Before anyone gets all worked up, I will not argue that formal education has been a significant tool in the advancement of Black America. By us being deprived the very basic necessities of a proper education left of falling behind in so many areas of our society. But as time passed and doors opened, Black America took off running and started to exceed in areas other races had not done before. The level of pride and admiration not just in others but in us as a people reached new and unknown heights. We became doctors, lawyers, scientists, astronauts, judges, you name it.
But with the shape our economy is in and the level of jobs available, is college our only option? I’ve recently read several articles of people who will NEVER be able to pay off their student loan debt. Even with the job that will allow them to make a great amount of money. The debt accumulated is just too high to even wrap their brain around. But what’s even more upsetting is a lot more jobs are requiring experience more than they are college hours or degrees. Which leaves a lot of the young struggling when they get out of school. Of course there are many occupations that still and have to require formal education but for the most part a lot of the common fields we tend to go for are not anymore. And even though college is a great experience and we learn so much from that time in our life, is it worth never being able to live comfortably even in our years of retirement? Coming from a family who is academically strong and very well educated (my dad’s side) I took after my mom’s side, the workforce straight out of high school. It was very hard fighting against which side to choose. To be honest I wanted to take the school route SO BAD, even constantly going back and forth with my mother about it. Eventually I went but life happens and God takes you in a totally different direction. Leaving my school bills unattended just trying to make sense of my life, interest happened. But I was recently blessed to be able to pay my college loan off and fortunately at a job that will pay for my education if I decide to get my degree to advance even further in my field. While I do plan to take full advantage of this you can’t imagine how proud my old man was of me when I told him the news. Although he was for me attending school right after high school he sees now that what our ancestors had to do was called for and very necessary for us as a people at the time. And although I do plan on taking full advantage of a free education, I don’t think I would have thought about going back if they had not offered, especially given that state our country is in. There is more than one way to educate yourself. But if you are going to rack up thousands of dollars in debt, PLEASE let it be for a passion you KNOW you will succeed in and not just for show. Don’t go broke on the account of trying to impress people to keep up with a certain image. “Education is expensive. There’s no need in having a PhD in a field that’s not hiring or on a job that doesn’t require it. Debt isn’t glamorous.”-Tera C. Hodges