Social Experiments

The Game of LIFE

In the board game of LIFE you can either take the long road and go to college, or you can start off drawing a career card.  Granted, the careers are limited because you very well can’t be a doctor with no degree.  You put your peg in a station wagon and spin the wheel.  According to your income you can buy a trailer or split level home or a big ass mansion.  You might not have enough to make ends meet, or you might get caught up down the line by the student loan people.  You  might even end up with a couple sets of twins in the back of your game piece.  It’s pretty damn accurate if you think about it.

My online moms group (yes this is a thing) got into a discussion the other day about college savings for our little ones.  You know that Gerber savings plan commercial?  Kinda like that.  Some of the group had looked into it.  Some had even gone through the governmental paperwork of getting one started.  But then we got into the discussion of if they would even make their kid go to college.  And I was shocked by the varying opinions.

A lot of the moms (stay at home, and working variety) are college graduates.  And yet, some of them mentioned that they wouldn’t force their kids to go to college.  Not they didn’t want their kid to be educated, but they themselves are facing a ridiculous amount of debt and little to show for it, so they wouldn’t be too mad if their kid decided to just go straight to work after high school.  They have degrees and not the money they were promised for getting it.  Or the title that corresponds to all the studying they did.

I’ve seen a few tweets about studies done that show business majors are a dime a dozen and really only get paid about that much anyway.  1 out of every 2 college graduates is unemployed or grossly underpaid for their degree.  I’ve heard tales of people not getting jobs in their field because they lack the experience.  But how do you get it when you opt for the college path of life?

I managed to get about 90 credits under my belt before my mom’s company I was interning with offered me some full time work.  So I quit school.  And although I’m very much secure with that decision I occasionally get the “you were so close why don’t you just finish” or “I went back to school and such and such so you should do it to”.  For me the objective of college is to get a job.  Mission accomplished right?

This is not to say that I am against college at all.  I think it’s great how many people go, and complete it.  I like to hear stories of first generation graduates and how hard some people’s parents worked to get them there.  But I also hear the frustrations of unused degrees and the economy and the search for employment.  And I wonder, if I would force my kid into that uncertainty.  Would I expect her to know what she wants to do with the rest of her life at 18?  Would I be devastated if she decided to learn a trade?  I really have no clue.

The way I see it, you should have a little time.  Figure out what you’re good at and what you like to do and what you want for your life.  I don’t think you’re equipped mentally or financially to handle that at 18.  I know lots aren’t capable at 30.

Were you pressured to go to college?  Do you think it paid off?  If you chose the career path of life, do you have plans to get a degree?  Or just totally fine with the decision you made?  Would you force a child of yours (real or hypothetical) to go to college? Let’s discuss.


4 thoughts on “The Game of LIFE

  1. Excellent post Bre!

    I know there are thousands upon thousands of degree holders that are up to the ears in student loan debt AND they’ve never had a chance to use their expensive piece of paper. But even with that said, I would prefer my daughter (8 years old) to attend school. I just personally feel, you do a lot of personal growth during those years. Growth that can’t be measured by a test or marks you get in class.

    I’ve also noticed something with college students in the past 10 years. A lot of them expect a degree will automatically equal landing a job in your field immediately after graduation. Regardless of your extracurricular activities, networking ability, internships, and other various variables. The truth is, if you aren’t proactive and diligent, odds are you’re probably not going to land a gig in your field. And that goes for whether or not you have a degree or not. If you stand on the sidelines expecting people to give you a job, you’ll be standing there for a looooong time.

  2. Great example w/ the LIFE game — took me back

    I just wrote my last check to my higher institution of learning in January and I never felt such a lift off my shoulders. And here it is 11 years later, I’m not working in my field. I did use my degree though to elevate me to other things and network w/ other people who were where I wanted to be. I think it’s more than just going to college, you have to have some type of plan for the “what’s next”. Just simply graduating and sending your resume out isn’t enough. Just as prepare 4 years of high school to get into a good college, you have to spend those 4 years of college planning for the rest of your life. If not, you’re just another rat in the race.

    I’d encourage my kids to go to college but only if they had a strong idea of what they wanna do w/ my investment. I’d also encourage them young (like middle school age) to get involved in activities and volunteering, to introduce them to what the real world is like, should they choose college isn’t for them.

  3. You get a degree but what that cost you?, make a good salary, just to pay Sallie Mae! – J. Cole

    I think this is an excellent coversation and one that is being addressed at various levels of education. It’s important that we promote our kids and family to successful and we realize that success takes different forms. I will encourage my kids to get a post-secondary (after H.S.) education – it will actually be mandatory!! I got a partner that uses his associates degree (that he got after he graduated from a 4 year institution) more than his B.S. I have another friend that doesn’t have a degree but has a ceritification that allows he to command no less than 70K!

    College is no longer the only avenue to high salaries and we need to make sure our kids understand that concept. The economy and world markets are evolving and our pursuit of education should evolve with them. A college education is still a valuable assest as most jobs require at least that, but it’s only as valuable as what you invest in it.

  4. I tried to comment yesterday…and I got all in my feelings and damn near wrote a blog. I’m better today and just want to say that: my kids will have an option. I’ll let them listen to different perspectives from friends and family and we’ll go from there. College won’t be mandatory after high school graduation in my house, but they will be required to have a plan that goes beyond being a barista at sbux and figuring things out. lol.

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