Higher Education through Generation

Throughout the past couple of decades, many new ideas and opportunities have appeared before the world when looking at post-high school opportunities. 

The option to travel and study abroad, to have an immense amount of chance to start a business, to be able to make money online while even possibly influencing someone, and the vast availability to be able to attend higher education when not going straight from high school. 

Around the class of 2022, there are multiple opinions when discussing post-high school plans. Where some ideas consist of knowing absolutely nothing, others believe strictly in a college education, and some do not believe college is a necessity for anyone. Through the differentiating data and answers, there seems to be one consensus that divides this generation from the older generation: the necessity of college. 


An example of this is simply looking into the movie Accepted, stating, “Society has rules. And the first rule is, you go to college.” As America’s society and the economy continues to grow and change, the idea that college is one of society’s necessities continues to die down. 

It goes without saying that going to college can be a necessity for some specific reasons. Such as the medical field, being a teacher, an engineer, and occupations that require a degree. Senior Jahari Crawford at DVC explained his opinions on the need for college.

 “…For me personally, I feel like it (college) is because one of my personal goals is to obtain a law degree. In order to do that, I have to attend college,” said Crawford. “A lot of people that I know currently, when we graduate in June, a lot of us aren’t gonna necessarily be ready to just go into the world and be able to live in the adult world. I feel like college serves as a buffer for us to learn how to navigate this world on our own before actually having to navigate the whole entire world.” 

As the new idea of college from this primarily seems to be more of an option than a necessity, that it would better serve as a place for self-improvement rather than a guarantee for a successful future, which is opposite from how America’s society used to work. Tangier Clark, the Media Production teacher at DVC, gave his opinion on college in today’s day and age. 

“Do I still support college? Absolutely. I’m just saying it’s not the only option. We did not have the information age the way that you guys have it now, the way that it’s present, we did not have this, this online global society,” said Clark. “We did not have high-speed internet infrastructure where you can work remotely and connect with people all over the world, whether it’s eCommerce or academically. So that has drastically changed the notion of what success looks like and also what the educational space should look like and what people will accept.” 

 Not only does college seem less of a need nowadays, but as of now, there is an accumulation of $1.5 trillion in total student debt, according to Procon. As more people’s opinions change around a college education, most of their ideals will be supported by the severe deficit that seems to occur between the amount needed to go into college and the amount made when they actually complete their education.

Throughout the research and opinionated interviews, the biggest difference was not that college appeared to be pointless in today’s time as an opinion for the class of 2022, but yet it is looked at as more of a place for personal growth and freedom than education, a place that even if you do not know what you want to do in the future, you still gain social skills and life experience for the real world.

Within these ideas that are starting to come to the surface, still many students are planning to walk the path of college education, whether knowing what they want to do or not. Through all the students interviewed a consensus was made: they’re planning to reach for higher education. With that being said, still many argue that college is not for everyone and success is obtainable without college. Isaiah Hillman, senior from DVS, gave his view on college within our modern-day versus previous generations. 

“I think people have always viewed college as a necessity to do things but I feel like now you can become successful without it, as there have been many examples of people doing great things,” said Hillman. 

Throughout interviewing multiple students and teachers, a realization had occurred, that every student’s and teacher’s lifestyles have an influence on their decision. Kimberly Lee, senior at DVC, discuss the fact that universities are extremely expensive, “I believe, it’s very overpriced and it’s very competitive, you have to do so many things these days especially like what you have to do to get good grades, that’s not even the standard anymore, you have to do extracurriculars, and do internships to be even considered by good colleges.” 

It seemed throughout students who expressed a want to go to college, versus more of a need, there was a serious influence that came from their parents. That they firmly stood by the fact that college is a need, that it was for them, and that it always will be. This influence also occurred within teachers, where their parents had always had encouragement for them to go to college, that it will always be a necessity. 

Whether to some a college education be a necessity and to others, it seems as if success is not measured by the level of education but hard work and dedication, there is and will be for the next decade, a generational divide. In times of confusion, whether college is on the table for some or not, keeping their options and mind open, without stress, and considering all possibilities, for anything can happen.

U.S. History teacher at DVC, Steven Covelman, explained, “I think everyone should leave their options open. I think that you should always leave every single option on the table, and then if you’re thinking of going into something that doesn’t necessarily require a college degree. That’s great. But I think that you shouldn’t come up with a conclusion necessarily too early, and limit yourself in any other capacity…I think there are a lot of different avenues for ways people can become happy, and it doesn’t have to be that route.”