College / University – Learning more than what is just taught in class
I will occasionally come across folks looking for career direction who feel college / university (and any post secondary education for that matter) is over rated. In the age of instant information where you can basically find any information on Google and learn how to do anything through a YouTube video, going to school to learn it yourself does not seem relevant.
So why spend 3, 4, 5 years at school when you could learn the same or more else where? That’s a very good question. I’ll answer with a couple of points:
- You still need to earn a living (unless you a trust fund or don’t otherwise to worry about money, then this doesn’t apply to you and probably don’t know why you’d e reading this blog)
- To earn a living, you will need to have someone pay you to do something of value for them
- That may be in the context of being an employee or self employed being paid by your clients, but you will need some sort of skill that someone is willing to pay for.
- Without a post-secondary education, you’ll have your basic high school education and the value of the work based on your knowledge and experience at that point will be limited
- You can definitely learn on your own and get skills on your own. That is what you’ll find in the biographies of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates as people who dropped out of school to get the skills they needed on their own. So if you have the drive and the passion and understand what following your passion means, then more power to you!
- Unfortunately, most of us don’t have that drive and passion to follow in the foot steps of Steve and Bill, which means that we need to learn the “old-fashioned way” through the education system
- So suck it up, do it, and be thankful for even the opportunity to have that education (folks in third world countries would probably do anything to be in the position you are in; And trust me, you’ll be in a better place later on in your life by putting in that investment)
- And that doesn’t mean that you can’t do a lot of other activities to accelerate your way through (or at least leave yourself in a better place when you get to the end)
- You learn a lot more than what is taught in class
- Consider this:
- Previous high school and elementary education had someone basically watching you along the way. If you skip school, or don’t do homework / assignments / tests, then notes would be sent home, maybe phone calls, parent-teacher meetings, counselor and principal interventions
- In college / university, if you skip class, nothing happens. Same with not doing homework / assignments / tests. And report cards are addressed to you, not your parents. So all accountability is on you.
- Students often learn the hard way how skipping class, not doing homework / assignments / test will impact them down the line
- You now have to learn effective time management, meeting deadlines, working with classmates/team members and otherwise how to get things done
- Classes might teach you communication skills (both written and verbal), analytical thinking, and responsibility, but those are more skills that you get as a result of going to and completing your classes versus what is taught in the lecture material and assignments themselves
- These are all of the skills that most jobs will assume that you have, which is a little funny that those skills are never really taught, they are just imposed
- Plus the friends you make, the relationships you foster and the networks you build will be extremely valuable in your future
- Consider this:
So you still have the choice to go to college / university or not, but consider what you’ll miss if you don’t.
And if you are in college / university right now, don’t lose out on the amazing learning opportunity you have outside of class as well as in class.
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