Just When I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In…

07Mar11

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Those of us who have completed our university career completely understand the meaning behind the title of this blog (and, incidentally, the immortal words of Michael Corleone in the Godfather III) in regards to your education.

Knowing that you’ve completed 2 years of higher education is fantastic…until you remember that you have another 2 more to go. I remember finishing my 2nd year at university and thinking to myself, “all that and I’m only half-way through?!” It was frustrating and, in a sense, rather demotivating (as my 3rd year transcript can most assuredly confirm). So, I thought that I had completed a fair chunk of my degree, but then they sucked me back in. I had to stay for another 2 more years in order to complete my undergraduate degree; if I didn’t, then the 2 years of education I had completed would be useless. Also, once you’ve obtained your undergrad degree, the universities like to fill you in on the big joke that sounds like it was written by a sometime friend: “Sorry, but you need to come back to complete a Master’s degree. If you don’t, you’ll be left behind in the job market, you won’t have the skills to compete for jobs, and, although you’ve completed a degree, you’re really considered useless until you get your Master’s… just thought you should know.” Unbelievable.

In Canada, you’re told that you need a university degree to get anywhere in life, and along with that degree comes 4 years of sleepless nights, stressful visits to the library, an unhealthy addiction to caffeine, and an ever-growing debt load.

There are other options out there; there are many private colleges within the provinces that allow you to complete the training you need in a year or less. I think that, as Canadians, we freak out a bit when people mention private training because there are so many horror stories floating around about sub-par institutions operating out of someone’s basement, or something. But we have to remember that there are many accredited and reputable schools out there as well. If I had to prepare for my future, knowing what I know now, I probably would have given private training a little more thought when I was younger. Instead of relying on my parents to finance my 4-year academic career at a public university for $25,000+ (that was some time ago, so I’m sure it’s more expensive now), I probably would have looked into some private schools that offer programmes that prepare you in a year or so and cost closer to $10,000.

So, bottom line: if you go to a private college, you will be out in a year or less (depending on the programme, of course) and will be prepared for the workforce; it’s an offer you can’t refuse (you see what I did there? With another Godfather quote? Did ya see that?).

If you go to university, just be prepared for the inevitable moment when you think that you’re almost out, because they will find a way to pull you back in…oh, and also charge you another $20,000 while they’re at it.

Just make sure that if you decline to return, they don’t go and leave a horse head in your bed….

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26 Responses to “Just When I Think I’m Out, They Pull Me Back In…”

  1. This idea definitely sums up my life. I decided to quit after year 2 but rallied. Took a semester off after graduating but went back for grad school. Then after that I ended up teaching college classes! I’m still in college.

    • Lol!! Yeah, I’m in the same boat. By the end of my 3rd year in university, I was ready to quit because it had already been 3 years, I still wasn’t finished, and still had another one to go…definitely the worst year. And, yet, after all of that, here I am working at a college. Still in college as well.

      I’m glad we understand each other. 🙂

  2. nice advice, and nice post again, christy! I did not know this about canadian universities… I think in my country it is of your own decision if you wanna get a diplome or something after completing a career or a graduate. Well, I guess 😛

    Still writing, I´ll fretfully wait for reading you 😀

    • Thanks so much, Javi! Yes, in Canada, you can be in school for a VERY long time depending upon the institution you choose. It can be a bit frustrating at times, so I thought that I’d write this post to let people know that there are other options out there.

      By the way, your English seems to be improving! It looks like deciding to write a blog is helping your English skills…good job!

      • Oh, really? well, thank you very much, I am trying my best 😛

        I will probably travel to Canada soon, I will mail you then so you give me some advices about where to go and so! What could be better than the recommendations of a native-born canadian? 😀

  3. To be honest I think not everyone needs to go to college, you just have to be competent enough in what you’re doing and have the track record to prove it. I always say if you’re going to college ensure that it’s because it’s something you love or that it’s a MUST like being a lawyer or doctor, or else you’ll wake up one day to find that you’ve spent the last 4 years of your life trying to get a piece of paper that says you’re qualified only to realize you’re no where closer to realizing your life’s goal than when you started, as they claimed a college degree would get you.

