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I regret going to college – Dividend Income Freedom

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College is expensive it’s easy to think what I could have done with 200k. I would be much closer to retirement and have a larger portfolio way more passive income and 4 years to try and earn additional income.

I dropped out after two years. I regret going at 18 right out of high school. I wasn’t mature enough to handle actually having to earn my grades (I slept my way to a 3.6 in HS), and I wasn’t emotionally ready to have my friends all leave. I dicked around too much and failed my classes and lost my financial aid, so I’ve just been working for the past year and a half, and I’m saving up to go back out of pocket. It’s sad that I’m going to make essentially the same amount of money with my degree that I do at my current job.

I don’t regret college but I also paid barely anything for it. It was very inexpensive (it was a bit ago, but not crazy long ago): I went to the cheapest school I could find and the level of education was pretty crappy (though entertaining at times). I also took about a quarter of my degree as equivalency tests, which minimized my already low cost of degree. I graduated with about $30k in loans and paid them off in about 3 years, maybe 4.

But I met a lot of people, including my wife, and made some life-long friends. And there’s also a lifelong pull to your college town if you had a good experience: I’m actually going back in a few months and I think I also was there last fall even though I live nowhere near there.

I’m not using my degree at all in the sense that I majored in something I was interested in, not for career purposes. I lucked into an IT workstudy as young as 17 and worked during college in IT as well (desktop support at a call center) so I graduated with marketable skills that had nothing to do with my education.

So no I don’t regret college and no it was not really helpful for my career. I suppose I’ll never know if I would have the same career path without the piece of paper but it’s not been helpful in any meaningful sense.

Well, there’s an assumption there that we just can’t prove. I hear people say this all the time but the fact of having a degree is an important barrier to just getting past the initial HR screen (which is an unfortunate reality) but I agree, generally does very little in terms of actual education.

Along the same lines, I hear young people talk about college in terms of actually learning skills which you might later apply in your career. To me, this is just a sad misunderstanding and I’m not sure how it even gets perpetuated. Unless you are planning to be a lifelong academic or you’re at a very elite university, the course content is generally pointless. A very small percentage of people that go to college will actually apply their degree in that way (I know a few).

That being said, there is generally an expectation (in the US at least) that entry-level career roles (as opposed to a “job” that pays but gets you nowhere) require a four-year degree. It’s just a barrier to entry to career and nothing more. But the fact that you make the huge financial outlay before you have a career is speculative, mixed with this misunderstanding about how your education will be applied means that most people spend far too much on their education. This friction does nothing but financially prop up the education system and its ecosystem.

I don’t regret college. It has done me some good to have a Bachelor’s degree. I do regret going to a very expensive college because I feel like I’ll be paying for college when/if I ever retire. I also regret not going to get a “real degree” sooner in life. I was about 27 when I graduated college and I am just now close to getting where I wanted to be in my career, though I did surpass my financial career goals a few years back.

Some people regret going to college/university. More regret their choice of major or program. However, many people regret not having gone to college, or NOT studying something they were passionate about.

Life presents a series of choices. For many, the choice related to post-secondary study is the first major decision that they will make on their own. Regretting one’s choice later on is pointless.

This having been said, there is plenty of good advice offered on this board about being sure to consider what will be economically worthwhile to study. For example, theatre arts may be seem more interesting than actuarial science — but the latter is going to provide a better path to a financially stable career.

Most certainly not. I entered college a few years after World War II ended. It was a wonderful time. Handsome veterans were returning from all over the world, especially Europe and Japan. Food and gasoline restrictions had just recently been lifted. Instead of building airplanes, tanks, and submarines, gorgeous, sleek cars began to crop up everywhere. Home building for retuning veterans and their to-be families flourished in every state. There were Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey, Doris Day, and many other singers helping to spread joy like a wild fire that swept across the country. Everything everywhere was blossoming and blooming! I wonder if there will ever be again be a feeling of national optimism, goodwill, and happy anticipation.

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