Is The Pressure of College Too Much for Students?

In a society that installs college into the minds of kids as early as 9, it is essential to proceed onto higher education. It is seen as the American Dream and the dream of many students, but there is an amount of people who do not see college as a choice but rather as something forced. There are many factors that play into the pressure cast over students: pressure from families, teachers, jobs, friends, and fear that no college degree is the equivalence to failure.  

According to Caleb Beers, a novelist from Ohio, it is to your own benefit to pursue college if you’re interested in a high-paid profession that only allows workers with degrees. If you’re not interested, then the answer is no.  

“It’s not a good decision for most of us, unless you’re getting a degree in engineering or law or something like that, or if you come from a wealthy family that can support someone who gets a degree with no practical value.”  says Beers. 

Beers adds that the pursuit of college is due to being taught of a degree’s importance. “Ultimately, the main reason that people go to universities is because they are taught, from an early age, that university degrees are important.” he says. 

Social studies teacher at Hug High school Mr. Lino DeMichieli, who has studied at three different colleges (Ohio State University, University of Colorado, and University of Nevada, Reno), agrees that a lot of pressure is put on students to go to college. 

“Where I grew up in Colorado, everyone went to college. College wasn’t an ‘if you’re going to go,’ it was a ‘where you’re going to go.’ So, like the high school I went to has a 97-percent graduation rate, and 90-percent of the 97-percent went to college. All my friends went to college, so, it was what you did.” says Mr. DeMichieli. 

He adds that they “did have problems at my high school with kids who thought they were pressured to go to college” and attempting suicide due to the pressure. Yet, Mr. DeMichieli was excited for college since he was mostly friends with the older kids who went to college. During his seven enjoyable college years, Mr. DeMichieli says that “if I can go back to college, if I can stay in college, I would.” He encourages others to go, as well but only if they want to. 

“I don’t think you should be forced, I think there’s enough jobs out there that you can be very successful without going to college but if you want to go, you absolutely should. It’s a blast!” he says.  

If others had the same attitude towards college, it has the possibility of more students being excited to go, as they would make their choice based on what they want and not of what others expect. 

Joan Solano-Mosley, who has two jobs and works 15 hours a day, one of her jobs being Hug High’s cafeteria worker did not attend college due to feeling intimidated by the amount college cost and not feeling smart enough. However, she is not the only person to feel intimidated by college.  

Edward Galardi, a student at High High whose family comes from all over the eastern side of the world, aspires to be an actor and has decided on going to college because he has to 

“I feel like I’m going to college because of pressure because if I don’t go to college, then I won’t have a degree and then I can’t get a good job, which would make life a lot harder for me,” says Galardi. 

Galardi’s pursuit of college comes from his belief that without going to college, it would probably make him unsuccessful and finds the value of college based on the vast availability of jobs opened to those with college degrees.  

Another person who feels pressured is Sylphia Culver, a student at Hug High who loves to play with her family and pets. Sylphia says that her “family is forcing [her] to go to college” and if she does decide on going to college, it would be by their choice. Culver is not closed off to the idea of college but for the moment, it is not her priority. Culver does not believe that not going to college would equal being unsuccessful. “I think it’s worth it ’cause you can get a good future but then at the same time, I don’t think it’s worth it because you can still get a pretty good future without college,” she says. 

Whether it is true that college leads to a better life or not all depends on the person and what they figure would be a good life for them, but no child should have to feel that college is forced upon them. College should be a fun experience and something you decide to do and not be expected to do.