A very expensive year

Unfortunately, I was unable to finish my Occupy Wall Street column in time for this week, so it will have to wait one more.

I have come to realize that I may have made a misstep in the past that will negatively affect my life. I don’t really have regrets; I’m perfectly happy with my life and there are many things that I wouldn’t want changed for anything.

However, I have come to the realization that I should not have gone to college. Well, I shouldn’t have gone right when I did, at least.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way downplaying the relevance and/or importance of higher learning, I just believe many people jump immediately into the role of college student without taking other matters into consideration.

Chief among these is the current economic position of many middle-class families (see Brian’s column) and the fact that college costs are through the roof means failure holds some pretty hefty consequences. Add in the general expenses of living on your own, and the price tag is not small.

But that’s part of what’s so exciting about going to college: Freedom. Freedom to sleep when you want, eat when you want, and just generally do whatever you want. Sometimes, the allure of freedom clouds the part of the brain that understands consequences.

Truthfully, there’s nothing that can be done about the desire for that freedom. After 12 years of the public school routine, there’s nothing better than being able to make your own schedule, wake up when you choose, and spend your day as you please.

However, when $30,000 worth of tuition is on the line, it may be better for some to get the “wild times” out of the way before choosing a scholastic direction.

I have talked to countless students, both current and former, who have stated that they should have taken a year off before starting college. Most have told me that their first year was basically a waste because that freedom meant they could skip class or pass up assignments without any immediate drawbacks.

I’m not suggesting that college is a waste – education is more important than ever these days – but I do believe that many students should take one year and get a glimpse of the “real world” before committing to such an expensive gesture.

Because one day, those bills will start rolling in and one will realize their first year was really just the most expensive party they ever attended.

Follow me on Twitter ... @evesunjulian.

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