Comic 1418 - For a Little While

29th Sep 2021, 8:03 AM in Ch. 42 - One Day at a Time
For a Little While
Average Rating: 5 (7 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 29th Sep 2021, 8:03 AM edit delete
Let me be clear that this is not me saying "college is bad, so don't go." Of course not. I am, however, saying that I don't believe it should be viewed as the automatic next step for every single person following high school. I actually regret going right out of high school when I still hadn't figured out what I was doing with my life (in so many ways). The experience wasn't completely fruitless (I did make a handful of connections and learn... well, more life lessons than skills, honestly), but I didn't graduate, that debt's haunted me for a very long time, and the school has since shut down! (So I don't know if it'd even matter if I had graduated.) XD

No, I'm just saying that college isn't for everyone. It certainly wasn't for me. It doesn't mean you're stupid or broken, and it doesn't mean you can't find a job that you love. It also doesn't mean you can't go later. My point is that they push kids out into the college system startlingly fast without properly preparing them to know what they're actually getting themselves into so they can be stuck owing debilitating amounts of money into the system for years and years to come. (At least in the US; I don't know about other countries, but our school system's pretty gross.) ^^;

So, yeah. Getting back to the comic, maybe this means Rain will go to college later. Maybe it means she'll find something she can do without it. But for the immediate future, that's just not the choice Rain wants to make for herself.

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MoonWingJ 29th Sep 2021, 9:02 AM edit delete reply
I feel ya, Rain.
Avidean 29th Sep 2021, 9:03 AM edit delete reply
Spooked me with that title in my RSS aggregator
Chloe 29th Sep 2021, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
I agree, I did go to college, but in the UK, it's probably more like the US High School. But it's certainly not for everyone.
DocMesa 29th Sep 2021, 11:30 AM edit delete reply
The weird thing is, now I'm approaching 40 (sad noises), I'd be totally onboard with learning new things or studying.

Trying to educate teenagers, who as a general rule have little interest in academia, seems an exercise in futility.
LadyAnastasia 29th Sep 2021, 12:13 PM edit delete reply
I really lucked out going to University. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but figured it out quickly enough to graduate on time.
Some Ed 29th Sep 2021, 12:31 PM edit delete reply
While I went to college right after high school and didn't regret it, I had not one but two obvious career paths I could've gone with, due to having aptitude for a couple of subjects.

I've known a few people who didn't know exactly what they wanted to do for a career who took a year or two after high school to figure it out, and none of them regretted it.

They had all struggled as students in high school due to difficulty in prioritizing studying over their personal lives. They were all above average students when they did go to college, because that "entering the workforce with only a high school diploma" experience was a heck of a motivator for studying.
SometimesIReadComics 29th Sep 2021, 2:45 PM edit delete reply
School is no place for smart people.
Some Ed 1st Oct 2021, 10:28 AM edit delete reply
It depends greatly on the school.

The first school I went to resembled your statement very much. It was a rural school for a very xenophobic community. Advanced thought was as unwelcome as someone who was born outside the valley and didn't have any family inside the valley. In kindergarten, I knew what the alphabet was and could read a bit. This was more than enough to counter the fact that we did at least have some family in the valley.

The second school I went to was very different, with advanced thought being rewarded, sometimes even with class advancement. (I was not that lucky - I was advanced in a couple of subjects, but I struggled too much linguistically for full class advancement, at least in the short time I went to that school.)

This thing of different schools being different applies at all levels, even when one gets to the postgraduate level. Different people are different, so there are differences in every organization, whether academic, governmental, commercial, non-profit, or whatever.

Just about any rule that can be made with a simple statement is wrong at least some of the time.
Nellie 29th Sep 2021, 3:15 PM edit delete reply
Seeing stuff like this makes me glad university is free here :) I'd probably have been a lot more hesitant if there was more to lose out on than a bit of time if I were to have ended up changing my mind
Joce 29th Sep 2021, 3:30 PM edit delete reply
I also regret going to college right out of high school. While it was still a valuable experience as it's what ultimately started me on the path that lead tk me realizing I was trans, it was an extremely painful and expensive way to start that process, and it really didn't need to happen that way
Theta 29th Sep 2021, 3:41 PM edit delete reply
The “I'm a [really] bad student… I [know] I'm not stupid” part really hits home with me.
If it's something I'm interested in, sure. But otherwise, no.

I mean, I'm in College/University RN and enjoying learning, but never could be bothered to do my work in High School/Secondary School.
arkathenia 29th Sep 2021, 4:48 PM edit delete reply
Awwww, I feel for Rain. She sees college, and that's where everyone else is going, but she doesn't even know if she's going to be able to make it through. She's a really respectable young woman to be able to make that kind of decision, against the movement of the crowd. She's making her own decisions now, at least, as best as she can.
Allison (not that one) 29th Sep 2021, 5:16 PM edit delete reply
I think for a lot of people, going to college _at all_ may not make sense.

Back when I graduated from high school (like, in the Jurassic :-) ), my impression was that the real function of college was as sort of a halfway house from mommy & daddy's house to actually living on their own and supporting themselves. However, things were very different then. The cost of four years of college was a lot lower, even accounting for inflation. Back then, it was possible to earn enough with summer jobs and part-time work during the school year to pay for full-time, four-year college; I knew someone in my class who was in that position (and this was at a fairly expensive private college.) It was hard -- my classmate basically spent all her waking hours studying or working -- but it was doable. And when you graduated, you could pretty much rely on being able to get a job that would pay enough to live on your own.

