Quit skipping classes
Michael Lewis II

Although the student debt crisis that has engulfed the millennial generation has been well documented, it warrants further attention and conversation. 

With rising tuition costs and consistently overpriced technological must-haves, students must reassess their priorities before facing the unpredictable job market that awaits post-graduation. 

Earlier this year, Forbes reported student debt in the last five years has nearly doubled to $1.1 trillion collectively. Yes, that is $1.1 trillion; and we wonder why the United States is no longer the place of jubilant youth and financially-independent, hopeful 20 year-olds?

Wake up folks — the reality is the cost of living isn't decreasing any time soon. It is just that simple. 

The millennial generation’s frenzy with mantras, such as YOLO (You Only Live Once) and living in the moment are played out and overused. The question I pose is: do you really want to live grand and in the moment now, only to live miserably for the next 40 or 50 years of your life while jumping from job to job working for menial pay?

No, thank you! I will pass on the booze, blunts and any other immediate tempting offers and instead spend my free time at tonight’s study session and work at my internship tomorrow. 

Trust me, the world won't end because of a missed party or because you forgo going to next week's big bash — but your world might end if you never get out from under school debt that will be with you for years to come. 

The idea that partying all night, sleeping through class, dragging along and playing hooky throughout your college experience may possibly compute to legitimate success is ridiculous. 

If enrolled in school, go to class and don’t be afraid of volunteering or getting an internship along the way.

The number of ghost students in classrooms across the nation is puzzling. Students register, attend the first week to then never appear again for the rest of the semester. Others become strategic test takers, students that only come to class on the day of the exams, yet complain about the length of the semester and the failing grade they are earning. 

The problem is not the system, but instead students' outlook and their understanding of what it takes to become successful at the undergraduate level. 

Oftentimes I have argued that K-12 has become industrialized baby-sitting, but secondary education is vastly different. You are not obligated to attend a university or college. The choice is yours regardless of whether or not you pay for it out of pocket, have loans or receive grant money. 

The cost of slacking and not truly taking advantage of college is more than just numbers and debt margins. It’s about the short-term and long-term implications on one’s life. 

The reality is that school isn't for everyone. Even for the person on the cusp of realizing this, one thing remains: go to class until you decide to leave. 

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