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Degrees aren’t only about getting jobs anymore

Column by Kendra Wong.
Column by Kendra Wong

We’ve all thought about it at one point or another.

For some of you, it sits quietly at the back of your brain as you try and cram for one of many three-hour finals. And for some, the thought wanders through your brain as you methodically fold clothes at a minimum-wage job.

It’s something hundreds of people strive for and pour thousands of dollars into getting.

It’s a degree.

Having gone through years of all-nighters and powering through copious amounts of coffee during my undergrad at SFU, I was constantly struggling with the idea that degrees just might not be worth it anymore.

It’s become a parental expectation that kids must get degrees or they won’t find jobs without them.

Now, a degree will hardly land you a job in your respective field. And it’s all about getting the next better thing: a master’s degree.

University is more than just school work

As I look back at the hours spent in the library or standing in the Tim Hortons line, getting a degree isn’t all about how much you learned about World War I or if you know who Noam Chomsky is.

When I think back on my five years at university, my fondest memories took place at school, but not in the classroom.

I remember watching game seven of the Stanley Cup finals at the on-campus pub; I remember making the climb to the roof of the A Building to see the stars; I remember enjoying beverages in the summertime on the patio. And I made life-long friends in the process.

A degree shouldn’t be seen as a ridiculously overpriced piece of paper that sits on the mantle and collects dust, but as a collection of experiences that help shape you.

So maybe a degree will help you land a job, and maybe it won’t. Perhaps it isn’t necessarily worth the hefty price tag — but the experiences just might be.

Reported by Kendra Wong

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