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Why I’m Angry: Education

February 6, 2010

I’m stupid.

No, no, don’t feel pity or anything, I’m simply acknowledging the fact that I am uneducated.

I got to this point after looking up an old friend of mine. She’s so smart, and I’m so jealous of her. She was able to spend four years at the college of her choice learning how to do a job for an industry she absolutely adores. She got so well-educated and has done a metric-ton of noteworthy things.

And where am I?

I’m on the Internet, making silly videos that most people don’t like.

Is that jealousy? Well, yes. Yes, it is. I’m intensely jealous. I want to be educated. I want to move on to bigger and better things. I want people with authority to look at me and say, “Wow, this woman would be a very valuable asset to us.” Or, maybe one day I’d like to say, “Why yes, it’s great to not have to worry about living from paycheck to paycheck, because I have the job I love that pays me just enough that I don’t worry whether or not I’m going to make rent this month.”

I admit, I messed up. I messed up years ago. When I was initially going to San Antonio College, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Heck, that’s what community college is for, right? You take some basics and figure out what to do. But I messed up. I initially went for English. I went for English because I was good at English. But I don’t want to be stuck as an English major. It isn’t what I WANT or DESIRE. I started taking Japanese. I loved Japanese. I loved it so much that I took some of the classes twice, even when I had already passed. I wanted to be SURE I was good at Japanese. I’m almost regretting having wanted to be good at it now… (which I’ll get to in a minute). My math and history basically killed me. I admit to not paying enough attention in my last history class, and so I flunked out of that one. I’m also riduculously terrible with math. As it is, I’ve had to take two remedial courses, and I’m still not up to College Algebra yet. And I FAILED the last remedial math I needed. Okay, now, granted, I’m math stupid. But let me give you a little history of me and math. This story starts all the way back in Elementary school-

*Up to Grade 5 – Decent enough in math, able to skip count REALLY fast thanks to the memorization of audio cassette tapes with songs teaching skip-counting by 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.
*Grade 6 – Math grades start to suffer. Start practicing for placement tests for middle school math. Because I knew what to expect on the test, I tested quite well into 7th grade Pre-Algebra.
*Grade 7 – Was put into Pre-Algebra, a very silly idea. Was terrible at it, and failed out of it at the end of the first semester. Was finally appropriately placed into Math 7, the regular 7th grade math class. However, I was at a disadvantage because I had missed all of the building blocks of the first semester. At the end of the second semester, we were given pre-tests for placement into pre-algebra or algebra in the 8th grade. I failed the pre-test incredibly hard. However, after failing the pre-test, the teacher gave us all the answers. Then the real test came. And it was IDENTICAL to the pre-test. I knew all the answers. But not how to get to them. So, I was incorrectly placed into Algebra in the 8th grade.
*Grade 8 – Probably my worst math year in all of history. In fact, they had even placed me into the ADVANCED PLACEMENT Algebra. Well, I quickly bombed out of that, and at the semester’s end, I was put back into regular Algebra. But it was STILL higher than I should have been learning. And it didn’t help that I didn’t get the building blocks I needed the previous year. I attended tutoring every morning, but it didn’t ever help. It also didn’t ever help that the teacher performed some sort of chalk-enduced vocal magical spell to put me to sleep ever afternoon after lunch. She made the terrible, terrible, TERRIBLE decision to allow me to pass her class because I was showing effort that I was actually attempting to not suck at math. No, you know what would have been better? Failing me, and making me take a math that was on my own level.
*Grade 9 – Geometry. That wasn’t so bad. Why? Because it was tangible. It was basic math, with pictures. That was something I could do.
*Grade 10 – Algebra. Oh, now THIS was a joke. Not only had my last run-in with Pre-Algebra been a complete failure, but I should have never passed it to begin with, never have been put into it to begin with, and I hadn’t done Pre-Algebra in a YEAR. I should NEVER have been placed into high school Algebra at this point. This ended up exactly like Pre-Algebra did. I went to tutoring and showed effort. I also got points on homework for showing work, even if I didn’t get the answers right. So, finally, it comes to finals. I’m told, “You’ll pass the class if you make a 70 on the exam.” I try my hardest, but I know I’m failing. I come in to check one day. Teacher picks up my test and doesn’t physically show me my grade. But he says, “…70. Congratulations.” But I’m certain it was another pity grade. C’mon. An exact 70? The exact passing grade I need? Bad idea…

This set me up for bad math grades in college. Failing my first remedial math, having to retake it, then failing the second remedial, and I’m STILL not up to College Algebra.

