By Bailey Welshans
The future has a lot to hold but going to college doesn’t have to be one of those things. In the society we live in today, however, it seems that everyone thinks you need a college degree to be successful.
That is a completely false statement. Attending a college like a community college is not only more financially responsible, but for many it’s the best choice.
For many students, a university may be the best choice and I understand that. There are some career paths that require a university degree, such as engineering, nursing, business, or law. I realize that many also believe the “college experience” is the right next step. The parties, relationships, and moving out of your parents’ house are also among the appeals to college.
However, if you don’t know exactly what you want to do for a career, why spend all the money just to possibly change majors halfway through college?
Americans cling to the concept that a four-year degree is necessary for everyone, and look down on those who don’t have a college degree. I get it, college is cool, but debt isn’t all that exciting. When you are ready to start a family, and looking into buying a house, student debt is a burden.
Community college is a great way to save money for the same education you would get at a university. Washtenaw Community College (WCC) offers several two-year degrees, and for many Dexter students that is a very enticing route to take. Senior Erika Halfacre will be attending WCC after graduating from DHS.
“I don’t know exactly what I want to do yet,” Halfacre said. “I’m saving so much more money going to WCC because I’m taking the same classes you are required to take as a freshman/sophomore anywhere else.”
Attending WCC has benefits that many don’t yet recognize. The most popular programs at WCC are Liberal Arts and Sciences, Health Professions, Business, Management, and Marketing. In 2011, WCC was nationally ranked, ninth in the top 50 colleges for its engineering and technology services program, according to Patch.com. WCC is a great alternative. Credits earned there are easily transferable to many other colleges and universities if you decide to further your education in that way. Class sizes are small and class times are flexible.
Many think that going to WCC means you weren’t able to get into any other college. I don’t know where that idea came from, but it should be thrown out.
Even if college is not your thing, there are so many other options. Take a gap year, or maybe just a semester off. Experience life and travel while you are still able to. Another option is to just work. There are many jobs that don’t require much more than on-the-job experience, and there are so many that also pay well. Vocational and Technical schools give you the option of earning a certificate that will allow you to enter the workforce prepared, without all the expenses of college.
“I’m going to Ann Arbor Electrical Union, and I’ll be working and going to school while making roughly $15 an hour,” senior Sebastian Velliky said.
There is nothing wrong with going to a university, but there is also nothing wrong with not going at all. The world we’ve grown up in is changing and the future is unpredictable. Jobs are unpredictable. With major shifts in economic power, technology, and urbanization, who knows what the workforce will look like in 10 years.
There is so much out there to explore, and I’m sick of people being limited because of what others say.