Garfield Senior High School

What’s the point of college?

Growing up, most students have heard the following phrase: “get good grades and pass your classes so you can get into a good college and have a good job.”

As students, we go to school five days a week for 7 hours with only a 30 minute lunch break in between. Not only do we face the pressure of receiving the best possible grades, but we are all in competition with each other when applying to college.
These applications are extremely competitive and the top schools require much more than a 4.0 GPA.

Having good grades just doesn’t cut it anymore, we also need to show that we are a “well-rounded” student. How do you do this? By completing dozens of service hours, being involved in our community and many other things. Sometimes, even that isn’t enough and students face the rejection of their dream school.

For the lucky – or rather unlucky- students that do get admitted, the competition does not stop at getting it. It really starts in who gets less debt.

It’s no surprise that attending college has definitely become more expensive, especially when students are paying for both their education and for a place to live. The question now is why are students having to pay so much for an education?

Education should be free. If education came at no cost to a student, the competition within students would decrease which would result in a better education. The worries of scrambling for cash every year would be gone, and students can focus on which school offered the best education toward their future career goals.

In today’s world, education has lost its value because we do not go to school to learn, but to pass. Individuals learn the material required for that year, or that specific test, and lose the importance of truly understanding the material.  

As a student, I can say that the times I truly learned something was not because I did the homework or passed the test, but when I was engaging with my teacher and working with my peers. I didn’t just memorize, I acquired life and social skills.

Unfortunately, my experiences aren’t unique to me and this brings to question the blind belief we have in our education system. What difference does a college degree really make? What does a degree really show of an individual?

Are the people being accepted into these colleges really critical thinkers or people of good character? Colleges are accepting students with the good grades and best looking applications though with the system being so corrupt it is now up to a standardized test to determine students futures. College is definitely not worth the amount of money that is being paid. It does not even guarantee you a good lifestyle really.

Everyone says to go to college to have a good job though a degree. However, this does not even really make a difference when finding a job. It will be just as hard unless you have the right connections.