If you follow US bloggers in the wider “manosphere”, you will notice that some have very strong opinions on what you are supposed to study, or whether you should go to college at all. Considering that college costs an inordinate amount of money in the US, no matter how elite or crappy the school, or how in-demand your degree is, you better think long and hard whether to study. Learning a trade may be a better alternative. The worst aspect, from the perspective of a prospective student, is that student loans will be tied to you until you pay them off or until you die, whichever comes first. Declaring personal bankruptcy is no longer a way to get rid of six figures of educational debt.
Across the pond, in good ol’ Europe, you should likewise be wary before enrolling into the kind of degree libtards claim they make you “an educated man (or woman)”, but conveniently ignore questionable employment prospects. In fact, if you don’t get a scholarship, or enjoy the financial backing and generosity of your family, then studying a subject you find rather interesting but won’t help you paying your future bills is an incredibly poor choice. No, pointing out that you can become professor of Bullshit isn’t a good counter-argument, and neither is it that some guy who became an eminent politician or businessman studied History at Princeton or PPE at Oxford.
There are, however, three significant systemic differences why studying a bullshit subject doesn’t wreck your life in Europe, or at the least not at the same extent as in the US. Note that, I am talking about people who are reasonably smart, probably even smart enough for a “real” degree. However, if you’re a dumbass, you’re infinitely better off in Europe anyway, because our politicians have a hard-on for “distributive justice”.
Now, onto the list:
1) Education is largely free in Europe. The UK is the big exception. Sure, the opportunity cost is quite significant, but if you want to get a decent education and develop your personality, you could do a lot worse than getting a Bachelor’s in BS, as long as you actually learn something. Go get that degree in Sociology, study rhetoric, learn a foreign language, go abroad, enjoy yourself. At the very least there will be no debt that is crippling you. Besides, I don’t mind that there is a good chance that my cab driver or the bar tender pouring my drinks can hold his own in a conversation, so go get that BS degree!
2) The salary range on the Continent is rather narrow. While you may have a harder time finding a decent job with your BS Bachelor’s, it’s not impossible that you’ll get a decent gig eventually. You may need to waste some time on lowly-paid or even unpaid internship, but with a bit of luck you will make enough to live comfortably enough. Sure, those other guys with their fancy engineering degrees may make a bit more, but due to your colorful personality, they won’t be the ones banging chicks in bathroom stalls in your favorite clubs, and you’re smart enough not to blow money one expensive dates anyway.
In all seriousness, though, the equalizing effect of progressive taxation is quite startling. To pick two data points: Peter studied Communications because he isn’t “good with numbers”, did two six-months internships after finishing his degrees, but was then offered a contract as an entry-level Spin Doctor for 2.500 EUR/month. Meanwhile, Bertram was offered 3.000 EUR/month right after graduation. He focussed on theoretical computer science in college, but now he’s doing web development. After taxes, their disposable income differs by only about 250 EUR. Of course, Peter is worse off than Bertram, but as long as he manages to get a job, he won’t be completely fucked, and that’s largely because he doesn’t have to pay back $150k in student loans.
3) You can easily get a second Bachelor’s degree. As I was told, it is not at all uncommon that universities in the US won’t allow students to return for a second Bachelor’s degree. Thus, if you made a poor choice the first time around, you would have to look for a university that takes you. You probably wouldn’t qualify for student loans, but even if: it would be an utter travesty to add another six-figures of debt to an already very sizable amount of debt from your first degree. You’d have to work for well over a decade, due to the power of compound interest, to pay back all your loans. And that’s the best-case scenario.
Meanwhile, in Europe you just enroll for a second degree. You only need to find a way to cover cost of living. In some countries you would still qualify for subsidies and low-interest loans, meaning that you would have the chance to turn your life around. That’s not necessarily a given. For instance, some years ago I met a woman who was in the process of acquiring her third (!) Master’s degree, all of which did not qualify her for a job. In the US, you would have to be super-rich to do that. Here in Europe it’s enough to be incredibly stupid. But, hey, it’s another vote for the libtards, so all is good, right?
One could easily find further differences, but those three are, in my opinion, the most significant ones. That is not to say that the situation in Europe is necessarily great, particularly once you compare life after college. To me it almost seems that everybody with decent skills and just a modicum of ambition wants to get out, largely because the financial rewards aren’t really there. I recently researched cost of living in a select few US cities in states with low taxes and liberal gun laws, which is the kind of liberalism I like. A rough back-of-the-envelope calculation showed that with a typical salary in my profession (no, not “blogger”, “author” or “chick magnet”), I would have almost as much left over after all expenses are paid as I currently make after taxes. Sure, education and health care are free or very cheap in Europe, so the comparison is off. If I got cancer, I could always dig up my European passport and move back anyway.