Anyway, I finally decided I wanted to go into Mass Communications, going either for Radio/Television Broadcast or New Media (you know, like the Internet stuff I already do). I also figured I could probably minor in Japanese. Probably could. Heck, I went off to Japan and studied the language for a while. I could do it.

But now, I’m in this conundrum. I’m relatively close to finishing school. Like, if I decided I wanted to finish my Mass Communications degree, I could do it and finish it in, like, four classes.



Well, I was taking all of these classes at San Antonio College. The problem is that it’s just a Junior College. After reaching a certain number of credit hours, they don’t allow me to come back. I’ve already reached that point, and now there’s a hold on my account. They won’t let me go back.

I attempted to apply for college at the University of Texas at San Antonio. They’ve actually accepted me. TWICE. My problem? I can’t pay for it. How was I paying for school before? Well, you see, my parents, grandparents, and family friends had given me savings bonds as birthday presents ever since I was born. They had matured quite a bit and earned quite a lot of interest. That covered my schooling up until now.

And now it’s gone.

“So, just go get some loans!” you may say.
Oh, sure, you say that like it’s easy.

I don’t have credit. In fact, I think I have bad credit, even though I have no debt. I had a $500 credit card once. Then I went to Japan and lost it. Along with my wallet, my passport, everything important. That time period was attrocious. I found myself having a difficult time paying for things. And then the credit card didn’t get paid for a while. And that killed my credit. No one will ever give me a loan because of one horrible accident in Japan.

“What about your parents?” They won’t help me. For one, my mom just barely got a job after not having one for, like, five years. My dad has been unemployed since I was at the end of my run in high school. He applies for jobs every day, but everyone is too blind to see that he would make a great employee, and so he keeps getting overlooked (would somebody please help my dad get the job he so greatly deserves? He works so hard…). Their credit is just fine (I believe) but they won’t help me get a loan (won’t co-sign for me). Maybe they’re afraid I’ll ruin their credit when I’m not able to pay or something. Or maybe they truly believe no one would give them a loan, either.

Anyway, it’s become impossible for me to get a loan.

And don’t get me started on how many scholarships I’ve attempted to fill out and been overlooked for. I write essays upon essays and no one so much as responds with, “Sorry, you were not accepted.”

I want to go to school. I want to be an intelligent person. I want to be educated. But, how do I do that? I go to work just to survive. I don’t have the ability to save for college. Even if I did, at this rate, I wouldn’t be going to school again until I’m 35. Why should I have to wait until I’m halfway finished with my life before I’m supposedly “educated” enough to do the work I know I could do right now?

I’m really upset. I always told myself, “I’ll never stop going to college until I’m done with it. If I ever take breaks, I know I’ll never return.” Here, I’ve been out of school for two years now. I’m in a dead-end, uneducated labor job. If I could get a loan, I’m positive I’d be able to pay it off. However, I’ve been rejected on a loan enough times to know that it won’t come.

What do I do now? Do I continue to work uneducated and hope that that’s enough to get me by for the rest of my life?

I desire to learn, I really do. I want the brains. College, you may have my money! Please just give me the opportunity!

Oh, dear God, please…

20 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2010 1:10 PM

    I know how you feel, believe me. [hugs]

  2. February 6, 2010 1:36 PM

    Like I said on Twitter, you may still have options yet. I’ve been in a very similar situation and found college funding, so… Don’t give up hope just yet. But do pass off the negativity; it’s the last thing you need to move forward.

  3. kayla permalink
    February 6, 2010 1:59 PM

    Yeah I’ve felt that way a time or two in my life. Currently I’m studying at a community college to get a job I don’t particularly like just so I’ll have a set of job skills to make ends meet.

    I feel for you Marz I really do. Someday this wonky education system will be worked out. And for what it’s worth I like your vids.

  4. sdasasdas permalink
    February 6, 2010 2:06 PM

    College isn’t one of those things where you can just go to and hang out. The reason for the hold is because they DO NOT want people to be spending 5 years without a degree, but still going to college.

