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I'm skeptical of many "don't go to college" arguments, but this is one worth evaluating based on career preferences and personal/financial circumstances.

Myself, I am fortunate in that my choice of career (software industry) remains quite lucrative in the midst of a recession. My wife was not so lucky, in that the crash of '08 precipitated a slow decline of her industry. I am also fortunate that, prior to landing a stable career, my parents were both willing and able to help me out with my student loans, or with first & last month rent.

Sadly I think at age 17 - 18, I am not sure anyone would've been able to make me truly understand how all the trade-offs I was making. For one thing, I made my choice of college (and ostensibly career) in the late '90s, a relatively prosperous period. Maybe I would've chosen differently in a recession. For another, I don't think I had any concept of how hard student loans could and would bite.

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