In a 1999 survey by the Consumer Federation of America and financial services firm Primerica, 40% of Americans with incomes between $25,000 and $35,000 — and nearly one-half of respondents with an income of $15,000 to $25,000 — thought winning the lottery would give them their retirement nest egg. Overall, 27% of respondents said that their best chance to gain $500,000 in their lifetime is via a sweepstakes or lottery win, the survey said. – MSN Money
I never believed surveys like this, until now…my school loans just went into repayment. Stupidly, I never actually tracked my school loans and was shocked by my total balance when calculating everything, it was quite a bit more than what I estimated during my schooling. Like many kids out there, being granted financial aid was like free money, woohoo! and I just went on with my schooling. Now that school is over, reality is really taking hold and my $50,000+ school loans are like a huge weight that has been dropped on me. I actually contemplated buying lottery tickets, if just for a second or two, in the hopes of winning and lightening my financial load.
The average student loan in the United States in 2009 was close to 25,000 but I know there are people graduating with over 100,000 in loans. Like many of these people, I regret many of the choices I made when deciding on college…
If I were to do it all over again, what would I do?
Honestly, in my mind, there are only a couple reasons to go to college and the choice all depends on what you actually plan to do afterward.
If you plan to go into a particular profession, and the dream of job security is what you aim for, college is where you should be, but you have to choose the right profession that will benefit from a college education and degree. Professions in the dentistry or medical field are two that come to mind that you can’t really pursue without a degree and unless you are completely loaded (in which case, why do you want to work in the first place!) you will be graduating with a boatload of loans.
Another reason to go to college is to network and meet people that will help you pursue your dreams. Mark Zuckerberg, the youngest billionaire ever, is a prime example of this. If you are intelligent and plan on making your mark on the word by coming up with an idea never before thought of and changing the way the world works, college is a perfect place to meet other people with a similar mindset. Certain colleges and degrees are just think tanks for entrepreneurs; the degree is just a trivial part of that goal and the fact that many of the richest and most successful people in the world dropped out of college is an indicator of this. Peter Thiel, another self made billionaire is even offering college kids $200,000 because
As for me? I went to college because I love to learn and was told I couldn’t get anywhere without a degree. These two reasons were a horrible combination for me to go to college, especially an expensive online college. You can and many people certainly do just fine without a degree; the need for one all depends on what you plan on doing for the rest of your life. As for my love of learning, I have learned more in the past two years both in the field my degree is in and in completely unrelated fields, all on my own. These two reasons I went to school were not the best motivators for me to do well in school either. My goals were to get the piece of paper saying I finished, and to learn as much as I could, neither of which required exceptionally good grades…
If I were to do it all over again, I would have gone to a traditional school to be part of a think-tank of like minded people but in reality college is not required to connect with others. I don’t plan on working the rest of my life, and the more people I meet that are like me, the more I realize that I missed out on one of the most important aspects of college, connecting with other people. Instead of going to an online school, I would have enrolled in a traditional community college and gotten to know more people not to mention having less of a financial burden afterward.
What am I going to do now?
That’s simple; I’m going to work like a madman to make as much money as possible in any way that I can to pay these loans off as quickly as I can.
Do you regret college or was it the best move you ever made?
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Tags: college education, consumer federation of america, couple reasons, dentistry, financial aid, free money, incomes, job security, medical field, primerica, profession, professions, reasons to go to college, respondents, retirement nest egg, school loans, student loan, sweepstakes, winning the lottery, woohoo