I spent 4 years earning a college degree and I find myself wondering, “What’s the Point?”
At one point in my life, I had a job that was perfect for me in a lot of ways. I learned something new every day. I was surrounded by intelligent, fun, encouraging people. I related to the population I served and the most rewarding part? Advocating and supporting military members and their families through a major life-changing event.
While working full-time, I also went to school full-time. One semester, in particular, I had a deployed husband, I worked 40 hours, and took on 16 semester hours all at the same time. Who does that? Me. I earned a scholarship that required it. It was one of those pick your poison situations: free tuition and a lot of work or more debt and a little extra work.
I lost that job in January of 2015 and ever since I’ve had a difficult time finding something that makes me as happy as I was when working with the military. I went back to school and completed my degree (yay), I now have a job that directly relates to my major and gives me an opportunity to provide direct clinical care. Sounds great on paper, right? I can’t honestly say yet if I love it or not. Today was a good day, but last week I cried on the drive home at least two or three times.
While working in that ‘perfect’ job I spoke of, I only had an Associates Degree, but I made an annual income that allowed us to live more than comfortably. The job I have now requires a Bachelors Degree that I earned (from a great institution), has me over-worked (the turnover rate in the Mental Health field is astronomical) and under-payed. How is this possible? How did I get here?
Explain yourself, society! What’s the point of getting a college degree only to earn an income less than what some earn with only a High School Diploma? I mean, we all know the cost of a higher education only increases year after year, and the debt that the average student accumulates by graduation is more than what I’ll earn in three years combined. I’m trying to understand why I’m apart of a society where industries and corporations require a degree for a lot, if not all positions, yet the salaries do not even come close to helping pay off the debt acquired by earning said degree.
It’s almost as infuriating as the cost of child-care and that entire industry. Lord, don’t even get me started on that! But really, what’s the point in working your ass off to get through school, to earn a degree that society says you need, only to go out into the workforce to find that no one is going to give you an annual income to pay off that expensive piece of paper you just spent four years earning.
What’s the point?