    I’m not going to lie, but I think you lost your college priorities because of your love for Japan. You somehow took enough classes to get a hold, but not enough to get your degree, which means you willingly chose classes that were NOT in your degree ciriculum, all those classes being like elective classes for college. You didn’t HAVE to take them, you chose them over classes you should have taken though.
    While colleges do want you money, it does NOT look good on them to have a person enrolled for years (when community colleges are suppose to only be two year colleges or starter colleges) and have no degree.

    There are offers out there, plenty of people have to take out ALOT of money to get through, people WILL give you loans, you gotta apply to FAFSA, try for scholarships. As long as you didn’t flunk out, and you will show the school that you want to go to that you WILL get a degree and that your main goal is a degree (not any of your side projects) they WILL hook you up with banks, private loaners, a list of loans that you can apply too. You need to talk to the financial specialist at UoSA.

    I know plenty of people now, who are 24 working full time and working on their masters, it can be done, you just have to have the passion for it. It CAN be done, it’s just up to you to find the way.

    I have gotten college loans TWICE on horrible credit, and when I say horrible credit we’re talking about 8 or 9 credit cards over limits, still existing old loans, old college loans. Banks are out there that will give you money, just talk to people at the school about it.

    It’s all on you, when you make desicions that spend your money or affect your future, you need to look at it in the long term, don’t take classes again that aren’t going to benefit your JOB in the next ten years.

    Also, this is something to think on: You’ve done more than most people your age, you’ve gone to plenty of other states, another country. Why does having no degree bother you when you actually had to basically sacrifice your degree because you wanted to do all those things now? The people your age who now have the degrees, going for their masters, while they may have not been able to see the world, they’ll be able to see the world for the rest of their lives on their own money almost when ever they want.

    I think you can do it, I think that you need more confidence in yourself and your path in life.

  5. Burzmali permalink
    February 6, 2010 2:16 PM

    Night school is probably your best option, my wife managed to put herself through night school without amassing too much debt while working a clerical job 9-5.

    I don’t know what your father does, but there is a company in Schertz, TX named Cole Hersee that is looking for / will shortly be looking for a shipping manager that can function well in a high stress environment.

  6. DanManX permalink
    February 6, 2010 2:21 PM

    Hey Kaylyn. I know we don’t talk personally or anything, but you have at least a rough idea of who I am. I would like you to know, for the record, that I’m in a similar boat. In all honesty I *could* go back to school, but I don’t want to. That’s its own story and not relevant here.

    However, a large part of the reason why is because of how expensive it is. The other part of the reason…is because of the bullcrap requirements. You have found this out first hand, and indeed I’d say you probably had it worse than I did. You are actually not even allowed to go back to your school, out of a silly rule that says you can’t because…um…yeah. I never went to a Community/Junior College. I *could* go, but I don’t want to. Why? Because they would make me do so many basic, insulting classes which are not only painfully easy (I didn’t stop going because I *couldn’t* do it…), but more importantly, THEY ARE UTTERLY IRRELEVANT TO WHAT I WANT TO LEARN.

    My uncle went on a rant this past Thanksgiving, telling my brother (who is still in college, and was complaining–rightly–about all the bullcrap Gen Ed classes) that the purpose of college is to become a well-rounded person. I didn’t argue with him, I didn’t want any bad blood at the gathering.

    That is, however, the STUPIDEST thing I’ve ever heard in my life, and if that’s the way people and the colleges themselves think of it, I personally want nothing to do with higher education anymore. I did not pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to become a well-rounded person. I paid them to make me a history teacher, and my college (which I have learned is not the norm, but again, different story) told me “That’s great, we’d love to do that. We’re going to take your money for four years. For two of those years, however, you WILL NOT be allowed to take classes for your major. The first two years are General Education, and then when you’ve completed those and become a “junior,” you may start on your Major.” So to reiterate: They were effectively telling me that it only actually takes 2 years to get a Major, and that the other stuff was completely unnecessary for my chosen (and at the time well-defined) career path. But they wouldn’t allow me to do it out of some ridiculous preconceived notion that I needed classes in things that, by and large, I was totally uninterested in, in order to become a “better person.” God forbid I earn my degree quickly and efficiently, excelling at an area I enjoy and was already good at, and then go on to do that profession and have a good life that way. No no. I *have* to take all of these classes that have nothing to do with my chosen Major, just because they tell me to. It’s all stupid.

    And furthermore, as Linkara pointed out in one of his recent videos, not being “educated” does NOT make you “stupid,” Kaylyn. One could argue the math thing might, but math is actually a frequent sticking point with people. One of my best friends has similar problems to you in that area. She is hardly stupid. A little flighty at times, but there’s a difference between that and stupid.

