Whatever happened to “go to school and get an education?” Lately I hear so many people trying to influence kids NOT to go to college. When I was growing up it was the complete opposite. The arguments I hear most often for not going to college:
- Huge Student loans
- Anything you learn in college you can learn on your own
- Opportunity cost of time spent in college vs. time spent working
- Kids are coming out of college struggling to find jobs because they majored in fields that are outdated or no longer exist
I’ve been in conversations where I’ve said I could’ve used the five years I spent in school better by learning and building a business on my own. But that’s not reality, at least for me. I’m thankful I went to college. If I could go back and change my decision I wouldn’t. I’m not saying I learned a whole lot of useful information in the classroom that bettered my life, but I will say that the experience was invaluable.
I’m not going to argue the financial, or timeline, benefits or detriments of going to college. I don’t have the facts and figure to write and intelligent and well thought out post based on those topics. More so, I don’t care to argue those points. I find them to be boring. My argument is based solely on the value of my life experience in college.
College is this amazing experiment. You take all these different people and jam them together in this social/educational setting and see what happens. Undoubtedly a cluster fuck ensues. People lose themselves, find themselves, lose their minds, create amazing relationships and end up becoming someone very different than who they started out as.
I’ve heard people say anything you learn in college you can learn on your own. I agree with this to an extent. But The fact is most people won’t learn on there own. They want to be taught. Its easier to have someone teach you. People love the easy way.
The majority of people don’t have the drive or know-how to effectively teach themselves new ideas. Having a teacher helps validate what you have learned. It’s a structure we have become accustomed to as a culture. I’m not saying its right or wrong I’m just stating how I see it.
College was five of the best years of my life. I didn’t always realize it then, but my life was amazing. I floated through college. It was a joke for the most part. I even tried to fail a class during my MBA so I didn’t have to leave. I wasn’t ready to move on. Life was too good.
There are lessons you learn in college that I know I would have never learned anywhere else. I’m not talk about physics or accounting. I mean amazing and irreplaceable life lessons. Had I not gone to college I may have never: gotten stabbed, contracted the clap, gotten my car stolen, gone to terrible frat parties, been known as Naked Guy or met the incredible people who have impacted my life many years in the future.
I learned how to act in uncomfortable social situations. There’s not much worse than being stuck in a smoldering hot basement with 200 co-eds rubbing sweaty elbows, drinking warm beer and trying to act cool in front of girls.
I learned how to not do wash for weeks on end and still have “clean” clothes. I learned how to live with the craziest menagerie of people and co-exist. I learned that with $40 bucks in your pocket you are set for the weekend. I learned that people love really shitty music, like Phish.
I learned how to sneak 30 packs and beer balls into a dorm at a dry campus. I learned how much fun $12 worth of shitty alcohol could buy for me and a couple friends. I learned what the freshman 15 was (The 15 lbs. people tend to gain their first year of college).
I learned how to play Rugby. I learned Grain makes delicious jungle juice, but shooting it is asking to go to the hospital. I learned to always wear flip flops into any public shower. I learned people can actually live off Ramen Noodles and Spam. I learned Kool Aid and purple drink are mainly sugar. I learned its incredibly to tell someone to ‘go fuck themselves and their knife’ before you are about to get into a fight with them. More than likely you will end up getting stabbed, at least in my case.
I wouldn’t give up my college experience for anything. The actual education I received in the classroom is pretty much worthless. But my memories are priceless.
I’m not saying everyone needs to graduate college. But I am saying everyone should go for the experience