Is it worth it?

Is it worth it?

As I sit in class and listen to the professor talk about how bad plagiarism is, the speech begins to sound like Charlie Brown’s mother. Wah-wah-wah. This is the same song-and-dance I’ve been listening to for years. I could teach a course on how not to mess up in university. Don’t cheat, don’t skip class, don’t forget to cite, and so on. After six years of university, with two semesters a year, typically taking four classes a semester (sometimes 5), I’ve sat through over 50 course outlines which generally say the same thing. And now, during the fifty-something-th time I find myself wondering- is it worth it?

I am the black sheep of many social circles, as I am 25 and still studying in university. Most people do their time (yes, that was a reference to being in jail), and they get out within 4 years. Not me. Six years later, with three left to go, I will finish with a Bachelor of Communications in Public Relations, a Bachelor of Business Management  and a certificate in International Communications. But do these pieces of paper matter? I’ve been working for the past decade of my life, and I’ve realized that it seems to be all about who you know. Need someone for the job but don’t have time to post it? Talk to a friend of a friend. Boom, position filled. Receptionist away on maternity leave and need someone to answer phones? Remember your best friend’s daughter crashed her car and needs extra cash to pay it off. Boom, position filled. People in the “real life” working-world may not like to admit it, but it seems to be true for menial positions.

Is it the same for higher positions too? Do any CEO’s of corporate companies not have degrees? I realize that the generation before mine isn’t full of people who went to university. This isn’t the case with my generation. Everyone seems to have a degree in something. The waitress at Denny’s has an art history degree, but the curator at the art museum doesn’t.

And so I can’t stop thinking… am I wasting my time and money? Am I wasting the prime years of my life sitting in classrooms?

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9 Comments

  1. I went back to school when I was in my mid 40’s and completed a double diploma Law/Business. I’m now hitting 50 and just started a diploma of Photography. I am self employed which definitely helps around those study hours. Since leaving school as a teenager I have taken short courses here and there. The Chinese Language course may have been a waste since I’ve never spoken a word since or gone to China but I don’t regret doing it just the same. Keep up you studies and good luck!

    • As corny as it sounds, I like to think that I’m living a life of learning. I love to know things and investigate and explore! Knowledge really is power. However, knowledge and a degree aren`t the same thing. I guess I`m just nervous that I could be out practicing the things that I love, rather than sitting in a class learning about them.

  2. Hiya, Thanks for following vernacularisms.com. I didn’t start university till I was 25, and I didn’t leave for 14 years. Didn’t always enjoy it, but it was incredibly valuable for my intellectual and personal development. It’s always good to be able to demonstrate to employers that you can commit to a project and finish it. My advice, enjoy your studies, and don’t worry about what everybody else is doing. You’ve plenty of time to do everything you want to.

  3. I miss being a graduate student. Admittedly I was studying what I passionately loved; however, I was older than you before starting university and sometimes it’s better to take time off between HS & college or a break from university between degrees. I worked, actually from too young an age though it made me confident, at jobs where my co-workers had B.S.s & Masters while I’d only had some community college classes. Other people I know traveled between HS & undergrad, or under & grad. Education is an extraordinary privilege. Yes, my degrees and two bucks will buy me a cup of coffee but I’m grateful I got to learn what I learned and then to teach. One of the worst aspects about our culture is that we always have to make a choice among so many options so that in general we tend toward dissatisfaction. It’s so unintuitive, but true. I hope you find peace with your choices…and reward in your studies.

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