Has the education system played us? Have we fallen so blindly down this curious and unfamiliar black hole, chasing a white rabbit of hopes and dreams, that we couldn’t see the pitch forks waiting for us at the very bottom? Are we creating a culture of excited high school graduates who will soon walk across stages and into a wonderland of debt? From what I can tell, it seems to be the only guided path to the American dream. Or at least that’s what they told us.
Actually. Let’s just be honest. They never told us anything about college. They only told us to go. In my years of sitting with college counselors and mentors as a high school student, I never once received the advice that I could save money and take my general courses at a community college. Now, with over $ 1.2 trillion dollars in student loan debt hovering over us as a nation, we are left with the consequences of hopeful students who were never given a plan on how to achieve their dreams and career goals without befriending Sallie Mae. Afterall, we told them that this was the only way.
I was one of the lucky ones. I had a mother who saw through the system, and what they had to offer and took a different direction. As I sit here with one degree (debt free), and another quickly approaching, I realize that I will forever be indebted to her, and her wisdom. However, there are still more than 40 million people (and counting), who will now spend a majority of their adult lives paying for a degree that only took them four years to earn. I wonder how long they will allow us to fall down this rabbit hole before they realize that the true benefits of a highly educated society can only begin when we are no longer enslaved by circumstances that are too heavy to hold on the way to the top.