    If you’d like proof that you are not stupid, think of this: As you said in your post, you are ALREADY DOING internet videos, which is “New Media” and probably at least partially Mass Communication. True, you’re not a celebrity on the level of James or Doug, but 1) Who is? 2) You DO have fans. Loyal ones. Maybe you don’t make enough from the videos to live off of, but it’s a nice bonus. It’s a supplement, at any rate, and you’ve taken great strides to improve and to use this as a tool to live, not just a hobby. Think of the passion with which you’re approaching your podcast idea. Think of all the generosity people have shown you this recent birthday. Everyone can tell this is what you want. And why would anyone be that generous if they didn’t think you could do it? You don’t NEED a degree in this sort of thing to be successful at it. If some of the most famous and successful filmmakers of all time can become that level without finishing/attending film school (and if you look into it, a lot of them haven’t) then why can’t you do what you want without it?

    I personally am a big proponent of “talent over teaching.” Maybe that’s BECAUSE of my decisions we went through earlier, but nonetheless. History shows, again, that often it’s the people who WEREN’T formally educated who make the greatest strides. Usually that comes down to raw talent, and it’s rare to be a prodigy; I hardly think I’m one, and it would be silly to just label everyone who tries their hardest as one. Certainly a good education can help shape such things, but it’s not necessary, is my point. It IS possible to do it without it. Maybe it’ll be a bit tougher. But doesn’t that make it sweeter? I mean think of it. If you can go out there and do something you enjoy and have it work, WITHOUT the years of boring classes, aren’t you better off? How many frustrated actors/film students are out there working nowhere near their fields, or even in their fields, but in the lowliest, most mind-numbing of positions. Was it worth it to them? Was it rewarding? I’d rather go out on my own and have a tangible product, than to complete school, have a degree, and then get stuck doing practically nothing with it. Sure, they’re “in the industry,” but does being a set assistant actually require that degree? Does getting coffee for everyone involve critical, high-level thinking? Hardly. My friends and I have made videos, even a couple short films, and none of us have graduated (most of them are at least still IN school, but don’t have their degrees yet). We aren’t famous, we don’t make money off of them, but we’ve made real, tangible, FINISHED products. We even premiered one at the local community college to an audience. Not a large one, but we did it. We won “Best Screenplay” and “Runner Up for Best Film” at that college’s film festival (separate occasions, by the way, and separate movies). And this was competing against people IN the film classes and the Film Club. We can do that without the almighty degrees and education. So why should we bother?

  7. sdasasdas permalink
    February 6, 2010 2:45 PM

    Also I think it would be good to point out that HAVING a degree isn’t even a valid method to claim intelligence anymore. With the MANY methods out there, and the amount of people out there with degree’s who basically got it by ass kissing or by having money, degree’s should never be used as a way of validating your intelligence.

    There are just as many “Stupid” people who have degree’s as there are that don’t.

  8. February 6, 2010 3:19 PM

    Degrees are just social shorthand for practical credibility, true. But the actual advantage of going to college is having a controlled environment where you can gain practical experience.

    Getting the degree is not the goal; learning the chosen craft is. You usually need all of the elements that compose the degree requirements if you just come in with little to no experience, but yes, if you become skilled enough to work on your own, you don’t technically need the degree. But that’s the thing; the degree isn’t important if you want to and have the means of starting out by yourself, whether through self-employment or just getting a chance to prove yourself. I’m a firm believer in independence, especially in new media pursuits, but… The reality is that without some incredible good fortune, you will need a fallback, and that’s what that little framed document is for.

    But no, it’s never about just having a degree or being able to make a claim because of it; deeds, not words and all… Claims are just about insecurity. The sad truth is that education is easier and easier to achieve, to a point, and because of the nature of our social and economic structure we’re just over saturating the market and pushing the level of “prestige” and thereby desirability further and further upwards. A high school diploma alone was a big deal when I graduated, and just an Associate’s Degree would get you a solid career. Now? Going four years barely cuts it in an established industry.

    But that shouldn’t be discouragement for Ms. Dicksion, because she’s in an evergreen field that is still young, with all the more reason to get back in there. And as stated before, though maybe a bit more… Harshly than needed, it’s not as difficult as it would seem, as long as you understand and can navigate the aid system.

