What I Have to Say: Whitney Chamberlin

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How much did you pay for college? If it was within the last eight years, you paid at least fifteen thousand per year. If you went to a private school, you likely paid upwards of forty thousand per year — before your text books, housing, food, and everything else required in collegiate life.

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Let’s assume you paid for all of your schooling up front — which you probably didn’t, considering the majority of college students took out some form of loan to be able to afford their schooling. Assuming that you had no need for loans or scholarships, you would have paid somewhere between forty and two hundred thousand dollars over the course of your undergrad career.

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How has that investment paid off? For many creatives, it never pays off. Many of us end up under the thumb of gargantuan student loan firms for the rest of our lives.

So what is the value in a college education for creatives?

Not a whole lot.

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For artists and writers and thinkers, the most useful aspect of attending university is the group of peers you are surrounded by. Because of online resources like CodeAcademy, Coursera — hell, even YouTube — anyone with access to a computer can learn anything they want at any time of the day. Sure, college courses come with a professor who can frame your learning experience, but by the time you get to college you’ve already been taught for twelve or more years how to learn. You learned how to check your sources for valid information when you were in middle school. You learned how to use a library and set of encyclopedias. You learned how to ask for help from people who know more. You no longer need a professor to teach you; you can teach yourself. The only card remaining in the university deck is the built-in system of peers.

That’s what Field Trip is here for. We are the answer to the question “where are my peers?”

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Field Trip is led by people from all different backgrounds. Some of us studied photography in school, some of us are self taught, one of us is an eagle scout, another one of us didn’t even finish the eighth grade.

College isn’t necessary. Higher education is. You can find it outside college campuses and in your own mind.

– Whitney Chamberlin, creator of Field Trip | Yeah Field Trip

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It’s not too late to register! Field Trip is happening February 23-27, 2017 at El Capitan Canyon. Book your ticket here.

Image of Whitney by Brinson + Banks | All other images courtesy of Field Trip

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Our “What I Have to Say” Wednesday series features established photographers and artists with messages they just can’t keep inside. Authentically and honestly, our writers share words of wisdom to challenge, encourage, and inspire.

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