I’ve been on this site for a while, and although there’s been discussions that touch base on this topic, my question hasn’t been directly addressed (or so I have not seen yet). Anyways, basically I’m asking what your views on the importance of a college education is.
I’m pretty stoned and on addy so stay with me here…
The reason I’m asking? I’ve been seeing a lot of you pointing to the fact that college is in reality “pointless” per se. I understand where people are coming from by saying that self-learning can be way more useful and that tuition is ridiculous, I just can’t seem to get by how much negativity surrounds the entire idea of college on this site. I myself go to a private liberal arts college (gave the best financial aid) and consider myself decently educated as in terms of what is discussed on this site. Since I’ve been here (I’m currently a 1st semester sophomore), I’ve quite possibly had the best, most transforming experience thus far into my short life. I’ve learned more about myself than I could have ever imagined and have been continually living the most chaotically beautiful dream-like life since being here. Therefore I must make the point that I believe it is very much so up to the student to attain what they are looking for during their college experience. I know I can’t speak for large public universities, but at my school I have had many more good experiences socially and intellectually than bad. But again, I choose to actively question and discuss in class. I choose to put off a paper on a weeknight in order to get into an amazing, chaotic substance filled night with my closest friends. I choose to actively pursue friendships to those that help me grow as a person just as much as I help them. You can’t do the base level of work in life expecting above average results. It’s up to you to pick and choose what bits of information you need and/or want vs what is being fed to you, and going along with that, it’s up to you to ignore what you believe is a pile of shit.
@xyver, I will after if it comes to it! Plan A is to push my music to the next level in some form of profession and to keep on investing until im financially free. Maybe write some books on self growth, teach meditation or something along those lines, there’s so much I’m passionate about that could come to be something life is truly exciting that way. Making wages at a job is my plan b. i want to represent the idea that you can achieve your dreams and change your mind.
As someone who spent three and a half years out of college before going back, I have to say I am happy I got a college education. After working in factories, restaurants, shops, as a maid and gardener, etc, etc, I was happy to be studying. Some stuff I learned was mindless pap but I learned a lot of very interesting things and was encouraged to speak my mind. I did feel, however, that graduate school was a waste of time. Ihated it and hated my major. Part of it was my fault, but grad school really focuses on such a narrow vision, there is no room for thinking (or in my case wasn’t).
@kankles, I absolutely agree with your opinion. Although I am studying psychology (totally different path than yours, which is -art) gaining experience is the same principle.
I think that college education largely contributes to growth of our mind and knowledge. Our minds are growing with social and emotional experiences, and our knowledge we get from practice, books, and listening to older people (not laymen – professors, masters in particular sciences) who already been there where we might want to be one day in the future.
My personal example: I am hopping to work with prison population, basically – scientific work. I could never succeed and achieve that goal without a college education. And above all, without a chance of practice in Hospital for prisoners.
And now I am about to have 40 hours in such institution.
And that experience is just priceless if you ask me.
College can be good and with point, if you are going for your dream, and that is just a shortcut.
I have loved my Master’s course, but I didn’t enjoy my undergrad, probably because I didn’t pick the right course for my undergrad.
Nevertheless, I’ve had invaluable learning experiences in college, that really have opened my mind and expanded my knowledge base… HOWEVER, it seems that a college education doesn’t have the same value as it once did. Every Tom, Dick and Harry can get a Masters now, and STILL find it hard to get a job. All this, while paying through the nose (I’m in Sydney, and my cumulative higher education has cost me upwards of $40,000).
College needs to be inexpensive, and more competitive, I think, or it loses value. This loss of value is why I can understand people now saying that a college education is overrated in terms of opportunities for employment.
I am currently a senior in high school. Ill be graduating the following spring. Im not sure if i Will be Enrolling on a college or a niversity directly after graduating, or if i will take a gap year to study italian, travel, do community service and explore my options. I believe we humans are, by nature, life-long learners. By being in a liberal arts high school, i was able to learn that human talent cant and shouldnt be measured by a single conception of abilities.
I dont think every high school graduate should immediatly enroll in a university or college.
I dont believe college is for everyone.
I dont believe we need to have a life plan in order to succeed.
I dont believe in standarization of education because human fluorishing is not an industrial process, rather it is an organic process.
