The Right Choice For Me

Submitted By kelizaharrington
Words: 1036
Pages: 5

The Right Choice for Me In today’s society there is an extreme amount of pressure put on young adults to attend to a four-year college or university. With this pressure also comes the need for students to take out loans to pay for the degrees that they are earning. The problem with this unrelenting system is that most students attending these schools do not know what they want to do as careers; the majority of them believe that they are there to earn the “college experience” instead. This means that students are taking out thousands of dollars in loans, paying for a degree that has a fifty-fifty chance of landing them a job once they graduate. According to Forbes online, “The average borrower will graduate $26,600 in the red. While we’ve all heard the screaming headlines of graduates with crippling debt of $100,000 or more.” ( It is because of these frightening statistics that one day during the December of my senior year, I sat down and had a serious talk with my parents about school, finances and what I wanted to do for a career. It was clear to me that a four-year school was not an option for me if I wanted to earn a degree without using student loans. I needed to look into technical degrees where I could learn a trade in order to be successful in the career I would choose. Growing up, I was always a die-hard Gamecock fan. I was raised going to football, basketball, baseball and even soccer games at the University of South Carolina. At an early age it was apparent to me, or so I thought, that USC was the college I was going to attend when I graduated high school. Although, as the years passed during my high school career I realized that the price tag put on a college degree was overwhelming and extreme. I wondered why the job market seemed so driven towards hiring four-year college graduates, but the price for these degrees seemed so out of reach for many. It seemed that my options were very limited.
It was a sad realization, but I knew that my family couldn’t afford to pay $20,000 dollars a year for me to go to Carolina and even with the state scholarships I had earned it didn’t feel right taking out loans. I had heard horror stories from people who had graduated ten years ago and were still only paying off interest from their loans, working part time jobs, because they couldn’t get a job with the degree that they had earned. I had always had a love for the medical field and knew that I wanted to succeed in a related career, but I felt trapped and devastated thinking that I wouldn’t be able to afford the proper schooling for a job in medicine. Even though I knew I probably wasn’t going, I still applied to universities around the state of South Carolina during my senior year, hoping that maybe I still had a chance.
It wasn’t until after I had received my acceptance letters (and then financial statements) that I truly realized I needed to look into a technical degree. My mother earned her associates degree in Dental Hygiene after she graduated high school and soon after began working. She had zero loans to pay off and was able to live comfortably and happily doing something that she loved. She and I had a long conversation about a career in occupational therapy. At first I was unsure; I had never really heard about OT before. She began to tell me about a patient she had who was a certified occupational therapist. The woman had flexible hours and worked with children, something I had always wanted to do. She explained that OT was a career based around helping people who were born disabled or suffered an injury that put them in this situation. I quickly began to jump on board with the idea and started researching careers in occupational therapy as well as the type of