    • I agree with you to a certain extent. I think that for certain careers (as you suggested, lawyer, doctor, IT specialist, dentist etc.) you simply must attend a post-secondary school. However, I do know some people who have attended 4 year college/university degree programmes and have had difficulty finding a job in their field, and have racked up thousands of dollars worth of debt.

      I think that if there is a specific field that someone is interested in, they should receive as much training as possible in that field in order to perpetuate their passion for it. I believe that training + passion = success.

  4. I think the problem with some is they value the certificate (diploma-degree) over the education. It is better to be educated then to appear that way. Sadly not all employers share my sentiments.

    If I had to encourage someone to go to college I would tell them to study English-Grammar and communication-speech.

    If you know how to handle yourself you will do well in the interview process and the lack of certificate will be less of a strike against you.

    • Thanks for the comment Mitchell!

      I agree with you to a certain extent. I think that you certainly need to be able to handle yourself in an interview, and you should have excellent communication skills no matter what career you choose, but there are some careers that you just have to go to school for in order to be successful (i.e. doctor, lawyer, IT specialist, etc). There are certain skills that you learn at school that you will not be able to learn, in its entirety, on your own. You need direction, guidance, and further information.

      I think that there needs to be a balance between education you receive in the classroom and education you gain by experience. If you don’t obtain both, then your chances for success in a future career may be limited.

      • Hi there, I agree that certain fields require specific study and no hospital would hire a doctor without a doctorate.

        I was referring to the people you mentioned who are already in education (college). Sometimes the people get frustrated because they (not all) are only it for the degree and not the education (information). A degree can get you hired but ignorance will get you fired.

        I was just suggesting that the information was worth more than the certificate of information.

        I quit college when the region had severe flood in 1997.

        I have 2.5 semesters of college. Well, more like 2.5 semesters of fooling around. But I prayed to the Lord for wisdom and He gave it.

        Have a great day, I have a new blog btw. 😉

  5. You’re right…some people in college DO get frustrated because they’re only in it for the degree; however, I think that if that is the case, then perhaps they’re not in the right field of study. I mean, you should be passionate about what you’re learning, right? And, yet, I also think that, sometimes, a 4 year programme is frustrating simply because it’s 4 years long! 🙂

    I found myself getting frustrated in university, not because of my programme (which I very much enjoyed), but due to the length of time that I was in school. I think that if you can marry the information you receive in college with a shorter programmer, it may alleviate the frustration and allow for higher graduation rates amongst students.

    Have a great day as well, and I’ll check out the new blog!

  6. Do you think you grew frustrated because you were not inspired or having much fun learning or because you were anxious to get into your career and apply it?

    • DEFINITELY because I was anxious to get into my career and apply it! I loved my programme and enjoyed going to class, writing papers, and researching, but I just wanted to apply all that I had learned and utilise it. It was frustrating because I knew what I was capable of, and yet had to wait another 2 or 3 years before I was able to prove myself.

  7. Yeah, I think some courses in a field can be a little monotonous or unnecessary and it makes a person impatient. Some of them have no real practical use in the field but what can you do? Universities have to make money too right? haha

    • Yes, you’re right…they do! 🙂

  8. Ha, I was being facetious. What is most expensive school in Canada?

    • Yes, I know you were… 🙂 The most expensive school, huh? Well, I think that the most expensive public university is Acadia University in Nova Scotia (annual tuition is just over $8,000), and the most expensive private university is Quest University in B.C. (annual tuition of about $24,000). If you complete your 4-year degree at either of these schools, it comes with a pretty hefty price tag!

  9. it is amazing how expensive education can be. I was looking at the priciest college/university in America an it is Sarah Lawrence College in New York at $57,556/year. Almost a quarter of a million for 4 years.

