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Caroline Bird's College Is A Waste Of Time And Money

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Caroline Bird's "College Is a Waste of Time and Money"

In her article “College Is a Waste of Time and Money”, Caroline Bird attempts to pursued her readers that colleges are overflowing with students who don’t belong there. Her article first appeared in Psychology Today (May 1975). Since this material is outdated, I find it hard to believe that most of the responses by students and parents quoted in the article still hold true. The author has set out to pursue the readers that college is a bad and unnecessary choice for today’s youth. Yet the author holds a bachelors and a masters degree from two different universities. I would think that if she thought college was really a bad choice and a waste of time and money, she would not have gone back to get her masters degree.

I am a college student myself and there were only two things in the whole article that I was in agreement with. One was that colleges try to market themselves. The other was her paragraph on how Americans are looking less and less for great paying jobs and are looking more for job that they like doing. This unfortunately is also a contradiction to her piece of writing, because college prepares, and helps you get a job that you will enjoy. Furthermore, the author’s main ideas were not well thought out or well supported. An example of this might be her money investment idea. She implies that if an eighteen year old invested his/hers college tuition money in a bank, and kept it there till he/she was sixty-four, they would be twice as rich as those who go to school, graduate and work in their field of study. What she fails to mention is that while their money is gathering interest, it can not be touched till their sixty-four, and in the mean time they have to be making a living in another job which they probably hate doing. Overall, Bird’s attempt to pursue her readers that college is a waste of time did not work on me.

Students are in colleges because they are told to, or because they still want to be financially depend on their parents and not have to worry about growing up to face the real world. The author in her article writes such ideas. Furthermore, since colleges became a big industry in the 60’s, and now the number of people attending has fallen, colleges use marketing skills to bring more students in. They try to make college sound as easy as possible to make more people register. Students, once in college are not happy and drop out, or just hang out and finish just because they think it is the right thing to do. The author feels that students are sad because they are unwanted young adults. Since the world is overpopulated, we stick the eighteen-year-olds in colleges to temporarily get rid of them. We also fool ourselves into believing that these actions are good for them. Most of these unwanted young adults eventually learn to like it, and those that don’t drop out. The conservative Carneigie Commission estimated that five to thirty...

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