Stop Degree Shaming!

It is graduation time! It’s the time of the year when scholars are excited to celebrate their accomplishments. However, I feel like each time during this year I see the same thing that infuriates me. This is the time when you hear people reposting their old college pics saying “College didn’t teach me anything, a degree will not save you”. 


Is college or getting a degree for everyone? Absolutely, not! But do people benefit from a degree? Absolutely! It all goes down to this, not everyone will have the same path to success. Your path will be different from my path. You do not need to go around telling people that their investment in their education was a waste. Do not impose your own personal experiences on someone else because you have no clue what their end result will be.

Think about it like this. People go to university to be teachers, nurses, lawyers, engineers, etc. They learn skills and tools to keep them current and understand common trends in their field. Youtube University can get you far but it will not teach you how to perform heart surgery. 

When I got my Bachelors at LIU Brooklyn

College also teaches you how to network. This is also one of those big debates. You often hear people complain about the fact that they did not get or find any meaningful connections during college. That they did not make any valuable networks. It all depends on what you do with your network. Either if you are in college or not, if you are not utilizing the people in your network wisely, you will always fail. If you are not creating meaningful exchanges or connections that benefit both parties it will not build any significant connections. People will not just see your value or talents, you have to share them with others and learn from those around you.  Colleges and universities have this platform but it is ultimately up to you to make it meaningful. 

Let’s be clear you can create community anywhere. But try and make sure wherever you are building your network that you also make it a mutual benefit for all involved. As you help others people should be helping you. It is not just what someone can do for you. 

When I received my Masters at Stony Brook University

On top of that, if you were in college and say you didn’t utilize your networks, did you go to any events from your career center? Did you know that as an alumnus you in most cases still have access to those services? Use them, because it is not a waste of money, these groups were created to help you longggg after you graduate honey! Do your diligence and reach out to your alma mater and see what services they have for you as an alumnus. 

As a student affairs professional, this truly bugs me because I end up every year with students at my desk telling me their fears of graduating because of all the negative connotations they see or hear about life after college. It is unfair to impose your feelings of self-doubt onto these newly graduated minds. 

This message is for the Class of 2021. Congrats! You did it! Do not let people dim your light or your accomplishment. Block them out! You have struggled long nights and early mornings to get your cap and gown. You have done the work and no one can take that away from you. Do not let the bitterness of others cloud that happiness. Shine your light graduate, wave that degree in the air like you just don’t care! Your future is bright and you are in control of your destiny.

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