We’re all broke, it might not be not worth it

Anna de Oliveira—Staff Writer

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Growing up, I was taught that success came by way of a college degree. But I’m not sure if anyone knows what a degree is worth. When we step into our first class at Dordt University, we don’t really know who we are. We might not really know our passions. And when we walk the graduation stage and shake President Hoekstra’s hand, we might be just as lost and confused as we were our freshman year.

To be honest, I think we are asking the wrong questions. We are asking if college is “worth it,” Instead, we must ask: What are my passions, and is college how I follow them? 

Let’s be honest, all of us have considered alternatives to college when crying over unfinished assignments and losing sleep because of that CORE145 paper. I did, at least. Once, I even told my friends I would not return for the next semester because I felt burnt out. 

Regardless, I think it is important to think and then decide. There are many reasons to not attend university. One of them, of course, is finances. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m missionary kid. I know what it’s like to be tight on money. 

So, again, I ask: Is the cost worth it? According to its website, Dordt University costs $45,590 a year. When you take financial aid into consideration, the average Dordt student pays $16,120 per year (or $64,480 for a 4-year degree).

I’ve also been told that a college degree is a necessary requirement for the workforce, though these trends are shifting, partly because of the pandemic. So, the question then becomes: Is a college degree worthwhile in the new normal of work-from-home, self-employment? 

It’s been said that college is “where you find yourself.” While that may be true for some, it’s not true for me. After high school, I took some time off and lived in the “real world.” I got my life experience outside of college. That’s where I developed my sense of self. 

So, 

the truth is that college is not for everyone. 

Rather, I think college is something you ought to pursue with an end goal in mind. Now, don’t get me wrong. I think it is perfectly okay to change your major midway through college. Lord knows I have done that myself. But if you don’t know who you are or what your passions are, I don’t think you should spend an average of $16,120 a year for four years to earn a degree you might not even want. 

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