursue. Now though, it’s a place that students feel obligated to go to.

“It was set into me since I was a child that I had to go to college and I don’t see another option,” Itzelth Gamboa, senior, said. “I feel like if I didn’t go, since I’ve been so set on going, I feel like I would be a failure.”

We aren’t taught that college is a choice, it’s something we must do, and it is the only way to get where you want. Many students often ask themselves what makes it so important or what the point of it is and the truth is we aren’t taught this. We leave to college with no real sense of what we want to do or how to really get there.

Jesus Aguilera, junior attending middle college, believes college is the only way of reaching his goals.

“I want to go to college to become an architect, but then it’s also more of studying because to become something better you have to study and it’s pretty hard.” Aguilera said. “I could try doing things on my own but it wouldn’t be as great as it would be going through classes in college.”

The latest data shows that just 40 percent of Americans have finished an associate’s degree or above, while an additional 22 percent attended some college but failed to graduate.

“One of my teachers have actually already told me ‘get used to the fact that you’re going to fail a class in college’ and he didn’t directly say it to me, he said it to the whole class, but it really affected me because you know, failing is never something someone wants to do and to do it in college after I’ve been trying so hard not to fail in high school, that’s insane.” Gamboa said.

Most career choices require a college degree and that’s the only thing students understand from being told college is a good thing.

“Currently I am a Plant Biology major and I  want an emphasis in botany and ecology and in order to obtain a research job I need credentials that prove I’m qualified.” said Natalie Saavedra, MVHS alumni and freshman at UCR. “College is the only way I can obtain these credentials”

The decision of going to college is an intricate one which a student only has 4 years to choose.

“It’s not that there’s no point in going to college, it’s that we’re maybe miseducating students on what that point is.” Mrs. Reyes, English teacher, said.  “It’s seen as more of an obligatory stepping stone as opposed to another step in the journey of awakening oneself to their individual passions and abilities.”