Walden on Wheels; Importance of College Education

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Society has always focused on formal schooling. Much of the parents and guardians want their children to go to college to get a degree. It is only in a few rare situations where parents allow their children to nurture their talents. College education is very important in the sense that one is not limited to a few occupations, that their wages are higher, and that an individual is enlightened on many aspects of existence. Even if they’re not doing what they learned in college or using their degree in their particular profession, at least they have extra skills to use in other fields, unlike high school graduates. The only concern with a college education is that it is expensive and students accrue a lot of debt in the form of student loan as it is seen with Ken Ilgunas. Ilgunas is struggling to pay off debt that accumulated over time. The paper shall argue that in spite of the debt from student loan, college education is important.
The reason why college education is important is that the degrees awarded allow the students many jobs. The high school graduates can only work in factories, manufacturing or construction sectors, which often have poor working conditions, and no opportunities for growth. For a college graduate, however, they can fare better since they can secure high-level occupations with higher wages. They can likely have promotions, salary increments as well as develop their skills pertaining those jobs.In spite of it being expensive, college education is the best investment for one’s career. The students can develop life skills that help them in making life choices. Amid the classes, the students not only learn about education but also learn about life.
Case examples are choices on purchasing a home, starting their life i.e. marriage, relating to the community, giving back to the community as well as investment decisions. College educated persons are likely to have kids who also shall go to college. Other benefits include enhanced self-discipline, study habits and behaviors that are used in career undertakings. College offers a new experience. Whereas one should not pay a lot of money to get an experience and meet new individuals, the exploratory facet of college is significant. It helps in determining if one’s career path is right or not and someone as well shall have the chance to interact with different people and different cultures. This shall be very helpful in a diverse workplace. Out in the business world, there are people with different personalities and cultures; therefore college is a great stepping stone towards it.
College is also an introduction to being a responsible citizen. One shall likely have a meal plan, responsible for attending classes as well as other commitments. College gives a person a chance to reinvent themselves. A college education may be relevant however one of its key disadvantages is that it is quite expensive. Ken Ilgunas can be seen lamenting about the debt that has accumulated and is unable to pay. One may wonder, was going to college really worth it? This question has many dynamics. First going to college means that one has an idea of which course he or she is going to pursue. After all, what is the essence of paying high tuition fee over something that may not help one secure a job. Ken Ilgunas did a course that is deemed unmarketable. One of his key problems is that he has no idea what he is going to do and that was his key problem. Ilgunas seems to have gone to college just for the sake of it.
Ilgunas incurred a huge debt as a result. Although he had a degree in Bachelor of Arts in English and History, he believed that his degree is unmarketable (Ilgunas 10-15). Ilgunas is wondering if his college degree was really worth the debt he incurred. Indeed it was worth it. Ilgunas here is doing a lot of odd jobs, using the skills that he has acquired in college. As the start of college Ilgunas is directionless and clueless. He does not even seem to understand why he is in school. It seems his priorities are misplaced. Towards the end of his education, he seemed to have found direction and now enjoyed school. His mind opened up, and he began to see the importance of school. Here life skills are beginning to develop. These skills are very relevant in the outside world as it helped Ilgunas in choices he made later in life.
He even stated that he started having ideas, not just relevant in school but also in real life. In spite of the debt, college education opened ilgunas mind. He began to understand how despite his financial problems, he never faced the hardships that third world countries citizens are subjected to. His was actually first-world problems (Ilgunas 55). He can work part time as he is studying, to earn a living and pay off debt. Ilgunas not only got his degree but he also experienced personal growth. He never wanted the status quo, wanted to explore the world, pursue his dreams and live life the way he has always wanted.
Ilgunas complains that he has accumulated debt and was awarded an unmarketable degree, however, as he navigates the job market, he can access job opportunities that otherwise would not have had if he just had college education. He can utilize his skills diligently in the odd jobs he has managed to get and pay off his student loan. Ilgunas adventurous spirit took it to Alaska where he wanted to explore the world. A college education can be assumed to have given him the new lease on life. He wanted to learn and experience more. This not only implies to life but also the career world. That ability to want to challenge the status quo and make daring decisions is what many business moguls have done. Success does not just come when people lead normal, ordinary lives, taking risks is very paramount.
Student loan debt allowed Ilgunas to be responsible. He needed to work hard to repay the debt. Had he missed going to college, mots likely he would not have seen any need to search for a job. Although they rarely found a job in their file of study, the skills he acquired in school has allowed him to work in many areas of life. Although he is doing odd jobs, Ilgunas can pay off his debt albeit in small amounts. At the end of the story, he had already paid back his debt and even went back to school and graduated. He even turned down a job offer as he flew back to Alaska. Josh, his friend, also after a long search managed to secure a job and was able to pay off his debt as well. A college education was not in vain after all, it was totally worth the debt incurred. The two friends also learned resilience, responsibility, and patience, their hard work finally paid off.
Works Cited
Ilgunas, Ken. Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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