The Mandatory College Myth

Back when I was enrolled at a community college in San Diego, my English professor showed our class a video of a woman who recently graduated with a Master’s Degree, but she couldn’t even get a job cleaning bathrooms at a hotel. She was a smart student and presumably more mentally agile than every other employee, but her work experience was insufficient.

The video was truly shocking; I was in disbelief for most of it. I asked myself, “Why is she showing this to us?” It was incredibly discouraging, cruel and harshly realistic. After it was over, the professor made us write a paper stating whether we sincerely thought going to college was worth it.

I remembered my uncle’s advice who had already attained a Master’s Degree. Before I ever stepped inside a classroom, he told me to “Always agree with the professor” because it would raise my chances of achieving a higher grade. A miniscule part of my conscious thoroughly believed that college could be extremely important and useful, but strictly for any determined and self-motivated individual with an emphasis on learning toward a specified career path.

Even though this was how I thought, the entire time I was writing the paper I felt sick. Mainly because I was holding back my real feelings and silencing my inner voice just to get a better grade.

College can be “good” for you, but that’s no reason to feed our nation’s youth a bunch of lies, claiming a degree is mandatory to succeed and guaranteed to keep you off the streets. In some areas, college can be important, but not enough to force every abled person to desire a diploma.

Students who go forth and take the blind leap at a university are being consumed by debt and outdated ideologies. This has been true for a while now, but it’s especially prevalent in today’s world.

A majority of the people I’ve met that earned a degree or multiple have everything they want. A cool car, big house, and loving family. Everything except happiness. This is because they are not doing what they wish to do. They live on somebody else’s schedule and dread a significant amount of their lives. Most are only capable of experiencing temporary bliss and escape during the weekend.

If every school’s criteria and curriculum enabled each student to advance past their expectations for themselves, there would be too many success stories and we’d never hear anything about the tales of crippling debt. Colleges and Universities do not teach you what you need to know; they teach you what they want you to know.



Steven Ramirez


My name is Steven, I have lived in San Diego all my life and I love to learn. My goal is to one day bring creative and new original ideas into this world. I am a essayist, poet and screenwriter.