College isn’t worth it
College is no longer a fast track to your dream career. It’s a speed bump. As students, we are
wasting our time and money.
We’re sitting in the classroom and not retaining anything valuable. We’re just
regurgitating the readings that we were supposed to do last week. We get points docked off for
having a different perspective from our grader, and for having APA instead of the MLA
formatting your professor wanted. You have the opportunity to go through the troubles of a grade
appeal, but taking the unfair grade just seems like the safest path. It starts with points docked, but
then it ends up to crushing your dreams of moving forward to your ultra-prestigious graduate
Learning, according to practices of a university, only applies to what the professor wants you to
know. Sometimes, learning comes straight from a textbook, which gets more editions than
scandals coming from political officials – adding another bill to your nearly $50,000 tuition for
the same information you can find on the Internet for free.
We’re told that universities pose as an institution for a public exchange of ideas and debate.
Want a public exchange of ideas and debate? Go on social media. Read the comments on the
bottom of Wall Street Journal articles and editorials. I can observe or jump in a debate with the
top leaders of any field on Twitter and Facebook without paying a single penny.
We’re also told that college exists for us to get our foot in the door. Sitting in a classroom doesn’t
do that at all. Want to get your foot in the door? Network. Time is better spent at a BuzzFeed
Brews event or a conference than it is in a classroom. Oh, look. Steve Forbes gave you his
business card (that really did happen). You know where you won’t find Steve Forbes? In your
Many people have asked me why I don’t just drop out.
Here’s one reason why: I can’t apply to an internship without a certain GPA or without going to
an accredited university. Internships, apprenticeships and volunteer work are what jumpstart the
career of your dreams. Everything else is a trap. Advocates of a ban on unpaid internships and
employers who require a specific GPAs and only allow students from accredited universities are
removing the opportunity of letting you grow into the workforce.In orientation, the student leaders tell us that they are preparing us to become the next world
leaders. In reality and practice, they’re preparing us to become followers. They’re preparing us,
bright and hardworking individuals, to feed off to this system of academic and economic
Currently, 33,365 Ph.D. holders are unemployed, receiving food stamps and other forms of
welfare. That says a lot about our college education.
Then we ask ourselves, why do we bend over backwards to get a college education? We want a
great future and we want to contribute to this world. However, those who have great successes
and greatly contribute to this world don’t wait. Malcolm X ignited a movement from learning
from books in a prison cell. Others like Thomas Edison, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Branson,
Steve Jobs, John Mackey, Muhammad Ali, Jay Z, Jane Austen, Dorothy Day, Ellen DeGeneres
and Oprah Winfrey are all people who never attended or dropped out of college. They are the
leaders. They are the ones who are changing the world for the better.
As college students, we better start asking more from ourselves. We should not doubt our
capabilities and have a little fire inside of us. Don’t just think, ask questions. Answer them and
the hard problems. Find your passion and pursue mastery.
Don’t think, “I need to go to a good college, because I need to get a good job.” Instead, think,
“What can I do – in an innovative, groundbreaking way – to make the world a better place?” Be
an entrepreneur that emphasizes on innovation, radicalization and convenience, and you’ll make
more of a difference in this world than any law or politician.
We have to prove to employers, parents, and society that we are capable of paving the way. The
power to make change without an insanely over-priced piece of paper that says nothing but that
you adequately did what you were told for four years. The power to cure. The power to uplift.
The power to revolutionize.
Sarah Harvard is a junior in the School of International Service.