I have a proposition to make. Let’s make academia more about learning and thinking and less about achieving. It’s the start of another school year again, I’m sure most of the students here have done it at least 12 or 13 times, but it doesn’t seem like they are getting any better at it. The same complaints keep occurring about classes, schedules, teachers, etc just fill in the details with different names each year.
Most students I talk to seem like they are taking two or three classes they don’t really have any interest in, but the course is required for their degree so they feel it must be taken so they will be able to graduate. Maybe there is a problem with the political structure of college curriculum.
In this day and age, if an 18-year-old kid isn’t thinking of going to college after high school, then they are probably thought of as a bit misguided. But the truth is, one doesn’t have to go to school to educate themselves. The whole concept of school is really nothing more than a tool for the pathologically unmotivated. That’s why I think school should be thought of as more of an exercise for one’s brain, a kind of boost to help people start thinking for themselves. In turn, they will began to enjoy knowledge and want to learn about the world they live in.
This is really what the first four years of college end up being anyway, but the students don’t think of it that way. They see college as preparation for the next step in their lives so they can get a job and become financially independent. People seem to get locked into this perpetual state of preparation. Prepare for the test, prepare for the next semester, graduation, career, family, retirement, death. Where does it end?
By the time they achieve what they were preparing for they don’t even realize it because all their thought is going into preparation for the next step. I think it’s important for people to start thinking more in terms of the moment but at the same time taking responsibility for their actions and realize their will be a consequence for every decision they make. Don’t give into addiction, keep learning, expand your mind and new possibilities will open up. The future will take care of itself.
I think schools should put less emphasis on degree plans and allow the students more liberation in choosing the classes they want to take even if their schedule does cover many different fields. Most students end up going to graduate or technical school if they want to be more specialized, so there is no need for so much restriction in these first four years.