If you intend to go to one of the "better" universities, you had best have a career plan all figured out. Take the appropriate courses. And plan to go on to graduate school. Along the way, you better have some good scholarships, a ton of money, a rich set of parents, or a willingness to blindly take on suffocating debt.
When I went to college, it was common, perhaps even customary, to enroll in a school having no idea where your final interest would lie. So you would take a variety pack of "101" courses, and around the end of your first sophomore term, pick a major. It is interesting. It is fun. It is entirely too expensive in today's universities.
Part of the problem is that the government put a lot of money into the educational system, through loans and grants. Many universities used this money to build glorious campuses with huge amenities making a school year like a visit to a resort. Of course, this required large increases in staff. And the cost of education skyrocketed.
And now, with the cost of education growing, middle class salaries are shrinking. To add to the burden, graduates are getting employment right out of school at a diminishing rate. Even if they have ideas of doing something on their own, the difficulties of entrepreneurship today throw up a pile of obstacles that may make initiative impossible.
There is one trend in advanced education that I see as a positive. A trend that may be the saving of many middle class students in the future. There seems to be more and more reasonably priced on-line schools advertising on TV every day. Many seem to be accredited and offer to tailor your education to your personal needs. And they have a support structure to help a student meet these needs. Unfortunately students of these schools will be deprived of the "student living" experience. So be it. It is the education that is the important thing.
The great thing about an education is that once you have it, no one can take it away from you. The hard thing is that you have to be tough and dedicated. Keep your eye on the target and stay focused. Any sacrifice is worth the prize.
And a smile for your day.
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