It's All Your Fault
If a salesperson approached you at your with a concept of making $1 million dollars than you ever were with loose liberal ideas of becoming an educated, self-made individual, you would give them a curious gaze, if not completely dismiss them as a scam artist.
And if someone asked you for 4 years of your life, years ripped away from your home to be shoved in hamster cages and forced to lose your confidence as thousands ideas are forced upon you or else, you would probably tell them what to do with themselves.
Likewise, you would be deterred by the notion of "getting a better life" for $23,000+ in the hole, you might even call the police.
Yet the higher educational system does all of the aforementioned without ever losing the beliefs of millions of Americans and without ever being sued for false claims and off-scale advertising.
Prior to 2007, going to college and getting a degree meant big things. Student debt wasn't so high and jobs were available. But if you were like me in 2007, barely 18 and progressive-minded, then you watched as your bank account flat-lined and the negativea built up during one of the greatest recessions since WWII.
Did I say since? Take this into consideration: Unemployment of 16-29 year-olds is at its highest since WWII and trends indicate it might supersede it.
What's really interesting is, that, when British young adults faced steep tuition increases with a lack of degree-based job placement, they attacked the government. Yet as Americans, we are captivated by the stigma college carries on its shoulders, one that says obtaining a degree is to completing high school 50 years ago.
Let's face it, students are in the worst predicaments of their lives. They've spent near $50,000 to pay for college, worked their asses off to make the grade and earn their degree, and now they can't afford the gas it would take to drive to a good interview.
The U.S. furrowed a brown when student debt (often without significant job placement) skyrocketed to $100 billion, but as we approach $1 trillion today, raising a brow is about all we can do.
"Obama Care" provides some reassurance to graduates, however, by imposing a 10% interest rate cap on some loads, but what most of us graduates need are forgiveness.
But should we even call it forgiveness? Right now, there are some reading this and thinking all these numbers are a clever way to evade our own personal failures.
We did what we were supposed to. We fought in high school for our GPAs, faced rejection and acceptance from college administrators, many of whom we never meet, worked hard for 4 years, and smiled wide on graduation day. People who do well with their education are not the types to fail. They are not the ones without initiative.
When someone says, when the ivory degree on your wall is collecting dust, it's your fault, you tell them to fuck off. If you are shot in the chest and need years to recover, is that your fault?
No, it's not. And it's not a farfetched analogy. It feels about the same.
Some argue maybe we should have thought twice about college. True, that would have been nice.
But how much economic foresight can an 18 year-old have? If someone can barely buy a pack of cigarettes, how the hell are they able to take out $20,000-100,000+ in loans?
Back at 18, many are offered promises of a better tomorrow and not a business plan, and leave at 22 with neither. If a business makes promises and leaves you in debt, you might raise a middle finger outside of the court room.
With college? We just take it and blame ourselves. By the way, is it any coincidence that the U.S. makes one of the worst the Top-10 lists. This is the only sign of personal failure, but it is caused by social frustration. I won't contribute to the list because I have $1 trillion middle fingers.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.