A Few Words For The People Who Think That College Should Be Free

10180636503_f3c3c82d49_o

Don’t go.

Or if you’re already there, drop out.

College drop outs have gone on to do tremendous things with their lives. You could be one of them. Contrary to popular opinion, you can live a fulfilling life without a college diploma.

But you think that a college diploma is your right.

Why? Where is this written?

The Bible? The Magna Carta? The Constitution?

No, no and no. The Constitution does speak of our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Here’s the trick. Your pursuit of happiness can’t cut in on someone else’s pursuit of happiness. When it does, it stops becoming a right and starts becoming criminal.

I don’t blame you for this. Most likely, you’ve been raised to believe that it’s all about you. You were probably given trophies for being on little league teams that went 2 and 14. And, most likely, you attended a school where babysitting and indoctrination took priority over education. So it’s not all your fault.

Someone has to break it down for you and since no one has up until this point. I’m happy to do the job.

Maybe college isn’t for you. I know. I know. It’s your dream. I get it. I had a dream too. My dream was to be a starting running back in the NFL. Things came to a screeching halt for me when I was about 12. So I found something else to do. I didn’t try to force my dream on others. I just found a new one. You should do the same thing.

There is another option but I’m afraid that you’re going to like it even less. It’s just one word. Risk. If you really want to go to college, take out a loan to pay for it and hope that you can get a good enough job to pay that loan off in a timely manner. So you might want to switch your major from Studies of Lesbian Culture As It Relates to Reality Television to something a bit more practical. Maybe law.

Here’s the first rule of economics. Are you ready?

Nothing is free.

Nothing.

Even if you get something for free, someone else is paying for it. And I know that you think that you’re sticking it to The Man by making him pay for it. You’re not. You’re actually sticking it to yourself. You see, if you keep making The Man pay for everything, he won’t have enough money to create a job that could’ve been yours. And eventually, he and all of his other one percenters will leave the country. After enough of them leave, guess what. You become a one percenter. So, Mister One Percenter, are you ready to pay for other people to go to school so that they can get a worthless degree in Sociological Metaphors in the Music of Drake?

I didn’t think so.

You have two options. Take the risk that your diploma will be worth enough to pay back your loans without everyone else’s help or just go find a job working retail or driving a delivery truck. Those jobs are no less important than any other job on the planet. Here’s the thing. If you work really hard, show up everyday, go more than three hours without stopping to Snap Chat someone about how terrible your boss is and try not to stage any walk outs, you might just get a promotion. And if that keeps going, you may even work your way into a position where your employer willingly pays for you to go to school. Or, better yet, you might figure out that you’re already making more money than your friends with college degrees.

Imagine that!

And before too long, you’ll be moving on up in the world. You may even find yourself making $300,000 a year. Oh, but wait a minute. That would put you in the the top one percent.

Now you’re the evil, rich scum.

Once you reach your new tax bracket, you’ll probably change your tune about making the top one percent pay a 90% income tax rate so that some kid you’ve never met can go to school to learn about the impact of Taylor Swift’s music on plant life.

Contrary to what you’ve heard, there’s no shame in stepping away from something you can’t afford.

But there’s plenty of shame in calling that thing a right and making someone else pay for it.

image credit