8 Reasons To Go To University
#1
There's no doubt that a post-secondary education is something that has not lived up to what our parents promised us. "Go to college," they said, "Have amazing opportunities as a result," they promised.

Saddled with $40K of debt when I graduated (despite working 10-20 hours per week during school semesters and every summer, Christmas holiday season and spring break), I've certainly looked for good reasons to advice others to reconsider whether a bachelor degree was something they really needed. It definitely sucks getting out of school and feeling like finishing that degree has given you absolutely no edge at all over high school students.

In fact, there's a very good chance that this could happen to you. It did to me. After graduating with my Bachelor of Arts degree, I decided to explore the Canadian job market and applied to 50 jobs (in 2014). I got invited to 3 interviews and the only one that offered me a job was the retail sales location looking for part-time staff. All the other people at the "group interview" were literally still in high school.

So, I went overseas. It wasn't much better, but it was definitely better.

It would obviously be understandable were I to regret the decision to pursue (and finish) a degree, but actually I do not at all. If I could do it all over again, there's a number of things I would have done differently. However, I'm glad that I went through that experience for a number of reasons. While some are specific and personal to me, some of the more general ones follow, in order of significance.

1. Having a 4 year university degree is often a requirement for work visas in other countries.

I would not have been able to do much of what I've done in China without having a degree. Sure, I could have made up a fake diploma, but they've started doing checks for that. The degree will probably come in handy for getting me working credentials overseas (and perhaps for an immigration application someday) regularly in the future as my career progresses.

2. I had so many experiences that I would have been unlikely to have replace with comparative experiences.

I'm not sure why 4 years is apparently the magic number for how many years of post-secondary education you need (in fact, in a lot of countries, 3 years do still exist). So, I'm not going to argue that people need precisely four years of college-style social and work experiences following high school, but the university campus is a unique place that brings an extreme variety of people and opportunities into one place.

If I had a son that was not planning on going to university (and I'd hardly think that he should consider it mandatory to do so), I'd strongly encourage him to spend some time living near a college that was open to non-student participation in clubs (or audit a class each semester so that those doors would be open to him).

I'm not sure I'd recommend the same to a daughter, but I'd certainly encourage a son to do so. A college environment is a great place to try new things, meet people that you never meet otherwise and just expand your horizons. Can you do this without spending time on a college campus? Sure, but it would require a lot more effort and simply would not be as efficient.

3. On-campus job opportunities sometimes allow students to take on positions that they would otherwise never be offered at their age.

This was certainly true for me. After 3 semesters working a lame job in a dining hall, I applied for a position as a campus safety officer. This job offered me a lot more responsibility than I would have been trusted with in most off-campus jobs I could have gotten at that point in my life. I got to work with absolute professionals who served as supervisors and was able to really improve my people skills in the process. Plus, I have some great stories to tell.

All in all, the experience of having this job was more valuable than the courses I took.

4. It'll force you to study things you would otherwise avoid.

I waited till my last semester to take my required geology course because I had zero interest in the subject. It ended up being one of my favourite classes. I took a class on Christian revelation about halfway through my time as a student that I only signed up for because it was the last course available to fulfill a specific liberal arts requirement and it ended up completely changing my life. Heck, I actually thought the course was about the Book of Revelations, which as it turns out, it wasn't.

5. A lot of professors are absolutely brilliant. Being able to have they poke holes in your assumptions is an absolute privilege.

Honestly, I have a lot of problems with the way education is delivered. If I was a university president who didn't need to worry about staying accredited, there's a lot of things I would do that would go against the grain.

For example, I think lectures are a waste of time. Lectures can be recorded. Documentaries by experts in their field would be even better. I think that professor's time should be spent engaging in debate and discussion with students. Some of the most meaningful academic moments I had during university was sitting down in a professor's office and having him shoot holes in what in an argument that five minutes earlier, I'd thought foolproof.

6. Giving you credit for learning.

It's absolutely true that you can learn a lot at a cost of $1.26 in library fines, but the career world, while it will give you credit for any skills you can demonstrate proficiency in and/or a respectable portfolio, it's basically impossible to get resume credit for reading one-hundred books, even if it makes a vastly better person and more capable employee. Just imagine putting your annual reading list on your CV. It could be something to mention at a job interview if it is relevant, but otherwise, you're not going to get an advantage during a job search for being well read.

