Hey, remember when college was a guaranteed pipeline into a comfortable high-paying job where you could make upper five figures crunching TPS reports in a cubicle and fucking around with the guys before going home to your sprawling suburban ranch where your slammin’ stay-at-home was making pancakes for dinner in nothing but a kitchen apron?
Of course not; that was 1955, and you were merely a glint in the eye of your horny grandfather, who was 18 and jerking it to a poodle skirt and a shaped topiary bush or whatever they found sexy back then.
In the old days, you could drink, haze, and plow your way through four years of university for $45 and a pack of baseball cards, with meaningful employment afterwards a 100% sure thing.
College was by far the best investment you could make in yourself.
It still is if you don’t want to be one of the poors, but things are just so much more damn complicated these days.
Let’s compare the job market faced by the average college grad to choosing a cellular data plan. Actually no, scratch that. Let’s compare it to internet porn.
When your grandfather was getting weird to poodle skirts, he had like two or three choices, and they all came off a store shelf in the form of a magazine. In other words, things were linear. You went to college, and then signed up for the job you wanted because certain fields only hired college grads, and you only went to college to get into those fields.
Now, there are fifty billion options. If you want to see a pregnant Princess Peach masturbating to a YouTube video of zoo workers jacking off an elephant, you can. Your grandpa couldn’t even imagine such a thing. You can, and it’s yours. And it seems good to have so many options, except things are so non-linear now that you almost need to make up the job you want to do and tell companies that’s the position for which they need to be hiring instead of the other way around.
That requires a lot of creativity. I didn’t go to college to be creative, damn it; I went there for it to be straightforward and easy.
But it’s not anymore. Also, it’s expensive as hell. Because of some marriage between Satan and one of Betsy DeVos’ used Botox capsules, everyone in the world now believes they need to have a college degree. Since colleges control the only spigot to that pipeline, they can charge whatever the fuck they want. That’s where $500 required textbooks that they only ever assign one problem out of but it’s worth 20% of your final grade come from.
And because everyone pursues a degree, that also means there are too many damn people in college. Ever wonder why now, along with studying and finding a great side chick, you also have to be constantly on your guard about cultural appropriation attacks from PC protestors? One oddly-placed tiki head at your “indiscriminate tropical-themed” party and a mob of protestors shows up. That gets you on Google forever as the “racist party guy,” torpedoing your attempt to find a job anywhere (even in finance, where they think that shit is funny because everybody’s PR department is now the most powerful and influential wing of the company). There are now so many people in college that in order for them to get out and afford the massive debt that’s been piled on them, they have to distinguish themselves somehow. PC is in, so you get a situation where somebody found out there’s an industry in policing diversity and that whoever complains the loudest does the best. Now it’s basically thousands of people scrambling for the same megaphone and everybody is awful.
At this point, you’re all probably thinking, Yes, Doc, this is some horse shit. I definitely just want to go to college, party, and come out with guaranteed employment. What’s the solution? What’s your prescription?
Well, there isn’t one. The progression of human history tends to make things more complicated, and that’s either a good or bad thing based on your viewpoint. It’s impossible to go back to the past; the best thing you can do is decide exactly what you want out of college so that you’re the one dictating your own fate and carve out your niche from there. Hold onto and safeguard your worthwhile traditions from a world that badly wants to rip them apart, but also be open and try to network. Don’t do anything you’ll regret career-wise, but don’t be comparing yourself to more successful people all the time because you’ll be miserable. Try to be happy and do what you love, but make sure it pays the bills.
See? Freaking complicated.
Fuck it. As long as you can scrape together a couple bucks to have a beer with the guys every week, I’d say you’re doing just fine..