Refusing To Go To College
What is wrong with our system of education today? Why is it that high school students are pushed into going to college? It may be a great idea for those who want to be doctors and lawyers. I definitively do not want someone doing open heart surgery on me who does not have any experience. However, I know what it is like first hand to refuse to go to college. Everyone thinks that I am crazy, and tells me that they wish they had gone back to college. They say that I graduated top 20 in my class so I should go to college. Why is that? Do they blame their current economic condition on not going to college? I have a different plan for my life.
I started my own construction business: For me it was an easy choice, I love doing it. There is just something about the pride and sense of accomplishment when looking at a finished product and knowing that you built it by hand. I am a twenty year old woman who gets countless odd looks when finishing concrete but I wouldn't change occupations for the world. Many people try to pressure me into going to college by saying that as a woman I can't do everything a man does. Wrong! I hate that line, it is not all about muscle it is about experience.
The same goes for a college education: I do not believe in racking up huge amounts of student loans only to get out of school and have a hard time finding a job in this economy. For me I would rather take that money and buy a house. Because of all the pressure I received after graduating high school I decided I would give a local community college a try. I only lasted two semesters. My quitting point was upon finding out the statistics at that college. I was going for registered nursing and so were nine hundred other students. The bad part is there were only 30 openings each semester for the RN program, and 10 of those openings were for current LPN's that wanted an upgrade to RN.
My Theory: Everyone seems to be shouting "Nursing shortage" "The pay is good." Of course if employers i.e hospitals have a hard time finding new nurses then they are going to pay the current ones more. In a few years from now there will not be a nursing shortage. Perspective nursing students who cannot get into one school because it does not have a big enough program will only transfer to another that does. In a few years when the all the new nurses graduate college there will be an excess of nurses and a limited number of doctor's offices, hospitals, and nursing homes. In the case of supply and demand it would seem that the pay would not be as good because any fresh graduate would gladly take a job as a lower paid nurse because of lack of experience. Therefore the older nurses, making the big bucks just because employers had a hard time finding new nurses, would have to take a downgrade in pay, or risk losing facing unemployment to a fresh out of college nurse.
In this case both nurses lose. The more experienced nurse that took the pay decrease will also see a decrease in his/her standard of living. The fresh out of college nurse will be in for a big surprise five years down the road when after gaining experience his/her pay does not increase as expected. Not to mention the huge amount of debt raked up upon completion of college, and probably then the "American Dream" of owning his/her own home.
Why buy a house if you don't have a degree? In my area in this economy I am beginning to see decent houses that need some TLC going for around $20,000-$30,000. Being from a construction background TLC is not a problem. Of course as a word of advice everything is about ten times harder than it looks, nothing works out the same as planned, and almost every time you buy something used something goes wrong that was also not planned for. So expect that, proceed with caution, and do your homework. For me at that same community college spending about $2500-$3000 a semester after books, but not including food, gas, and other expenses that seem to pop-up, by the time I finished nursing school I would have $20,000 to $24,000 in student loans.
There is also money lost when going to college. This is the money that could have been made working a full time job. But was not an option because of being a full time student. So let's just say that this is a typical $10 an hour, 40 hrs a week job. After taxes that is about $328 a week, which works out to about $17,056.00 in a 52 week year after taxes. Since college usually takes four years it comes out to $68,000 that could have been made during those four years of school.
So what would going to college actually cost me? The answer to that question is to take the money lost (i.e. could have been made) $68,000 and add that to the price of the student loans $24,000 and the answer is $92,000 plus the interest on the student loans. And that is only at a community college, which is usually the cheapest to attend.
That is a lot to think about for the typical high school student looking at college. It is also something that was never explained to me and apparently many other people. For me I could take that money invest it in three houses, pay them off, and have a rental income. Along with a typical 40hr a week job, make as much as a nurse, and not have a mortgage payment or student loans. This is not something for everyone, but it is something to think about. I will probably add another hub later on more options, and why it is important to not to have mortgages for a long period of time based on an amortization table.