I am nearly at a loss for words here folks. After watching a FOX News video about the protest going on where college kids are demanding free tuition and student loan forgiveness, I'm at a loss. At what point did we become a nation of entitled, spoiled brats? Now I have my own ideas about how and when this came about, but really when? how? why?
I feel strongly about the way I was raised. Hell I didn't even know we were in poverty growing up until just a few years ago. I was raised to make my own decisions and own the consequences of those decisions. Anyway back to the actual free college and student loan forgiveness. As such, I took a few concurrent college/high school classes while I was in high school. If I earned good grades, those credit hours were paid for by my high school. I then chose to go to a small 4 year college on an academic and basketball scholarship. I worked my ass off to earn grades that allowed me to keep that scholarship for 4 years of undergraduate study. I worked every summer and held a part-time job when I wasn't in basketball season. I left college with $900 in student loans. When I went to graduate school, I applied for and received an assitantship, which allowed me to pay in-state tuition and make $800 per month in "salary" for my research for the college and helping professors with undergraduate classes. I also volunteered, you know a job where you don't get "paid", coaching high school girls basketball. I left with my Masters' degree in one hand and approximately $20K in student loan debt in the other. Education can be done with reasonable amounts of debt. My degrees aren't' from Harvard, but I wouldn't trade them or the 6 years it took me to earn them for anything! I am proud to say that I worked hard to earn scholarships, I worked (not full time) while I was in college, I found time to give back to the community, I found a job and I am paying the loans to which I agreed to pay in order to fund my education.
I'm going to make a few generalizations....stereotypes if you will. Go ahead, judge me. Its my feelings and my blog so I'll say what I think. I understand there is always an exception to the rule or in this case my generalizations.
Generalization #1: If you don't work for it, you don't appreciate it. I went to college with several kids who were not footing their own bill. I saw them at class a lot less frequently than those who I knew where on earned scholarship or writing those checks out of their own account. Its no secret that the US isn't exactly the cream of the crop when it comes to smarts and education....do we really want to be handing those college degrees out for free to students who have invested exactly 0 into it. How long will it take to get a degree when there is no ownership? No responsibility to go to class, to get good grades, to keep that scholarship, to graduate so that you can become employed.
Generalization #2: Participation ribbons suck! When everyone wins and no one is better than someone else we are building a mediocre country that will never prosper. Will never get better. Competition makes people work harder to get what they want. People who work hard and get what they want are successful. Successful people do great things and help those less fortunate by choice. So successful people are badass and makes the world a better place.
Generalization #3: The milk is never free. Someone is paying for the milk. Those who pay for the milk will eventually run out of money if only 1% of the people are paying for the milk and 99% are drinking milk for free. This is true for education just like we are seeing for healthcare, food and cell phones.
Generalization #4: A little hardwork never hurt anyone. There are plenty of ways to pay for college without being one of the 1%. For instance most of my friends had a gasp JOB while attending college as a full time student. There are also things out there called scholarships, which require one to spend time a) molding themselves into a marketable product, showing scholarship awarders that they are deserving of "free" money and b) locating scholarships for which they qualify, completing applications, doing interviews and if chosen reporting results. If you are not inclined to get a job or a scholarship, you could always enlist in the military.
Generalization #5: We don't all wear a Rolex. If you aren't rich, don't want to get a job and don't want to fill out a scholarship application.....Don't think you need a Harvard education. There are plenty of good schools out there that are much more affordable than others. These days with concurrent classes in high school, community colleges, junior colleges, vocational/technical colleges and small state or private colleges the opportunities are endless for high school graduates to further their education without strapping themselves with a hundred or two thousand dollars in student loans. by choosing a more affordable school, even with the absence of a job, scholarships or military service you can still have student loans that won't take the rest of your life to pay off.
As for those students who think they should go to college party with no responsibilities during OR after "earning" that college degree. Shut up and go to class, finish your degree, get a job and start paying your student loans. Those loans, which by the way, you signed your name to....saying you promised to pay them back with interest. Signing your name is supposed to better than a handshake. Take responsibility for your choice. Become a productive member of society and make the world a better place. Be thankful you have the opportunity to go to college. You are not a victim. Work hard, make yourself and your life better. Do not depend on someone else to pave your road in gold for you.