Did I Really Need a Degree?

So as I am sitting here watching my clicks rise and Twitter followers rise and viewers of http://www.CristinMcGrath.com rise, I am forced to rethink my entire outlook on life. Was going to college necessary? I was not the first in my family to graduate, so there wasn’t a large celebration or that proud moment. I was just another McGrath to do it. So why did I just spend/waste 4 years of my life and $45,000+ attending classes to learn things that were innate in me. I knew how to write creatively, I knew how to design a brochure…I had been doing it since I was 12.  Professors, I love you and everything, but did I really need to pay you $100,000+/year?

I’m going to have a take a firm stand, and say “HELL NO!” I have now realized that college is unnecessary. I feel as though if you have enough drive and passion for what you do, you will find a way to make it work. When I came out of college without any sort of job lined up, I thought my life was over. Even 3 days after graduation, friends were telling me to relax because I was having a miniature mental breakdown, or MMB. This MMB resulted in my creating a personal web page, a professional Twitter, redoing my entire resume, applying for close to 65+ positions and screaming at my mother whenever she suggested moving home. 3 DAYS! Most people would welcome the EXTREMELY needed vacation, but I am unlike most people. I need to be on the move, doing something creative at all times of the day. That is why I chose public relations; the appeal of 60+ hour work weeks did not deter me but ENTICED me to pursue this field.

But now, looking back, I don’t think my degree is gratuitous. I’m happy I did it and my memories from college will never be replaced, but I know and have known that I am passionate enough to make ANYTHING possible. As long as there is drive and desire, you will make something out of nothing.



4 thoughts on “Did I Really Need a Degree?

  1. It is really refreshing to hear someone ELSE say all this for a change! I’m 25 and ever since i graduated college 3 years ago I have been saying how pointless it was. It has gotten to the point that my family and I have the “dont discuss college with her” rule because full blown arguments break out.

  2. If you had been originally paying attention in college you would have realized the importance of learning. Life learning is an important aspect, with that said so is collegiate learning, one can not effectivly converse with educated individuals without it. Your vocabulary and writing skills where perfected by writing all those papers and the preparing of those presentations. If you do not realize the importance of college maybe you should go back and retake some of those classes, and realize what you were missing.

  3. This reply might be a bit late for the date of the post, however.

    I agree with the sentiment that you don’t need college if you are super self driven. I however think it worked well for me, and if done correctly will work well for a lot of people. I hate the argument that you won’t get a job without a degree, and that therefore you should go to college “because”. So I’ll try a different approach.

    Depending on the material, I got a technical degree (BS in Computer Science) and I think I would have a really hard time trying to learn all of the material that was covered on my own. It’s very useful to have constant access to experts to get things explained.

    What was also helpful is being pushed to learn things that initially I didn’t think were important. I won’t waste text with details, but I’ve had my share of “a ha” moments when I finally realize why learning how to make state machine charts would be useful in my career etc.

    The other things are the courses that I took that have nothing to do with what I do for a living. It’s made my life more interesting. To use hyperbole it’s like putting on glasses after years of being nearsighted without correction. I notice more things now because I understand a lot more nuance about film, art, music, politics etc. Because I’ve been forced to learn about a lot of these things. I wouldn’t have taken English courses, but now I’m very glad I did.

    I don’t know how long you’ve been out of school. I’ve been out for over 2 years and I’m looking forward to going back soon.We all have different experiences, I can only speak anecdotally. I have a sample set of 1.

    Anyway, good luck to you in your career in PR.

    • Thanks Kevin! Certainly still relevant despite our different concentrations! Loved the feedback and thanks for the well wishes!

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