North Texas Daily

Higher education isn’t meant for everyone

Higher education isn’t meant for everyone

September 21
15:46 2016

The Editorial Board

Many of us have been groomed by our families to be the next great step in their bloodlines. Some of us came from blue collar units, primped for our entire youths to be the family’s biggest success story. Others may be the first in their families to even go to college. Then there are the students who applied to universities precisely because their parents told them to.

This notion that we must go to college neglects the people among us who simply do not, can not or will not want to pursue college  after high school. We don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

While anyone reading this is likely a student or educator who believes college is a blessing, there are plenty of people afoot lacking a real desire for a college degree. Although there are many advantages with academia, there are also many strings attached.

The longer we attend school, the more we suffocate in loans and debt. The more we have to sacrifice our lives for the sole purpose of passing a course. The more classes we skip just to study for other ones.

Not everyone can afford to embark on such an ambitious undertaking. Contrary to what elites or working class men often speculate, classism is alive and well. Think of the young people who have children of their own; they must put off college to work and buy food, housing and clothes so that one day, perhaps, that child can be that next great step. This issue is multiplied among parents raising kids with low wages and substandard living conditions.

Naturally, universities breed educators because the core essentials of academia attract prosperous students, hungry for knowledge.

Sure, we’re always going to need teachers and principals, but when those teachers-in-the-making can go to college and make “something out of themselves,” they’re often systematically institutionalized — where many of these graduates enter teaching positions in underfunded, inner-city schools, only to be discouraged by what they find: a lack of administrative and civic support. This further undermines the value of teachers, forcing them to lose students.

Because of this, some kids who grow up with the belief that wealth is unattainable, based on their lack of mentoring and opportunities, vanish into the streets.

What hardly anyone in this society wants certain students to know is that it’s never too late to find an occupational purpose. There are numerous high-paying professions  that do not require college degrees whatsoever, and each one overflows with a beautiful credibility. For every educator, doctor or rocket scientist the world wants, it’s always going to need custodians, servers and mechanics. More importantly, those same doctors need assistance from radiation therapists and criminal investigator. Positions like these simply demand a high school diploma.

Fundamentally, anyone can afford to live without getting a bachelor’s. It all depends on how students market themselves outside the classroom, and how many feet they can nest in proverbial doors. It’s not hard to do, so instead of teaching our children that obtaining degrees is a “must,” teach them that they’re capable. Teach them they should be making decisions for the betterment of their living— not their reputations.

While some parents confuse “reputations” with “resumes” far too often, there is a lot of respect beyond skipping college for personal reasons. Higher education may not be meant for everyone, but in any case, everybody has the possibility to make something out of ourselves.

It’s time we encourage our young students to love education. And going to college, taking exams and studying all night is not the only way to live a life of education.

About Author

Preston Mitchell

Preston Mitchell

Preston served as the Opinion Editor of the North Texas Daily from July 2016 to July 2017, and is a UNT graduate of integrative studies.

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