I appreciate your honesty. I'm all for higher education, but there are scenarios where the institutions just rake in money and peeps are given the shaft and (as you've admitted) a huge debt to go along with it. No way is that right where I come from. It's one of the biggest money grabs in our society, at the expense of the young and least experienced of our adult populace. Nice to see your story, just the part I bolded really hits a nerve. I counseled my daughter (senior in college now) absolutely DO NOT go for something that isn't a good paying marketable degree that she could reasonably complete. She chose to live at home to save more money and will graduate with an IT degree with a major in Cyber Defence next spring. I'm not sure if better guidance for students is the solution or what exactly, but institutions don't bat an eye at taking students deeply into debt whether they are getting something beneficial for all that effort or not.
If I'd only known then what I know now.....
I'm all for college and believe it's important, but obviously it shouldn't ever be, "you need to go to college or else you'll struggle your whole life." Maybe that's not the way most people look at college, but I know that's what I heard a lot of when I was younger. I know my wife and I will make sure to have that conversation with our girls.
What's crazy too, is I maxed out my undergraduate limits for federal loans so I had to start taking out private loans. This was back just before the financial crash when banks were giving out money to anyone and everyone. I was always surprised when they approved me for another loan given my large debt already at that time and minimal income.
Then of course there's the cost of college and that most young people are going to start their lives with large debt out of college. I have ideas on that, but that's considered evil socialism.
My job I'm in has nothing to do with what I went to college for and doesn't require a degree. I'm making as much money doing this with no degree as I would have made with a meteorology degree. That being said, I have lots of doctor friends who obviously are where they are only because of their schooling.
At any rate, looking back if I could change things, I would have done a sales job like this, maybe just taken a few meteorology courses to get some more education and knowledge of weather, and then just done what I do now with weather which is chase storms as a hobby. Sucks you only get one chance though on this planet and time travel doesn't exist!