Turning a new leaf

I am now in finals week. The last finals of my undergraduate career (I hope). Anyone can attend UCLA and receive an education for free. That is right, for free. The acquisition of knowledge, the furthering of your personally intellectual goals: all at no cost. UCLA is such a big school that you can attend class for an entire quarter and never even be enrolled. All class are all available at the campus libraries for anyone to read. No professors check their rosters to ensure that all persons in attendance are on the class roster. So while some professors refuse to allow their lectures or even review sessions to be tape recorded, they take no steps to disallow the attendance of persons who do not contribute to their salaries. So why have I given up four years of my life in the persuit of a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in economics with a specialization in computing, spending tens of thousands of dollars in the process, not to mention the opportunity cost of lost wages? I will receive my diploma next Sunday from the #25 university in the country as a signal to the world that I am a high productivity worker. A certification. Only about 75% of the people who enter UCLA graduate. Only 38% of white high school graduates have enrolled in a four year program by the age of 24. So that places me in a select few. A degree in economics should be an even stronger signal of my abilities: I chose a hard path and suceeded. I worked part-time, over 20 hours a week, all four years I attended UCLA. I have also had reputable full-time job offers since I was 16. Is a four year degree a good indicator of future performance? Four years later, I have less job prospects than I had coming out of high school, and I am right back where I started, moving home to my parents’ house.
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