There is no easy answer to this question. As with any important life decision, there are usually a few factors that need to be addressed, rationally, in order to come to a resolution. This question has personal significance to me. I am at an academic cross-road. I’m thirty-five, and in my third year of university. My goal, like many other Helium members, is to write professionally. I’m studying History and English, but am not enjoying my college experience. One reason is my age. I do not have any statistics, but from what I can judge the average age of my fellow students is approximately twenty-two. And like many other mature students, it is difficult to fit-in with those who are substantially younger. Further, I am put-down as a “dumb hippie,” by a minority of the student population. I have dreadlocks, and my attire is unconventional. Being verbally insulted does wear on me. Unfortunately, people, educated or not, judge others superficially. Moreover, college life is reminiscent of high-school to me. I also have issues with some professors and the work load.
Writing English papers can be frustrating. Each prof has their own sense of writing style. That is, apart from the rules of grammar, style is subject to personal biases. One prof may prefer brevity, while another considers brevity to be choppy. English teachers have favorite authors whom write in a certain style. For example, I took a third-year 19th century British Literature class and the prof was a big fan of Dickens’s prose: long, complex sentence structure, utilizing difficult diction and punctuation. On the flip-side, I took a composition class where the prof was adamant about constructing short, simple sentences with easy diction. As students, we not only need to adopt a prof’s preferred writing style, but many want us to approach a text from their point-of-view, too. Analyzing literary passages depends a lot on point-of-view. Yet, if you desire to write an “A” paper, from my experience, you need to write a paper that the prof wants you to write. Essentially, many profs, with their “illustrious” PhD, want to be flattered. By stroking their ego, you will receive a better grade. Guaranteed!
Nowadays, what good is a liberal arts degree? Sure, it will open a few doors, but really, it is worth no more than a high-school diploma was thirty-years ago. How many people with a degree get a career in their field? From the people I talk to, not many. College is a business. They want our money. We are nothing more than a tuition-paying-student-number.