Things are very different now. Tuition and fees are much, much higher. I could have bought a high-end Lamborghini for what one semester of college for one of my children cost. Unless your parents are wealthy enough to pay for college, you have to go into deep, deep debt. And as almost anyone in their 20's or 30's (maybe even 40's?) can attest, even with a college degree, getting a job at all is chancy, let alone getting a job that would allow you to live on your own.

Another thing: most of the jobs a college degree qualifies you for are ones that are being off-shored -- to India, China, or Eastern Europe. Meanwhile, the jobs you need an apprenticeship for are mostly ones that can't be off-shored -- any of the building trades, for instance.
Zibiah 29th Sep 2021, 5:25 PM edit delete reply
I definitely wish I had taken this route myself. I was always an awful student, and had no idea what I wanted to do, but went to college anyway, because I felt I was supposed to.

I Did flunk out of college, and though I was lucky enough to have a family that took care of most of the finances, it still ended up taking a huge toll on my mental health, just from constantly feeling like I wasn't good enough.

I might go back one day, but only if I have a really solid idea of what I want to do. For now though, I'm pretty content with where I am without it.

I think we (as in American culture) push far too hard this idea that you Have to go to college, and you have to go Right out of high school, or you've done something wrong.
Some Ed 1st Oct 2021, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Pushing the thought that you have to go to college right out of high school at all is pushing it too hard.

Even if college was free, there are points in ones education where it sometimes makes sense to take a break and reassess stuff. The further you get in education, the more common these are.

I've known people who have felt that they benefitted from taking a break after high school, or between their bachelor's degree and their master, or their master and their PhD. I've even met someone who felt it had been helpful for them to take a break between junior high school and high school.

The last of those was one that really doesn't come easy in our culture. In the US, before one is 18 and has a high school diploma, school is officially mandatory. But if one has sufficiently bad health issues, one can get a temporary reprieve. I feel like it should be easier to take a year off of grade school than needing to spend months in traction after being the only survivor in a very nasty car accident. That said, I met someone once whose academic focus had been greatly improved by going through an experience like that, and they claimed it was the break and time to think that mattered more in their academic transformation than the bit where they had a brush with death. I'm not them, I haven't had their experiences. I choose to trust their assessment, especially since the people I knew who second-guessed them first were people I knew to be idiots.
Frictor 29th Sep 2021, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
People assume "College" or "University" is the only next step. Don't forget trade schools and all the skilled and highly trained professions that aren't fed by colleges and universities, but still make more than minimum wage.

Sure, retail isn't a bad starting point, but if that's not what you want, and you don't want college, try looking into Construction worker, Electrician, or factory work (yeah, not all of that is great either) and if you have skills with machines, electrical or otherwise? Maintenance is always looking for help. Be it the production machines of the factory lines, or maintaining buildings. Things will always need fixing!
Mild Lee Interested 29th Sep 2021, 7:52 PM edit delete reply
The path is more varied here in Australia. Technical And Further Education Cert 4 and Diploma level are very practical, industry and work focused qualifications in a vast range of fields. The Trade and Apprenticeship systems are alive and well. Tradies are pretty highly skilled and highly paid here.
I went to Uni straight from highschool since i though this was my only path but although i did well in 1st year, i had no idea what i wanted to do and dropped out. After years in mineral exploration, i trained as an Electrician. Should have done that in the first place.
A friend has been a Nurse, an Electrician and is now a full time Illustrator.
You can never see all the paths at 18....
Some Ed 1st Oct 2021, 11:13 AM edit delete reply
The path is just as varied here in the US. It's just that most people aren't aware of how varied it is. Upper and middle class people are pushed in this insane drive to send their kids to college, but that doesn't mean they all take it.

I suspect that most countries have such varied paths, because different people are different and different fields are different. It would be possible to have a university that included schools of mechanics, plumbing, and various other trade schools, but I've not heard of one. The closest that comes to mind is Indiana University East, which had some trade schools nearby, but they weren't affiliated.

Trade apprenticeships are more difficult to adapt to a university setting. I know of some teaching hospitals that are very attached to universities, and yet the portion of the medical students' training that is trade apprenticeship is not taught at all concurrently with classes. Admittedly, it's also hospital training in the US, and so it's also horrible, with asinine hours of work that virtually any doctor in the US would say is far too much for any person to do in a day... so long as their patient is not working in a medical field.

It does feel like it would be difficult to do trade apprenticeship for my job on a university schedule, but in some ways, it would make things easier. Finding time to mentor people tends to be rough in this job, but if it were a blocked off time, the only difficulty would be ensuring that there was something productive to do with them at each scheduled period.
Tanny 29th Sep 2021, 11:52 PM edit delete reply
Rain is such a good partner and is going to be a great mom, I think.
Infected Genes 30th Sep 2021, 12:36 PM edit delete reply
Infected Genes
If you remember in the very first strip of this comic Rain said she wanted to be a Mommy when she's older.

She's not going to college because she's going to be the stay at home Mom.
Pseudonym 5th Oct 2021, 11:26 PM edit delete reply
Nicoleruiz_ai 1st Oct 2021, 12:11 AM edit delete reply
Let me tell you u came to cross with some random recommendations in internet getting to know your comic, I wasn’t prepared for all the emotions I felt between the pages, I love it so hard and deeply I couldn’t stop read until finish to this page all 1419 pages and wanna say thank you so much for this, you got a fan in me.
Gabi 1st Oct 2021, 8:51 AM edit delete reply
I feel really sorry for people in the US when it comes to education. Our economy sucks, but at least we can go to college for free, so people who do not have much money can still become professionals. Of course, it should always be a choice. There are many jobs which do not require a university degree, and we need people to do those jobs as much as we need professionals.
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