Willie Wonka and the College Factory

Dominique Smith, Opinion Editor

The announcement of Gene Wilder’s death, in late August, reminded me not only of how much I loved “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” as a child, but also how badly I wanted a chance to find a golden ticket.

My dream of competing in a real life golden ticket contest was never fulfilled, but at least I had college to look forward to. Right? You decide what you want to be when you grow up, get into a university and when you graduate you get your dream job. That’s all there is to it. You just start making lots of money.

Wrong. That’s just the dream most of us have been sold.

Student Loan Hero says, “The average Class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt, up six percent from last year.” With an average monthly student loan payment of $351 from borrowers between the ages of 20-30 years

According to the New York Fed report, one-third of all graduates get jobs that don’t require a bachelor’s degree and in 2015 the average graduates income was $43,000 a year.

So basically, we put ourselves through all of this hard work to get into a university and then after racking up tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, we’re not guaranteed to find a job, let alone get a good paying job to pay off student loans, than someone who didn’t go to college at all.

Not until recently have I thought, maybe going to a four-year isn’t the smartest route to having a successful career. The argument that going to a university isn’t worth the student loan debt, has been a popular topic for years. One of which I haven’t really agreed with until now.

I think instead of avoiding community college or wanting to rush through it to get to a university, maybe more people should actually go to and stay at CC’s as an alternative to get a higher education. This way you save (hella) money and for the most part, you have the same education as someone from a four-year.

Really, what it all comes down to is how hard you hustle in the real world. If you take advantage of the resources around you, you’re most likely going to succeed. Where you went to school doesn’t really matter anymore. What matters is what you know, what you can do and if you can prove it based off of your knowledge and skills.