With autumn right around the corner, we here at Liz and Laura headquarters want to do our part to prepare our nation’s youth for the exciting, stimulating (heh) world of higher education. In this installment, we will assess the multitude of options available to fresh-faced youngsters as they embark upon their journeys toward middle-class wage slavery. Right now, you too, reader, may be asking yourself if you should enroll at a 2-year college or battle your way to a doctorate. Before you make your decision, find out what your potential educational pedigree will say about you with the help of our handy guide!
Community College – This category applies to schools that offer two-year associate’s degree programs and certifications, and many of them advertise on subways and bus stops. We like to call these the Bullshit Schools. They’re fine if you want to get a quick certificate to advance your career, or if you want to brush up on your French skills, but some of them enlist sketchy practices to make sure that you spend a ton of money while gaining little benefit. Many jobs say they’d prefer that their employees learn on the job than go to the kind of training programs that are advertised on TV, such as cooking schools. And if you plan on transferring your credits to a regular college, don’t get your hopes up. That said, if you tell somebody that you went to community college, their reaction is likely to include politeness, an understanding nod, and quiet pity.
High School Diploma/G.E.D. – This is pretty much the bottom of the barrel, aside from high school dropout. More enlightened types may be impressed that you were too cool for college, but jobs might not be so enthused. And there’s a lot about the college years that doesn’t involve homework or passing tests, like keg parties, casual sex, drug experimentation, meeting new friends, and did we mention the casual sex? You’ll be left out of discussions about that vital part of life forever. Hope you enjoy skipping straight to working!
Bachelor’s Degree – A classic four-year college experience is the cornerstone of American young adulthood. Liz and Laura fall into this category, which means that it is clearly the best choice. From the day you tack up your Che Guevara poster in your freshman dorm to the day you eat a handful of mushrooms and then try to look normal in your graduation pictures, you’ll find the university experience to be a rich and rewarding one. Your main decision will be between a state school and a private university, which poses the question: Would you rather be date raped at a post-game frat party or a naked art rave? No matter what school you choose, unfortunate side effects of the college experience may include cafeteria-induced weight gain and an inflated opinion of Albert Camus. Unless you plan on being an academic (someone who loves school so much they never leave), you’ve reached the end of the game. Congratulations! Spin the wheel and find out what crappy office job you’ll be stuck with for the rest of your adult life.
Graduate School – This is what happens when fear of the unknown outweighs the natural aversion to school. Whether it’s not wanting to have to get a job (something we relate to) or wanting to be able to make a ton of money once that job is gotten, grad students will come up with any excuse to justify their huge student loans and years of extra work. Many of them take jobs in their school departments, ensuring that they have little to no exposure to a world beyond those hallowed halls. You can recognize grad students by their large cups of coffee, preppy vintage attire and the shitty apartments they are forced to rent while they earn their unnecessary degrees. As obnoxious as those who go straight from college to grad school are, they’re not as bad as people who go back to grad school years later in a desperate act that seems designed to hit the reset button on an unsuccessful life. Two years and 50 grand of debt later, you have to wonder if it will still seem like such a good idea.
Ph.D. – If you’ve already earned your Masters, and you’re not quite ready to leave the cozy nest of academia, have no fear! You can always earn the impressive-sounding Ph.D., which allows you to add “Dr.” to all of your letters, emails, Facebook posts, and birthday cakes. These pompous professors are recognizable by their annoyingly liberal views, interest in boring things like local politics and nature, fondness of NPR, and their tendency to have affairs with their students. On the plus side, they usually have cool apartments with lots of books, but they don’t get to spend much time at home because they’re always working on a proposal or flying to some dumb conference in another country.
Professional Title (M.D., Esq.) – If you don’t want to spend the rest of your life grading horrible essays by college freshmen, perhaps you should go the route of obtaining a professional title like M.D. or pass the bar and become a lawyer. The problem with this? Yet more school and interning and on-the-job training is usually involved, and once you get your job you won’t have very much free time. But once you start making way more than anyone you know, you’ll be the most popular person in your group. It’s also good for getting dates — all you have to do is tell someone you’re a doctor and they’ll pretty much want to sleep with you there and then. You can recognize these professional types by their expensive taste, chain smoking, and sad vacant looking apartments that remind you of American Psycho. You may not want to be them, but they’re good to have around in case you need to borrow some money or want to go out for a fancy meal. Oh yeah or if you need an operation or want to sue someone.
We hope that our guide has given you the information you need to make an educated decision about your college plans. Remember, it’s not about what school you go to, it’s about how much you’ll be able to impress people at parties, right?