Saturday, May 5, 2012

Is college the right path for you?


There's nothing wrong with getting an education (especially if you can go to college for free). College can develop your reading, writing, analytical, and personable skills, which are essential for survival. Furthermore, there have been many great minds which received degrees and became professors at universities.

However, college focuses on cluttering your time with miscellaneous classes, which costs you MORE money. Unlike technical colleges, universities depreciate the value of hands-on learning.

When you're considering secondary education, ask yourself: Am I creative or technical? Am I permanent or nomadic? Where and when do I feel happy? Where do I feel the most pressure? What skills do I have? Do I have scholarships or grants to pay for college?
Moreover, a great quote from a NYC teacher, John Taylor Gatto, said: "The truth is that
schools don’t really teach anything except how to obey orders". Additionally, our generation of young adults are completely ignorant and could not change a tire on a car, for example.
Consequently, the youth's mentality or attitude is that technology, or "someone else" will do the processing for me. We have lost survival skills, emergency training, and "street-smarts". It's as if the more schooling our generation obtains, we become more compliant to social rules; and complying to social standards will allow you to reap the immediate benefits: money for 'stuff'.
To add to this point, I have quoted Bruce E. Levine where he underlines the obedience mentality of our youth: "The nature of most classrooms, regardless of the subject matter, socializes students to be passive and directed by others, to follow orders, to take seriously the rewards and punishments of authorities, to pretend to care about things they don’t care about, and that they are impotent to affect their situation".
To paraphrase George Carlin: 'they want you smart enough to work the machines and do the paperwork, but dumb enough to passively accept horrible jobs with low wages'. 

Another aspect of University that irked me was the reputation or representation of the quality of the school through the performance of sports teams and cheerleading.

There are many other aspects of University I haven't fully discussed, for example the nature of college as a marketing device (aside from the sports teams and cheerleading reputation of the school).

Subsequently, I want to move forward from the problems with University and look towards the ways we can better our school systems, or perhaps your decision to attend University:

First, shift your perspective on the meaning of successful 'Hollywood status' to a simpler status like that of a gardener or local business owner that is able to feed and shelter her family with little materials, but feels peace and harmony. Likewise, you do not need to go to college to be successful, or happy for that matter. As little as 40 years ago, it was just as meaningful to work under someone to learn skills (apprenticeship), as it was to be able to afford college for a degree.

Lets face it, it's not JUST about college education: the problems in education begin with public schooling. Creativity and self-expression are repressed, while math and science is deemed less important or boring to the other subjects.

Secondly, books and education should ultimately be free, as we look towards technology to teach one another and share knowledge! When I was in college, I always ordered my textbooks through the library (to get them for free and use them all semester). If you plan to go to college, look into Inter Library Loan on the college's library website for more information.
At the University I attended, internet classes cost a student three times more than a regular on-campus class. For those who suffer from social anxiety disorders (Autism, Asperger's, etc) benefit in a calm environment like online.

Third, education should be localized like high school -- without the social stigma of high school.

I may come back to this thought to add more useful adjustments to University, but I'm feeling the affects of lack of sleep...

If you are unsure you're ready, prepared, or interested in college, you will find on this blog how to live for free without a degree and with VERY little money. Explore the rest of my posts that discuss growing your own food, living off the land, building your own house out of free materials, and using resources such as the library to further your education. Also, I have a blog post here "How to Tell your Parent(s) you dropped out of college" where you can find the tools to discussing quitting college or not attending college.

Considering I wanted to present a video of education that better-explained the greed inside colleges:



I wanted to end with a article, that reminds us that we do not have to go to college. In fact, there are many successful people that have dropped out of college or never attended university. I love the excerpt: "faulty thinking has led the public to believe everyone needs to go to college even if they can't afford it" paraphrased from Paul Thiel. I would like to add that we need to branch our understanding of all aspects (math, technology, chemistry, reading, writing, etc) The more we attempt to have a basic understanding of these things around us, the more self-reliant we can become. We can stop relying/paying for a "professional", when it is much easier and cheaper for us to do it ourselves. 

Like I said: I am not discouraging college, nor am I persuading anyone to drop-out on a whim. This post is only to shed light on this issue where our society thinks we need to pay absurd amounts of money for a sub-par education! Timothy Leary (from Flashbacks, 1983) wrote: "Drop out suggested an elective, selective, graceful process of detachment from involuntary or unconscious commitments. 'Drop Out' meant self-reliance, a discovery of one's singularity, a commitment to mobility, choice, and change."

Here is the article that highlights this: Why College may Not be Worth It

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