  9. February 6, 2010 3:56 PM

    Frankly, I don’t know which part I begin to say “I’ve been there”.

    Is it the part about a mishap with a $500 credit card putting a bullet in the spine of my credit score?

    Is it the part where Math has been such a fair weather subject that has been the crippling/beneficial part of my grade school days?

    Maybe it’s the part where my desires or goals weren’t exactly all that much clear to integrate to my schooling (though the difference is that I actually took a break in FEAR of using up my junior college credits)

    I had MANY interests to consider when I graduated High School; voice acting, electronic music production, 2D and 3D animation (or illustration) and computer repair… only two of those fields were realistic enough for ME to make into a profession. Computer Hardware became more of a hobby thing with time and observation (software, web design and networking administration were the parts of the IT industry that have job openings. I didn’t even become interested in programming until hearing of one-man development teams were possible like ZUN, Pixel, Konjak and FOX and this was 2 years AFTER taking a class dealing with Flash game development). While it’s not impossible to be a composer in the entertainment industry, my interest in electronic music and synthesizers was also at a hobby level. The difference being that ever since I took one class on Electronic Music, I intended for it to remain nothing more than that.

    There was a bit of values dissonance in my education though. At FIRST I wanted to go to SF State, so the idea was that I’d do all my required courses to transfer (Math and History). Failed everything but English, leaving me two more English courses to transfer. Decided to work on Foreign Language credits and a LITTLE towards my major but then started having second thoughts on whether or not SF State was right for me. At that point I was running on autopilot, simply attending class because it was EXPECTED of me to do so and trying to keep my grades up. I was “lost” so I took a break to seriously consider what it was I should REALLY devote myself towards. That later shifted me to a University (Academy of Art University to be exact) that deals with New Media, this after I decided I REALLY love drawing and I REALLY love animation.

    To be honest I was really happy taking part in a school that was hectic but not discouraging. I did get approved for Federal Loans and FAFSA but I still needed more money (and I mean like a job or private student loans, because both my Loans and Grants went DIRECTLY to the school rather than in my hands) and every time I was turned down (having older relatives that went to college before me and co-signed on loans also put a dent on the family’s credit). It’s kind of sad when you talk to a school counselor AND the Financial Aid counselor and the best advice they can offer is either find a job before midterms or drop out…yeah.

    If anything the above experience made me a critic of the education system but not to the point of scorning it altogether. I will say that there are some fields where getting a degree isn’t all that much important (supplementing the Library, strong grammatical practice and a few well placed books from Borders just as good as any lesson plan), noting successful dropouts like Bill Gates, Eric Vale or Quentin Tarantino although I’m not going to flat out parade propaganda on how “College is Evil” (though for the case of Academy of Art, I probably can, remembering how a former faculty member posted on Kotaku criticizing the school’s administrative practices citing how it may be more involved with Real Estate than education…though that’s neither here nor there) because it’s not. I do think that whether someone has doubts on the system of Higher Education or not it’s something they should experience for themselves to make that call. A good friend and fellow Convention staffer of mine put it best “It’s different for everybody”.

    I have a tendency to get bored VERY easily and that may be because I can move a few steps faster than a class lesson plan may dictate. Not to mention my field of interest while competitive is very much doable with a well rounded portfolio (be it on paper or a voice reel) rather than putting down thousands of dollars on a piece of paper that says “I know how to learn” . Of course I’m going to put the necessity of a degree into question in my position.

    DanManX, I think you put it best with examples of the “educated” working in the furthest thing from their goals or being in the right location but the wrong position. A degree isn’t a magic bullet for success, it’s just one part of it (and quite optional I may argue). Successful people lurk, make themselves a pest, “network” and talk to the right people to get their foot in the door. Could you imagine the look on my face when Ken Pontac described his college success story as renting equipment, skipping class and shooting claymation with his buddies to enter a film festival that Art Clokey (or an associate of his, I forget the exact details) just happened to be attending? That’s what they mean when they say “put yourself out there” because you have to reach the people you may even find it IMPOSSIBLE to reach. It also shows that sometimes the most natural thing to do may be the right thing.

    So that’s my ramble on the whole matter, clearly you’re not alone in your situation. The worst you can do is be a victim.

  10. KrataLightblade permalink
    February 6, 2010 4:42 PM

    I can’t offer much other than hopes and best wishes.

    But you’ve got those regardless. You don’t know me and probably don’t care to. But I’ll be wishing you the best anyway.