Getting a bachelor degree (even one on liberal arts, of the horror!) is pretty much the only way to give your resume a sizable boost simply for being well read.

I understand that this isn't the strongest argument for getting a uni degree, nor does it justify the debt likely incurred in the process, but it is a nice added bonus.

7. Girls.

Duh.

8. Access to very expensive tech.

If you study sciences, even just a few courses worth, you'll in all likelihood get to play with or at least see results produced with multimillion dollar equipment. For example, in my required introduction to biology course, we got to run strips of onion through a machine with millions that extracted the DNA. Very cool. Not as iconic as taking a helicopter flight or as inspirational as conquering a world-class mountain peak, but still something you'll remember doing that will make seemingly unapproachable elements of science real to you.
Reply
#2
I respectively disagree to a degree suits. One of the very few reasons why I would go to secondary education is networking in an Ivy League setting and even that is questionable (ie elite parent bribery scandal, etc). If I could live my life all over again I wouldn't have gone. 

It'll force you to study things you would otherwise avoid.
This is a weak argument. When I went to college I had a course on houses. I'm not using that information and a simple web search will help me learn more about houses. Some of these classes cost thousands, is anybody really that lazy that they can't go to the library or youtube information? I'm on the side of learn topics that relate to your career not mandatory Gen Eds that extract money from you. 

[b]A lot of professors are absolutely brilliant. Being able to have they poke holes in your assumptions is an absolute privilege.[/b]
I had a professor that discriminated against me. He was a IMF supporting blowhard. As if taxing our citizens to bail out the terrible life choices non-Americans make is a feasible option. Some of these "intellectual powerhouses" will melt and therefore penalize you if you point out politically incorrect statistics. 

Girls
If you go to college for girls you're making a terrible choice. You're better off living in Vegas and partying instead of juggling school and girls. There are other things wrong with just going to college for girls but you'll have to figure that one out since some people here have called me out on getting political. 

Other options
Altucher stated other options like traveling the world (you can still get laid traveling) and watching a new movie every day. These are better and cheaper options.
Reply
#3
Going to Vegas and partying is not the same game experience as being in college at all. Theres just nothing comparable to big frat/house parties, that are available to you 2-3 times a week, anywhere else in the world. Particularly once you know loads of people at each party. Its just absolutely amazing fun. And I've yet to find anywhere else on the planet that has a higher concentration of hot, decent personality, women than big Southern sororities in the US.

Intellectually college should dramatically improve anyone who goes too. To graduate from any decent college, regardless of what major you do, requires developing a hell of a lot more critical thinking and analytical skills than most people would otherwise have at 22.

Its also absolutely a requirement for most decent white collar jobs to get your CV even looked at these days to have an undergrad degree. For a lot of jobs a masters is now the requirement.

If my kids or younger cousins didn't go to college I'd tell them they were missing out on one of the best experiences in their life - I'd do everything in my power to convince them to go. Whether its for girls, partying, making friends, intellectual growth, or just for the vastly improved post-college career prospects. There are just so many positives.
Reply
#4
You're better off using that 100k to invest in something like learning affiliate marketing instead of student loans. Build up your online business and move abroad. I hardly got laid in college, but when I made money and travelled abroad (no thanks to my college degree) things changed.

I agree that college is good if you're looking into a field that REQUIRES a degree, like being a doctor or lawyer. Studying something like business in college is a waste of time though, unless you're getting a free ride or have plenty of disposable income and genuinely want to learn.
Reply
#5
I think uni is for some and not for others.

1)OK degrees and visas, yes. But some visas can be obtained for vocational skills whereas, I don't think any country allows immigration for a fresh graduate. Other than say English teaching and stuff.

3)Yes unis are good employers for fresh grads/undergrads.

2)Yes good opportunities, but there are other opportunities for non grads.

4)More applicable for the US than other places. In Britain we are forced to choose "our whole life" at 17... and often regret it til 65.
(OK you can change career but thats a different matter).