    It is interesting to see how universities make money. I think some of them keep the bar low to keep students from quitting and prevent appearing like they have high drop-out rate.

    Be quite a load to start your career with that kind of debt.

    • Good heavens that’s expensive! I’ve read about the tuition rates at Sarah Lawrence, but I seem to remember it as being somewhere near the $39,000 mark (which is still very expensive)…didn’t realise that it was THAT expensive! Obviously, they are very exclusive. I can’t imagine having to carry that amount of debt soon after graduating; it’s just so…unnecessary. No one should have to pay that much to receive a decent education.

  10. I know it is sickening almost. Especially if you don’t have wealthy parents picking up the tab. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that you can make a ton of money with that degree but what if something happens to you and you cannot go into the field you studied? All the sudden you have a huge debt and no practical way to pay for it.

    Plus I know of at least one univ that sold the names of some of its students to credit card companies. Like full-time students have the means to pay the monthly payments. Sad…..

    Looks like we may get some rain/snow here. How is it there?

    • Exactly. I do believe in investing for your future, and that includes a good education, but those kind of tuition rates are far too exorbitant for most people to pay. And with an unstable economy, you never know what may happen in your career, so you can’t always count on your Ivy League level education.

      For a university to sell the names of students to credit card companies is deplorable. We have laws against that type of behaviour here, do you not?

      The weather here is nice! Sunny and [relatively] warm! 🙂

  11. No law as of yet. It is terrible. They sell the names and contact info and also allow financial institutions on campus to try sell to students. College is big business. Some of them are very disgusting.

    Colleges are profiting off the debt of their students. Something seriously wrong here….

    It has been nice here last few days but rain and snow now. Spring in the Rockies…

    Enjoy your sunshine! 🙂

    • Yes, I’d certainly say that there’s something very wrong there…a new law needs to be put in place.

      Thanks for stopping by again, Mitchell! Have a great day! 🙂

  12. Very interesting Christy! I did not know that private colleges would offer programs that could be completed in a year. That might be the way to go to secure a better job momentarily but what if you’re like me, a counter-intuiitve thinker who wants to return to ge a ‘classic education’ ? At this point my mind is so unfulfilled that that I feel the next to go back to square one and see where I am, what level I am, and hopefully discovery new doors of possibility. Where I live(just east of SF) the community colleges are expensive. Perhaps financial aid is something to consider.

    Thanks for the interesting post!

    • Yes, many private colleges in Canada offer programmes that you may complete in a year or so. It would be a year full of intense study, but you can do it. You must always research the programmes first, though, to ensure that you will be getting a quality education. I understand the idea of a “classic education” as you call it, and the security in that, but I always like to point out the actual cost of that education to people. If you study for 4 years, you must take into account, not only tuition, but living expenses as well – if you study full-time, you have to take into account that you will not be working which equals less money, which means that financially it will be even tighter than it may normally be.

      I certainly think that financial aid is a viable option, but please also focus on the interest rate attached to that financial aid. Here in Ontario, we have a programme called the Ontario Student Assistance Programme (OSAP) which helps students pay for their secondary education. However, many students don’t fully research the magnitude of taking out that loan as they don’t realise, until much further down the line, that you must pay back the loan to 2 levels of government (Federal and Provincial) instead of just paying back just one. Also, if you are finding it too difficult to make ends meet and file for bankruptcy, many people don’t realise that your student loans cannot be erased through that process – you must still pay your student loans (which can equal upwards of $50,000 for a 4 year degree programme). If you attend a private college that has 1 year programmes, you may only have to take out a loan for $15,000 or so and will be able to pay that back MUCH easier and faster than you would a loan for a “classic education”. So, definitely check into all of the facts before you decide to look into financial aid!

      Thanks for reading through and commenting!

  13. Sure, very informative…will look into those things! 🙂


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