college debt

Stop Being Lazy by Going to Grad School: There is more than ONE Blueprint

college debt

It is sad state of affairs we are all in. Kids graduating with mountains of debt, no jobs or at least no good jobs, or perhaps we should say  – jobs, that if available, are probably ill suited for them anyway – but nobody mentions this, not a soul, not the teacher – even the champion ones (he/she doesn’t necessary play in the outside make money real world), most likely not their well intentioned, yet ill prepared mother on the subject (she loves you but certainly had a different blueprint offered to her in her time), and sure as shit not that beloved career counselor who is going to spend three sessions with you before he answers a question that resembles something that isn’t completely generic that was offered to the 10 other kids he saw that day.


How We Got There

Laziness? Escapism? Well – not necessarily, but we can see a whole other  set of options if we choose to open our minds a bit more on the subject and think a bit bigger on this important, life determining matter. Your parents, God bless their little souls, weren’t able to travel half way around the world, have a video chat on Skype with a client on the other side of the planet for …free. They didn’t have virtual support networks, friends in 20 different countries (unless they were a diplomat) and endless amounts of information for …free.  They lived in a different time with different rules to the game. They were indoctrinated with the typical guidance that you all got and merrily passed that blueprint to you. It is sage wisdom that is bestowed upon all kids growing up, at least in the West – Go to the best school, study hard, get good grades, and voila!  You get respectable job that you love and your friends and family welcome you into the respectable job club.  Now it is time to climb that ladder for 40 years to collect all the necessary accruements – namely babies, marriage, cars, mortgages, mid-life crisis, divorce, alimony etc. And you have arrived.

student debt

Or maybe there was a hiccup in the road. The economy went south. It was out of your control and you couldn’t land that respectable  job? Oh well then you must not be educated enough, go and get another degree (and loan). Want to make a career change? Guess you will need to go back to school for that too. Sign here for that loan check. You make a decision in the blink of a moment that will be tied to you for the next 40 years.  It is called an unforgivable loan and chains you to that one blueprint for the rest of the game. 

Or maybe. Just maybe. We can try on a few shoes before we whip out the credit card and add more debit to fix our problems.


There is More than One Blueprint

But what if I told you, you had another blue print available? One that was of a masterful design of your choosing. Some might call it Lifestyle Design.  It could involve all the aforementioned things, the white picket fence, labradors, grad schools and all that jazz, but it could also involve soul searching travel coupled with some experience collecting, if that’s your bag. Some make their blueprint into a life of travel, hopping from one destination to the next, hustling online. Some might call them digital nomads. Web design, programming, travel blogging, copy-editing. But there are other options. Not every blueprint is part of the make money online craze that ravages the internet these days. There are blueprints that involve teaching – whether that be English or perhaps another subject more close to your heart at international schools or universities…there are blueprints that involve adventure under the sea, ones that involve working on resorts all over the world, ones that working with sick animals or taking care of children that an American celebrity hasn’t adopted yet. Some blueprint involve Peace Corps and volunteering in projects they believe in that aren’t necessarily a career ladder stepping stone.


volunteer jobs

Few stopped to mention about the journey being the reward and that maybe the rules to the game weren’t the same as they once were. The going back to school without having a plan and a pre-selected purpose to it was a pretty shitty blueprint. Especially cause that blueprint, has consequences you can’t walk away from (remember that unforgivable loan?) and limits your ability to choose another blueprint should you change your mind.

Point being – I just wanted to let you know that there are other blueprints. Ones that you can consciously choose that don’t necessarily involve signing up for another 2 year higher education course and piling on more debit because you haven’t decided what you want yet.  Escapism by outsourcing your decision making to the blueprint that is most famous and doesn’t require you to answer the longer term questions of what you want and what do you love – is a perilous and downright lazy path to go down.


It is okay not know what you want just yet. Just keep in mind – that it is okay to try out another blueprint.


Turner barr

Hi, my name is Turner. I travel the world, hustle to find interesting jobs, and write about what happens when you read too many self-help books.

  • Cristina
    Posted at 22:19h, 10 April

    Well said. All too often people get suckered into believing they have to follow the conventional routine of go to school-graduate-get a 9-5 career-get married-have kids. That’s what I thought I wanted, until I realized it ‘s what society wants – not you. On my 24th birthday (and newly graduated) lying on the beach of Nice, I asked myself why can’t this be my life every day? Society says no you’re not allowed, it’s a ridiculous, irresponsible idea. I said, why not 🙂 I’m all about designing my own life now and living life on my own terms. My motto is to say yes to the things you want and no to the things you don’t want. For me, travel has become a large part of that and then I ditched the 9-5 life for good! When you listen to only yourself you’d be surprised at how much more fulfilled you become. I’d rather make my own path than follow someone else’s.

    • Turner
      Posted at 00:19h, 11 April

      Hey Christina. Thanks for writing in. Yeah. All too often people just dont know what they want so they just go in to default thinking and go – ah grad school. Not realizing that if they change their mind they are then strapped with all that debt. I am glad you found a life of your choosing. I love people who have the guts to follow their belief. Keep in touch.

  • Cristina
    Posted at 07:09h, 11 April

    Absolutely! In fact, I learned more about life and myself AFTER graduating university – through travel, reading blogs and learning from innovative (real) people doing great things! You can’t get this from textbooks. I wish I knew then, I would’ve saved myself 30K! Travel is the best education IMHO and everything else is just a Google click away really.

  • flip
    Posted at 12:21h, 19 April

    Well said man! I thought I wanted the master’s degree, nice office, car , huge house etc etc you get the drift because it’s what everyone around me wants too. But after traveling I realized (after having met so many people) that I can choose a different path and it’s ok to ‘pave my own road.”

    I left everything a couple of years ago and just traveled (and set up websites along the way) and was very happy with that decision although, now that I’ve been on the road for two years, I also came across another crossroad. I’m asking myself on how long I can keep on doing this and at the back of my head, I’m thinking of doing something else.

    Maybe it’s a fact of life that we humans can’t get contented to what we have. So I’m thinking that maybe, changing the lifestyle isn’t enough.