My sister, Gazelle, graduates from high school this summer. Even though she doesn’t know what she wants to do with her life, she is under intense pressure from every person she knows other than myself and our father to go to college. What makes it even worse is that she goes to a religious high school. Thus she is encouraged to shell out the extra money to attend a private religious college under the assumption that going to a religious college is the only way she could possibly meet (and marry) a Christian man.
I gave her a copy of Worthless. I’ve suggested a number of alternatives. But I’m fighting the advice of all her teachers, people who she thinks know better than I. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t know what you want to do, you just need to get a degree in something.” “It might be expensive, but there are lots of loans available. A degree is one thing that’s always worth going in debt for.” Your teachers are wrong, Gazelle.
“But, Moose, you went to college!” I did. I worked 30-50 hours a week depending on how much work my various part time jobs would give me, and a skipped every social event I was invited to. I lived off of free food given away at a local church for several months, and I kept my thermostat at 40 throughout the winter to save money. I did all that to get a piece of paper that all my teachers said would be “an investment” and “worth it.” Three years later, I am still paying off the loans, and my degree is completely and totally superfluous to my job–and my job is in my degree field!
I’ve tried to tell her to just get a job, and then if she really wants a college degree use online classes or a local community college to get general ed requirements completed without debt. But she doesn’t know what she wants to do for a job, and her teachers tell her the best way to figure that out is to spend four years in college. I tell her the best way to find out is to just take any job, so that when she has the epiphany she has work experience and money in the bank. However, the voice of one elder brother can only do so much against a cacophony of teachers.
So I’m looking for help. I have until June to convince Gazelle that college is not a requirement, and save her from the slavery of student loan debt. If you have advice for Gazelle, comment here or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I will pass on all emails to her. Help me convince Gazelle that her teachers are wrong. Help me keep my sister out of college.