Today, I’m taking a book out of Kelly’s book and writing a sort of summary of the blog posts I’d like to write, but can’t seem to put into words. These are post ideas I’ve had floating around my notebooks, Evernote, and WordPress drafts for months, but I can’t seem to write them out fully.
Is College Worth It
It wasn’t until recently that I ever questioned the worth of my college education, or whether I’d change it if I could. I honestly can’t remember a time when I didn’t know I’d be going to college one day, even though I’d be the first in my family. All the money I knew I’d owe one day seemed somehow not quite real, and of course the things I’d learn would be worth it. The importance of having a college degree seemed undeniable to be honest, so questioning its worth never even occurred to me.
That was, until last month when I received my first loan statement and realized that my monthly loan payments are more than I pay in rent each month (and I honestly wish that were an exaggeration.) Staring down these last few weeks before I have to make that first payment, I’ve questioned more and more whether getting a college degree was worth it, and I know I’m not the only one. Last month, Philadelphia Magazine thought it was a big enough question to warrant an entire issue dedicated to it, and more and more students are electing to go right from high-school graduation to working full-time.
I know that the four years I spent as a college student made me an entirely different person, and that the education I gained is worth more than words can say; to the point where, if I were to run into my 14-year-old self today I might hardly recognize her or the opinions she holds, and that’s something I wouldn’t give up for the world. But looking down the barrel of nearly $100,000 in debt, I wonder if I wouldn’t have experienced the same changes or become the same person without a university to guide me there.
But for all this doubt, it’s also undeniable that a college diploma garners you something. That 90 percent of my co-workers have college degrees, and even people with a diploma are having trouble finding a job today. Without a degree, even if I were the same person, where would I be? Would the lack of debt make it worth it?
What Do Rap Lyrics Even Mean?
But honestly though, I can’t remember very many rap songs where I thought “now that is a great message” or even, if not a great message, at least that there was one there (well, other than the not-so-subliminal message that being gay is the crime of the century, drugs are the best thing you could do with your life, and women exist solely for your sexual pleasure). Over the last couple months, I’ve spent a few nights in the university’s art studio with my roommate, listening to the rap that a classmate of hers plays loudly and incessantly for hours at a time.
And do you know what I realized? I could not tell you the “meaning” behind a single one of the songs that student played; and I think that’s my problem with rap. I’ve always believed that music reflects us as human beings, and that there has never been a single moment in history that music did not permeate. I believe that music is our way of thinking, of sharing, and of learning and that all good music has something to it, some meaning to be felt or new idea to be thought through.
I don’t know that I’d enjoy the style even if were a different topic being sung about, but my biggest problem is that there’s no point to rap; that is, unless your idea of a “point” is to encourage high-school guys to treat women like shit. Am I missing something, or is there really not a theme to any rap music?
Okay, let’s be honest: every single person in the world suffers with a lack of confidence in themselves. I can guarantee you that even President Obama and Beyonce have moments where they’re unsure, think they’re not good enough, or imagine that everyone they know can’t stand them.
Somehow though, for women a lack of confidence is an expectation and at the same time, something we are constantly telling little girls is “unattractive.” We plaster the media with unachievable goals in the form of photoshopped models and insane success stories about that one 14-year-old in back-woods Ohio who started her own business without any sort of an education to help her along. We tell girls and women all the ridiculous pedestals they’re supposed to step up onto and, when they’re unsure of their ability to reach our expectations for them, we tell them that their lack of confidence in themselves is unattractive. On the same token though, a woman who is confident in her abilities and her appearance is full of herself.
While a lack of confidence is something everyone in the world suffers from, boys and men are not expected to suffer from it. A 24-year-old man who brags about his accomplishments is confident and enviable where a woman bragging of the same accomplishments is full of herself and vain.