"What colleges are you applying to?"
"Where did you get accepted?"
"Where are you going to college?"
These questions were all the rage during the last half of my senior year of high school. Anyone not thinking about attending college was a loser headed for no place special.
College. It's a catchall term teens learn to employ to inform people "I'm going places. I have a bright future". Or to get parents and counselors off their backs. College. No matter that all you're learning is how to execute a proper keg stand or earning your Ph.D in GHB and no that does not count toward your chemistry requirement you date raping frat fuck.
When asked what their goals for the future are, high school students generally respond with what college they hope to attend. But what does that really mean? College simply extends the required education period except instead of being mandated by the government college is mandated by society.
But I went. Because it was ingrained in my brain that the only hope for a bright future was college. I did everything I was supposed to do in college and I was annoyed. Long lines, outrageous tuition, expensive books, irrelevant classes, busy work, boring professors who blended personal opinions with teaching material resulting in confusing lessons. Sure there were a couple high points (keg stands) but what did college really teach me about my chosen career? Or teach anyone, for that matter? I'm assuming you aren't a doctor or lawyer.. but even then, I'd prefer the doc operating on me to have several successful surgeries under his belt as opposed to the fella that aced every single written test.
More and more we're placing too much importance on "education" and too little importance on real world experience and accomplishment. In college, students are certainly educated in many areas but how much do they really learn that they can practically apply toward a career? And at what cost?
Ultimately, college wasn't for me and after two years of bullshit math classes (that I have yet to apply to my everyday life) left me tearing out my hair by the handfull I left. I wasn't interested in why A to the third power = B - C. I was jonesing to apply the tiny bit about journalism I was learning to the real world.
Up until I left, I was earning my degree in broadcast journalism while simultaneously working my way up the ranks of a local television station. Suffice it to say, working at the news station for one week taught me more about journalism than the college did the entire time I attended. Lucky for me, at 23 I was offered the job I would have never applied for until I had that diploma in a frame on my wall. Once I secured my dream job, what was the point of getting the journalism degree? I was making more than either of my parents and I was being infused daily with invaluable on the job training.
I have since come to the conclusion that a college degree is overrated, at best. Not that your degree is for shit.. I'm certain you're a lovely, intelligent individual and most likely, the more prestigious the college you attended the more likely I am to hear about it. I'm just saying that society, our parents, employers base so much importance on The Degree and if you did go to Harvard? Well you simply must be a genius. But a college degree doesn't gaurantee success in the workplace. Some people, myself included, do not belong in college and choose not to get a degree, instead seeking out real world experience. Of course, without that degree, our society downplays their skills and will underpay them or not offer them a job even though they are good independent self-motivated learners who found a better way than "the system" to learn.
After being offered a low-paying job at a local cable channel, after passing the writing test, the New York trivia test, after miraculously passing the drug test, after being told I start tomorrow I was informed this morning the station is rescinding their offer because they noticed on my application that I do not have a college degree. No matter that I've been in the business for nearly a decade. No matter that I spent the past year writing and producing in the top news market in the world, I'm not qualified. But the girl that graduated college a month ago? She is.