I DO believe that life is what you make it. We decide how to live life, by understanding why we do it that way. I believe in expressing and sharing your dreams.
Many of the ideas expressed in this post come from my admiration to Sir Ken Robinson. :)
@kankles Thanks so much for this refreshing post! I thought I might be the only one that shared this point of view… I’m a sophomore as well and have found that my time in college has profoundly changed the character that I am. It’s an awesome time of exploration, with (if you’re at the right college) a community of thousands of other curious individuals to indulge with you. Yes, a lot of the time you learn useless information in lecture but the learning that you do through your peers is truly profound. Wouldn’t trade it for the world!
p.s. you kinda look like Lana del Rey!
@splashartist I mean, to each his own, so it’s totally your decision to whatever the hell you want, but I feel like you might want to go into it with a different attitude. Granted you say it’s your plan B, you should milk everything you can out of the experience. A lot of people don’t get a free college education and would love to have a chance at a higher education.
@infidel I understand totally what you mean by the fact that it seems like anyone can attain a college education at this point and end up with the same degree as you but with much less effort and money. BUT, it would be unfair and technically impossible to create a way that selects those “qualified” for college because everyone is so different in terms of how they learn and how they communicate their knowledge (i.e I know kids that are borderline genius but can’t ace a test for the life of them)
@sonrieprimero that’s an odd connection but I’ll take it haha
@kankles, Well the college I go to consists of stress filled weeks and “let’s get drunk” weekends. They feed us terrible food. We pay a lot of money for this education that I can get for free online Also, if I really want a job (actually just a higher chance at finding a job) I need to attend Graduate school, meaning, I will take out some student loans, meaing I will be in debt. Also, I may not even find a job! Depending on of course what I go into. But right now, it is leaning towards Sociology. And if I have learned anything from that course, it is that we need change, drastic change from each individual and thus the system itself. I am not going to be changing anything if I and everyone else continues along the path of the debt filled college experience of wasting away your days getting drunk, studying some things that do not interest you from time to time, and eating terrible food for your health.
That’s my spiel.
@kankles, That’s why I am milking it. I ended up finding a few courses I enjoy to take as well which is nice. And sure, I may sound negative when I speak of school. There’s positives about it though as well which I know I will enjoy like the social atmosphere.
@kankles The fact that Adderall has become such a necessary drug for many students in college is one reason why I feel college has fallen down the wrong path. It’s a bunch of busy work, and classes that students don’t find interesting, and therefore turn to adderall. Instead of trying to cram hundreds of different classes down our throats I believe that colleges should allow students to be able to immerse themselves deeply into their true interests, and bountiful knowledge will follow. College has become a business, so it has been sold as ‘necessary’ for every high school grad. No offense to communications majors, but I roomed with two of them at a respected school, and that major is a joke. It is definitely, not necessary to take 4 years of college for, unless for maybe the top top students, but still I don’t know. There are many majors that fall into this category in my opinion.
All that being sad, I do have to agree with you that it is possible for students to gain a lot from college, but the system has a large room for improvement.
I’d like to address the “when will I ever use this in life” crowd. You are missing the point. Unless you have a job that requires that you use calculus, you probably won’t need it, but that’s not why you are taught it. You are taught math because it creates neural networks that help you with higher order thinking. In other words, you are taught it because it is good for you. Now, I don’t know the benefit of classes where all you do is regurgitate memorized facts, but classes that require that you think and do problem solving are essential and good.
College isn’t necessary to get A job, but it certainly is necessary to get CERTAIN jobs, such as engineering, math, science, or software. Also, I wouldn’t be able to have been able to join the kickass research groups I’m in if I didn’t go to college. :)
@kankles, College can be both good and bad things. If you are interested in academia and gaining knowledge, then it is a very good thing. But too many people go to college, because they believe they have to or that they are a better person for having a college education. I know so many people who hate their courses, and essentially learn nothing, they just take notes they’re not, nor have any interest in understanding. They are just going to memorize them and repeat them in their exams.
I believe college can only be productive if, you are geared towards a certain career and you need to go to college to achieve it, or if you are generally interested in just learning. The latter is why I go to college, I have no intentions of using my education to get a specific job. I merely want to learn. My interests are purely academic. I’m in an arts course (Literature/social studies specifically), but many of my class mates have no interest in being there, they are merely counting down the minutes until they are finished. What is the point in that. It is not mandatory, if you’re not interested, why bother?
