I’ve written this screed a number of times this last hour but I guess this is really the gist of it. If you’re going to college to study a “best paying major” you’re even more lost than most people your age. College is (was) a blessing – it was four years (up to six for some of my close friends) in which one figures out how to take in a lot of information, synthesize it, and form cogent opinions about the world and one’s self. It not about how to get a degree that will pay me a crap-load of money. I’m not really a New Testament guy, but even I understand the meaning “gaining the whole world and losing one’s soul.” It’s an intellectual sanctuary within which we get to spend time with great works and not with a focus towards how to study that which will earn me the most money but deplete my psychic bank account.
How many of the issues we all face revolve around a focus the bottom line and not on the things that make each day worth living? I am a raving capitalist, but not at the expense of losing my ability to seek out facts and blend them into a 360 degree view of the world and the people who inhabit it.
Here is where I come out. Yes, go to college. Learn critical thinking. Trust no one but the self you’re going to become. If and when you find something in which you believe, follow your calling. The worst-paying college majors may just be the most satisfying things you can ever do in your life. I studied English, Education, and Music. I”ve never worked a day in any of them but the critical thinking skills and the ability to express myself were an integral part of those four years. I would not trade any of it for a nice paycheck but I earned quite a few of them because I possessed those skills.