When I was younger I never really thought about my education. I just knew that I had to go to school everyday and turn in my homework by the end of the week. As I grew up, it became something else. More into middle school and high school it became seriou, and the question popped up: what are you going to do when you graduate high school? For some it was working full time, others enlisted in the army or the marines, and the majority were going to a college or a university.
We have been told that we are the future, and that college is the key to success. I understood how that happened; one studied in a field of his or her interest, excelled in it, made a career out of it, and eventually made the money they were seeking. For our generation it has become a little difficult, and it seems like no matter how hard we try there are always obstacles. Tuition has doubled in public and private colleges- compared to a generation ago. Not only that, graduating with 6 figures’ worth of debt is common. I remember that in my high school a teacher told me to pursue my college education and not worry too much about the money, that I could always apply for scholarships or even take out a loan. The idea always calmed me down, coming from what is considered to be a large family with a low-income. I still thought about the amount of money I’d owe of tuition. I didn’t want to be a grandmother and still be owing money from back when I was in college. College definitely puts a financial stress on the majority of the students. I didn’t want to feel pressured to get a job, because I know that I’d be more interested in the money that I’d be seeing every two weeks, instead of focusing in school. And I know that I definitely would not know how to balance these two things out, since I’ve never had a job before. Many high school students are able to maintain a part-time job while also doing good in school. They believe that they could do the same while being a full-time college student. Sooner or later they’ll realize that it’s not that easy. The majority of classes require several hours of studying each week (unlike high school where you could study a couple of minutes before a test and still pass), projects that require deep research, and plenty of 20-page essays. It could almost seem very time consuming , and they’ll have to learn about time management. Last semester I did a small project on time management and I learned a couple of things from it. Our generation have become and adapted to being multi-taskers. I didn’t know whether this was a good thing or a bad one. We tend to do many things all at once that we can’t really concentrate on one thing. When several of tasks are thrown at us to do, we are able to handle it and partially do it to the best of our potential, but still that is not good enough. I’ve always believed that to do something you have to do it right, if not what’s the point of even doing it? Same with colleges. They are taking on too many roles and doing none of them well. “They are staffed by casts of thousands and dedicated to everything from esoteric research to vocational training- and have lost track of their basic mission to challenge the minds of young people.”
In the book “They Say I Say”, chapter “Is Higher Education Worth The Price?” made some questions in the beginning that made some valuable points. The first question was “what is the value of college?” Sincerely I have thought about this and I can’t come up with a good enough answer. I always thought college was a place to get a degree that will lead to a good paying job. But now it seems like it has become more than that. Chris McCandless, known from the book and movie “Into the Wild”, did it for the experience but mostly because he was expected to by his parents. Although that’s not the for thing we think about, college is a time for experience. “What do students learn there to justify the experience and cost?” Another good question, because college is a lot about experiencing new things and becoming independent. For many, they try new things for the first time. They move out of their homes, they’re away from their families, they cook for themselves, go grocery shopping, get jobs, handle money by themselves, learn true responsibilities, take out credit cards, make new friends, get into serious relationships, and unfortunately some fall into peer pressure or develop bad habits that have a great effect on them. Since one is officially an adult, one has the freedom and liberty to do almost anything they want. That’s not the best thing. Although one is of age, it doesn’t mean that their maturity level has risen a bit. they may want to do anything they can just because they can and there’s no one there to stop them. Sadly, one has to go through some hard times to get learn and get the true meaning of learning. And from there on they could grow.
“Higher education has lost track of its original and enduring purpose. They reinforce our view that college should be a cultural journey, an intellectual expedition, a voyage confronting new ideas and information/ Many colleges with national names and universities with imperial plans could learn a lot from them.”