I’ve been self-directing my learning for a couple years now, and along with a strong focus on photography/videography, I’ve kept up with other subjects to stay well-rounded. But this blog post my have some insight on the whole college education thing. He wrote “College Without High School” and “Better than College: How to Build a Successful Life Without a Four-Year Degree”. Super practical ideas, easy to start working on.
These are excerpts from his book.
College was the greatest experience iv ever been through. Character building experiences around every corner and you really decide who your going to become. I graduated from Shippensburg U ( go red raiders) as a biologist. Going into school i had no direction at all. Now i love bio, the understanding and study of life is great IMO. Now i just need to find a job which is going to be tough but i only graduated 3 weeks ago. In time it will come.
i think a college education is crucial to support yourself and others around you. i guess what i coul dtell any one is go with the most possible choice. you dont need to go to some special school or any of the sort as long you learn enough to survive and get by. when i hear fancy schools names and great school experiences my stomach gets into a knot because of due to my laziness to do something to better myself. then again get an education and work hard enough just enough so you can be happy and contented with yourself
My experience was that for the most part, with the exception of one semester, college was all busywork and bullshit. It’s a lot of jumping through hoops, I just can’t stand the whole thing of grades and points, it turns the whole thing into a race or a contest to see who can cram the most in your head in time for the test without going mental. Granted, I had a shitty time because both of the times I went, I was pressured to pick a major fast, so I wound up picking things that my heart wasn’t really into. It’s complicated though….in my experience, having no money sucks. Being underemployed sucks. That’s what I’m going through now, and that’s what my parents went through themselves. But at the same time, I’m just not at all interested in the kinds of things that make a lot of money, I tried telling myself I was and was lying to myself….I’m not really a numbers/engineering/invention person, not really a corporate business or law type person either. And while I have some interest in some scientific areas, I don’t just want to go through my whole life simply observing and reporting facts….that’s pretty much what school was, and it was “meh”. Being forced to leap before I can look….story of my life.
Idk, if you have the money and want to go to college it can be okay….just know who you are first, if you can. The problem is often times it’s tough, you don’t know who you are until you have tried a few things, but by the time it’s all done and you’re doing it, you might find you don’t really like it after all. Then you’re kind of screwed.
@splashartist, how are you able to both gain the knowledge you need to make good investments, and also push yourself creatively at the same time? To me I would think that you either need to eat, sleep, and breathe investments to avoid financial disaster, or eat, sleep, and breathe music/creativity in order to get good enough to break through.
@theskafish, Investments work for you once you actually have money invested. You have to obviously work to find an investment that won’t fuck you over. Music you are definitely correct about. I don’t have much of a set plan anymore though. im just going with the flow. Although I still am investing and playing music. I just don’t know where any of it will lead.
I think colleague can benefit you in many ways. Think about it.
You will definitely find a job easier, better payed also.
Yes, you could probably learn most or all you learn in colleague on your own, but the degree is an important factor as in life, your economy, job and most important faster and better learning/understanding, if you are active and willing to learn of-course.
I think it just depends on what you want in life, what you want to be and what will make you happy. If you want to be something that requires a degree, then absolutely go to college. Rock on!
I am a barista and that is where one of my passions lay. I make enough money to sustain a minimalist life-style, which is what I want. That makes me happy. I have money to save, spend and even travel wherever I want to go. So for me, college is not something the route I want to take.
I think most people need college, but it takes the ultimate optimists to take the road less traveled and still make something beautiful from their lives.
I understand your point of view and I want to say that is not college which is pointless, but the education in college. You see… I study “Computer Science”. At my college, which is one of “the best” in our country, our professors teach old technologies that are no more used in the actual IT field. There are also a lot of courses just to be there, that have no real connection with computer science. And the courses that really help me and my future career doesn’t have the emphasis needed. I think this is what most of us call “pointless” college education.
Given these facts, don’t you think that is better to study on my own from the resources available on the internet?
I also believe that it is not fair that I have to study for the exam of a course that I don’t feel like it will help me or doesn’t fit my area of study.
Internet offers liberty in choice of the subject you want to study and liberty in the amount of information you need read about a subject. It’s up to your own will how much you study and how good you want to be.