    Good luck.

  11. JeanJacket permalink
    February 6, 2010 6:37 PM

    Teachers can be so well-meaning, but when they pass a student out of pity it really only screws them over in the long run. I know how the math classes must have felt. I find myself in Algebra II this year, an advanced class, when I only passed last year’s math because the teacher never collected homework and practically gave us test answers.

    You really do deserve a better lot in life than what you’ve been stuck with. I hope things somehow get turned around for you soon.

  12. Burzmali permalink
    February 6, 2010 10:53 PM

    The simplest reason that you need a college degree these days is that, in most high paying industries, HR department will throw your application away if it doesn’t have that accolade. End of story. Twenty years ago, probably not. In a better economy, maybe not. But if you want anything better than clerical or labor jobs today, you need that line on your resume.

    • February 7, 2010 12:51 AM

      It’s become a catch-22 in some cases. Most Clerical and Labor Jobs in MY area actually demand a BS/BA degree for anything in the range of 18/hr and up even if the work itself is something you don’t even need a High School diploma to handle.

      This means the “working student” should either lie about their education or work inhuman hours in food service, retail or lord forbid commissioned sales to make ends meet as they go through school.

      So when something that pays only SLIGHTLY better than minimum wage but hardly a career is hiring but will only consider college graduates, isn’t that business practice a bit draconian? Said person gets hounded for working a dead end job and teased about greener pastures but can’t reach said greener pastures because he/she need to put down a few extra dollars out their pocket (supplementing Financial Aid mind you) to get a step closer to that degree.

      Hell my friend tells me you need a degree to work in sales for her state. What’s next if this shit keeps up? You need a Master’s to work in McDonald’s? We’re looking at a lot of unemployment/underemployment potential. Expect crime to go up from those unfortunate souls left out the door.

      • sdasasdas permalink
        February 7, 2010 2:34 PM

        The only reason I can see this happening is because it’s unbeliveably EASY to get an associates now. You can get your masters ONLINE now, your MASTERS.

        Online schools give the degree’s for cheaper and for less times, overall an associates and bachelors are worth next to nothing because you can sit at home and get one if you have the time and money.

        We all praise technology and the internet, but it does effect all of us in ways we don’t see until we sit down and think about it.

        Going to college and getting an associates is being considered like passing high school, if you attend it and drop out, it’s like REALLY you REALLY dropped out? You couldn’t get through those four years? Wow you must be a loser.
        Going to college used to mean ALOT more than it means today, we have people going to school, getting degrees in multiple things just for the hell of it, just to have a degree for any job app, not even for ones that have to do with the major. Now, almost anyone can save up the money and pay for seperate college classes online, eventually use those credit hours and go back to non-online college and get a degree. That and do you know how many people have OTHER people do their online work? All the degree and nothing to actually back it up.

        THAT is why the degree’s are so looked down apon, you do online school, actually do the work, make semi okay grades, a guy gets someone else to do his work, gets awesome grades, you both come out with the same degree, and he’s picked over you because his grades are higher and he may have double majored with his little cheat friend.

  13. Aren permalink
    February 7, 2010 2:48 AM

    Hey Kaylyn,

    I hope you don’t mind hearing my thoughts on this subject. This has always been a sensitive topic for me and I’ve spent my share of time pondering the subject. I still do, in fact, since I have yet to finish my own degree.

    You really need to consider how you would be using your degree or whether a degree is even necessary for you.

    For instance, I am majoring in Philosophy. Unless I intend to go to graduate school, my Philosophy degree is next to worthless. You might also consider where you’re getting your degree from and whether you’ll be competing with people from higher tiered schools (if that matters for the job you want).

    If you aren’t going to actually use your degree for job applications or to get into graduate school, then there isn’t a good reason to get one unless you have the spare time and cash. You’ll spend your time better working the best job you can get and getting experience (and money).

    It is also worth noting that graduate degrees seem to be becoming the new undergraduate degrees (as mentioned in some of the comments above).

    What kind of job do you want to have? Having a degree doesn’t guarantee a job. And if you know what kind of job you want, have you looked at the requirements? You never know what you might be able to accomplish until you try — maybe you just need to talk to a potential employer and ask for a chance to prove yourself.

    If I was out of a job right now, I would spend time putting together a killer portfolio/resume showing off all of my talents. I would then: #1. apply to as many places as I could bear to work at, #2. work on building a personal business.

