A while ago, there was a blog post that was circulating the social media world about how girls don’t belong in college. It was titled 6 Reasons to NOT Send Your Daughter to College and it’s by Raylan Alleman. Then, there was a response from Rachel Miller (news editor for The Aquila Report) on the question of whether or not it’s wrong to send young women to college. Rachel has written some really cool stuff that I enthusiastically agree with (Google “Rachel Miller Aquila Report” and you’ll see what I mean). Of course, the whole idea that a woman shouldn’t go to college is kind of ridiculous, and the article that advocates it doesn’t really give good reasons and overall, Rachel gives a good answer. But I want to get away from the whole notion of going to college as a necessary activity for young people and, instead of responding for why women SHOULD go to college (which they should certainly have that freedom if they want), I want to talk about good reasons for anyone to skip college. Sons included.
1. College is expensive
This is one of the reasons Raylan lists for why women shouldn’t go to college. While I disagree with his premise that girls shouldn’t go to college because they’re girls, it’s actually a really valid reason for anyone to skip out. College is expensive. Like, really, really expensive. In a world where a degree is worth less and less, it’s not always in the best economic interests of students to subject themselves to a mountain of student debt. For your son who needs to provide for a family someday, an apprenticeship or self-education might be a better option, and avoiding that $27,000 of average student debt may be a wise decision. Of course, a degree is still a requirement for many jobs so college may be unavoidable for some, but the high price tag is enough to give anyone pause.
2. College extends adolescence
Rachel talks about how college is like real life with training wheels, and is a good place to learn how to own your faith. While this has elements of truth, I think there is a larger culture of “college as an extension of high school.” You have 4 years where you’re largely free from the responsibilities of adult life. The typical college student might be living on campus, is funded by student loans, maybe has a student job, and whose primary responsibility is homework. While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, the culture of college still treats you like an adolescent that constantly needs to be reminded to be an adult. It’s no surprise that many people push off important decisions like marriage until they’re almost 30 ( 28.9 for men, to be exact) when we have a culture that treats you like you’re a kid until you’re 25. College life leaves a lot to be desired in terms of actually preparing you for the “real world”.
3. College and education are not synonymous
My biggest beef with college has always been that it’s not necessarily the best place to get an education. Education is really important and is absolutely necessary to be a well-adjusted member of society. It opens up tons of opportunities and is the best indicator of social mobility. But college in the last few years has been less about education and apparently more about social engineering or raising tuition (at least that’s how it feels). I question the effectiveness of general education requirements (read: thief of time and money) and the semester system in general. If you can educate yourself better by reading books on your own or working under an expert, then why go to college? Better yourself through education, but realize that college may not be where you get that education. Especially if you get $27k in debt from the experience.
That’s all I have for now. It’s a little difficult to respond to Raylan’s article that seriously lists the danger of parents using contraception as a reason for daughters not to go to college, but I agree with the idea that college may not be a wise choice for everyone. Rachel makes the case for college so check out her blog as well at Daughter of the Reformation.
What do you think? Is college the greatest thing since sliced bread or an expensive scam?