5)Some are brilliant and inspirational and even become good friends.
My course had one of the  biggest names in the common law legal system. Law lords would consult him for advice.
Only thing was, he was a truly obnoxious man, an alcoholic, a sleazeball and much else. I always thought he was a bit of a tin god. Any idiot can leanr the law over decades like he did. Its not like he was some scientific genius.

6) You get a nice piece of paper. But whats the use if employers sneer at it?

7)My uni was largely fat pigs who dressed as frumpily and shittily as they could.
Yes most were easy. But market forces made it harder to tap hot ones.
I found "townies" ie local non student girls to be far better quality.
_______________________________________________________________

In school I was very academically focussed. I had the grades to go to Oxbridge. But went to a law school just below instead ( I didn't suck up to teachers so my recommendation letters weren't great _ I'd need  to take a year off to reaply so I didn't bother).
After uni, I found my degree would have got me a law job (which I found rather boring). But any prestige job was largely filled by "old school tie"/nepotism and other forms of corruption/sleaze. So was a degree worthwhile to me, as one of the very top ones academically? Nope I think it was a huge waste of 3 (or more!) years.  Infact having a "good" degree was even harmful when applying for some jobs.

Ultimately I set up my own business and never looked back. Altho it did mean I was short of cash while the business took off. My degree? Absolutely zero use in it all. I'd already learnt any skills by the age of 18.

So if a degree was a waste for me, I dread to think how much of a waste it might be for someone who is less academic. And my uni debts were pretty minor. I can't imagine it with 50, 100k or more of debt!

I think uni for many is a con. Call it an "ambition tax". Its a commodity and nothing more, often sold by some of the sleaziest organisations you'll ever come across. Its a promise of everything and for so many, the delivery of nothing. Degree courses should have health warnings attached. But... for some, college is ideal.
Reply
#6
BelyyTigr I do agree that career wise university isn't always the best option for everyone. Some people just aren't academically inclined - and thats entirely fair. We have too much negative stigma in the English speaking world about jobs like mechanics, electricians etc. In a lot of Europe they're not looked down upon quite so much, which is a lot better for kids who don't like schoolwork but are more hands-on. Starting your own business though is not a route most people can successfully do. For most average middle class kids they're going to need to have that college degree to get their foot in the door of a standard white collar office job.

Your post also doesn't really touch on a lot of the social benefits of university - did you not make lifelong male friends from it? Did you not go traveling every summer during the long holidays? Did you not go to lots of big uni house parties, class trips to foreign countries, uni ski trips etc?

This even aside from women/game - I know you say your uni was "largely fat pigs", but thats extremely unusual. In general universities have by far the best concentration of talent of anywhere in the West.
Reply
#7
Great post.

University was a experience when I went for many of the reasons you listed, and I wish I would've gotten more out of it when I was there. I had the great fortune to graduate without debt in the mid 2000's before things started weird. I can't imagine how it is now with social media.

The 8 reasons are good and one thing I would add: Proximity to energetic, relatively smart and open-minded peers of the same age. 

While a lot of uni students may be fairly closed-minded on some of the dogmas of the age, there are also a good number of people there who have enthusiasm and openness to experience in many other areas of life. Being around that energy is special and is hard to replicate. You can kind of get it with travel and meeting a solid crew of expats but it's not the same as campus life.
Reply
#8
University use to be selective, but now it is expected everyone go.  But it is getting so expensive, if someone wants to do a trade instead, they should go to a trade school.  They also may end up making more money while starting life debt free.   Wasting four years and putting yourself in long term debt to extend your adolescence doesn't make any sense.  

The problem with a university, is, even if you take a practical subject like engineering, it teaches you to do absolutely nothing useful.  So, a company that interviews you is expecting you are a long term investment that they are going to have to train in a skill.  They look at your grades to predict whether you are worth the risk.  College is just a filtering mechanism for the large companies.

If you go to a university, I would recommend taking a classical education to meet the liberal arts requirement.  Learn Latin and Greek.  This will keep you out of the other liberal arts classes which have become propagandized with leftist dogma, and you will study the thoughts of great men which will serve as a lifetime resource and improve your thinking.   A true education should improve your thinking abilities.