    Do you even want to work for someone else? Some of the most successful people in the world never went to college. Check out Forbe’s billionaire list:

    2 of the top 5 DROPPED OUT of college. I didn’t bother to look at the whole list, but a number never attended. There are examples of successful entrepreneurs all over the place if you keep your ears open. Take a look at the idiot (that’s my jealousy speaking) who created Facebook:

    What I have found in my own experience, as well as in my assessment of the experience of others, is that HARD WORK wins out against EVERYTHING. Hard work overcomes all obstacles. If you keep doing something, you’ll eventually be successful. Almost unequivocally, success results when preparation meets opportunity.

    You may have noticed you have a pretty good audience of people that read your various content. Have you brainstormed any ideas on how to offer content people would be willing to pay to get? “MarzGurl Productions” kind of sounds like a multimedia site where you could #1. attract an audience, #2. get paid by advertisers, #3. offer subscriptions to a “members only” section.

    As far as intelligence goes, you’re a smart girl already. College isn’t about getting smarter: college is about getting a piece of paper that makes it easier to get certain jobs. Self-education is the best way to make yourself more intelligent.

    Read the comments on this article for a wide variety of opinions on college:

    Also, I suck horribly at math.

    • Burzmali permalink
      February 7, 2010 2:46 PM

      I hate to be a wet blanket but everyone that made it without a college degree in your list had two advantages, family money and growing up in a time where a college degree was a bonus not a necessity for most jobs.

      • Aren permalink
        February 7, 2010 3:39 PM

        You either have the ambition or you don’t. You either have the drive to be successful or you don’t. Having money is a jumpstart but isn’t a guarantee.

        You think those guys were successful because they were what, lucky? You can tell yourself that if it makes you feel better. Luck may play a part, but luck does not carry you that far without hard work and seizing opportunity.

        And even if the whole list is a bunch of people who were born with silver spoons/stumbled their way into riches, so what?

        You can whine about someone else’s circumstances and use that as an excuse to do nothing, or learn from others have done (with or without money or degrees). That is one list — many people are wildly successful without degrees, and, no, I’m not going to bother to cite examples, because it is beside the point.

        There are no guarantees in life — getting a degree is not a guarantee to get a good job or a job that will make you happy. The best bet is to do what you love, keep doing it and keep your eyes open for golden opportunities.

  14. Burzmali permalink
    February 7, 2010 4:21 PM

    How many people on any list of “successes without college degrees” aren’t entrepreneurs or over 60? Not everyone wants to live a life where you don’t even know if you are getting paid next week and forty years ago you could work you’re way up from the bottom of companies without bothering to get a degree.

    • sdasasdas permalink
      February 7, 2010 8:53 PM

      That is the truth, One of the top reasons for stress in the everyday person is finance, one of the top reasons for divorce is finance, the second that you aren’t getting money from any outside source, your number one worry is most likely finance.

      The kinds of people who can manage to do what those forbes guys did, are the kinds of people who basically put their life on a 50/50 scale, they could either lose everything, or gain everything. Normally the ONLY kinds of people who do these kinds of strives are those who really have nothing to lose.

      While I don’t mean to insult marz in anyway, but I just can’t picture her as to be a person who would willingly give up all reason and rationality, to chase after an epic life journey with everything going against her.

      I do believe people can still do this though, we still have people in their 20s going on pilgrimages, people who join the peace core, people who live with fear on their shoulder but they brush it off like dust.

      MOST people can’t do that though. Hell I worry about money problems that may exist in 3 or 4 years.

      It’s all a matter of personal drive, ability, and a way to make it happen.

  15. February 7, 2010 9:45 PM

    There is a ton of people who will regret something in their life, I have regrets all the time. Even people who go to school might have regrets. After all going to school won’t always lead to a successful career, or even to gain this “respect” you feel you need to earn.

    I respect you for actually learning a new language, I can’t stand learning new languages. My boyfriend is always trying to force me to learn Spanish so I could talk to his parents, but I get so frustrated that I give up. You accomplished something A LOT of people are probably envious of, not to mention you did go to Japan. I know a lot of fans of Japanese culture feel envy over something they can’t afford or do.

    Life isn’t always about hitting the books, sometimes it’s about exploration and bettering yourself from the experience you learned outside of school. I am sure your friend is just as envious of your life. School isn’t all its cracked up to be.

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