College is supposed to be the one of the best times of your life, but a growing number of millennials are wishing they had never gone to school in the first place.
A new study found that one-third of university grads ages 18-35 wish they had never bothered going to college, while nearly half believe they would have achieved the same level of success they have now without a degree.
The reason everyone hates college these days? The overwhelming burden of student debt.
The survey found that 37% of former students regretted going to college given the amount of debt they now have.
With tuition fees and living costs inexorably rising, this year’s U.S. college seniors graduated with an average debt of $37,172, while for their U.K. counterparts the picture is even bleaker, with debts in excess of $65,000.
Regret is as likely to hit older millennials (38%), those aged 25-35, as those in the 18-24 age bracket (37%), despite having had longer to experience the benefit of having a degree, according to the survey of 1,073 U.K. millennials carried out for FTSE100 insurance giant Aviva.
The study also found that 49% of millennials believed they would have reached the same level in terms of career progression had they not gone to college.
I get where a lot of these people are coming from. I graduated college exactly one year ago this week and I am still bouncing around from internship to internship. If you slap together a one-hour presentation about what the company does and order a couple pizzas, you can call it an educational experience and have your interns do full-time work for three months at a fraction of the cost. Then you can fire them and bring in fresh meat. Genius.
Luckily, I don’t have student loans to worry about. I did my best to lessen the burden on my parents by going to school in-state and living as cheaply as possible while still having a good time. Some of the other interns I work with — who went to uppity, northeastern liberal arts colleges like Vassar — are now completely fucked because they don’t have a steady income to pay off $85K worth of student loans.
I haven’t reached the point where I wish I hadn’t gone to college yet, and I doubt it will ever come to that. I loved my college experience and, if for no other reason, it was worth it just to go to all those college football games. Sometimes, when I view my tuition as payment method for college football season tickets, I feel a lot better about paying it.
But I don’t discount the fact that the current higher education system is kind of fucked if you can’t afford it.
One day, when I am sitting on the deck of my hover-yacht with my children, my wife and my father-in-law, Tom Brady, it will all make sense. Until then, I’m just working for the weekend..
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