My own undergraduate and graduate university education was worth it, and increased my income and opportunities.
Reply
#9
I would only go if you are studying STEM if you have to take out student loans. Or you just want to be a degen and bail on the loans and father some half Thai kids or something. -STEM grad who is shaking my head at all the people who went to college "for the girls" and are begging for their loans to be forgiven.
Reply
#10
(08-14-2019, 08:56 PM)zatara Wrote: BelyyTigr I do agree that career wise university isn't always the best option for everyone. Some people just aren't academically inclined - and thats entirely fair. We have too much negative stigma in the English speaking world about jobs like mechanics, electricians etc. In a lot of Europe they're not looked down upon quite so much, which is a lot better for kids who don't like schoolwork but are more hands-on. Starting your own business though is not a route most people can successfully do. For most average middle class kids they're going to need to have that college degree to get their foot in the door of a standard white collar office job.

Your post also doesn't really touch on a lot of the social benefits of university - did you not make lifelong male friends from it? Did you not go traveling every summer during the long holidays? Did you not go to lots of big uni house parties, class trips to foreign countries, uni ski trips etc?

This even aside from women/game - I know you say your uni was "largely fat pigs", but thats extremely unusual. In general universities have by far the best concentration of talent of anywhere in the West.

Yes definitely uni can be a waste for vocational people. To me, the big thing is, if it can be a waste for even the most academic/performing types, it must be a huge waste for so many others too.

I remember coming out of uni and seeeing smart grads in shitty call centres. And the laziest ploddeers from school earning 4 or more times as much cash. It had become like some parallel universe. It reminded me of the TV programme Sliders infact!

I know a lot of grads will find setting up a business very hard. The problem is that for many, its the best of a bad set of options. There's lots of web discussion on "the reluctant entrepreneur". "Businessman" used to mean "big balled, talented, bold and minted". But for some it just means "couldn't find a job" these days.

I think uni is fine if you need the skills for a specific thing eg programming, food science, physio etc. But if you just "want to make money in commerce", future employers will treat grads like shit.. unless its some old school tie/family contact etc in Britain. Employers are getting more and more sneaky at sqqueezing wages down. That was what Brexit was about for us. Smart kids crawling their way up from shitty call centres. Even Silicon VAlley has been found guilty of employers colluding to lower wages even before we start loooking at immigrant visas.
________________________________________________________
Re the social side, I'm in my 30s now and still have close friends from uni. Some people change post uni and a few I broke off contact with a few years back, with zero regrets. I dunno at 18 to 22, I feel like people are largely still kids. Some of my best friends I met mid and late 20s when I was becoming the person I really wanted to be. Students have the euphoria of their own place for the first time. But they don't tend to have the money/freedom to really live the life they want... atleast in many cases. I suppose I link work and associated pursuits with identity and in turn with feeling happy. So uni to me always felt like "hurry up and finish I want to start work" . I suppose thats why pottering round and backpacking as a student/doing low skill jobs never really appealed to me, altho I understand how others love that lifestyle.

_____________________________________________________
Re fat pigs, I am exaggerating a little. But it was a common joke seeing a hot girl from my high school who'd gone fat at 18-21. And nearly always being told "she's a student now". Many English unis, you'd see girls drinking pints of lager/cider etc. I think its absolutely gross, bearing in mind many (straight) men actually drink shorts or 33cl bottles etc. My uni didn't have much genuine obesity but certainly a fair amount of women just carrying a few (eg 7 to 10) pounds of fat on the arse/middle. Its a shame when otherwise hot women do that.

Also they didn't really care for their appearance. Jeans and tight t-shirts showing their tits , little/skanky makeup, was the "uniform". You'd rarely see even the hot ones in short or even LONG skirts or dresses.

Go out and meet "townie" girls ie non students, and they'd be vastly slimmer, better dressed and turned out.
It does vary between unis tho. I found Bristol was good quality, but most big city universities outside of London etc seemed very poor.

------------------------------
Uni helped me in that it gave me an extra spur to go into business early... and after a little while succeeding at it. But I just look back at it pretty flatly.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)