The Lion's Roar

Is your passion worth the debt?

Madeline Cancienne, Staff Reporter

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Every student at one time has asked, “Is college really worth all of this money?” Sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about the thousands of dollars spent on classes and textbooks. So in the end, is having a degree worth it all?

There was never a doubt in my mind that I would go to college. I have always enjoyed learning and challenging myself, so I was ready for this next step after graduating from high school. That was how life worked: graduate from high school, go to college, get a job, and then work until it was time for retirement.

As I have gotten older, I have realized the true value of a college education. Many professions, such as engineering and nursing, require a college degree. College teaches people critical thinking skills, problem solving and the value of teamwork. Going to a university also gives students an opportunity for internships that others may not come by.

Going to college is definitely beneficial, but it is not required for a good career. Many people believe that you must go to college to be successful in life, but with today’s society, many of the smartest people never attended a university. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Michael Dell were all brilliant people who have shaped the world we live in but never got a degree.

There are many professions that do not require a college education such as operating a crane, welding and working on oil rigs. All of these jobs are easily accessible in the South, and many people go straight from high school to the workforce. These jobs are a skilled trade that may eventually make more money than those that require a degree.

According to Student Debt Relief, in the United States, the average debt per college graduate was $37,172 in 2016.

These statistics are scary but true. Debt can be a scary thing to think about because it follows you for years. Although it may seem like a giant weight on your shoulders, knowing that all of your hard work will pay off one day will be worth it all.

Going into debt is a decision everyone must make for themselves. It all depends on what you want to do in life and how passionate you are about it.

As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Use me, God. Show me how to take who I am, who I want to be, and what I can do, and use it for a purpose greater than myself.”

We all find a purpose in life greater than just a degree. If you are passionate about something, going into debt will seem worth every penny in the long run. Knowing you are using your talents and abilities for something you love will be worth it because you know you are living with a purpose.

This may not always mean you will make the most money. There will be people who work just to make money and will make much more than you, but in the end, you will live a more fulfilling and happy life.

Personally, I believe it is worth it all to follow your passions wherever they may lead. If your passion leads to going straight into the workforce and avoiding debt, by all means do it. If my student debt can lead to curing a disease, feeding those who are starving, or creating new technological advancements, then it will not matter to me.

I feel as though we focus too much on what fills our bank account the most rather than what fulfills our lives the most. Making a steady income and staying as far away from debt as possible is definitely important, but we also must consider what brings us joy in life.

College is a path not meant for everyone. If college is not the path that you feel you are going to take, then why go into debt to follow a dream meant for someone else?

I am happy with where I am right now. I truly think my debt will be worth it in the end.

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