College Survival Guide/Is going to college worth my time

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Is it really?[edit]

I could cut to the chase and say in many ways that it is not worth your time. However, college and universities are academic institutions that have been around since the late 1700s in the United States. These places were once a place people sent their children to obtain an "education," which was to help them be successful for the future. Yet this education was mediocre at best and didn't help prepare students of early-America. However, colleges have impacted the way of America and continues to impact its future.

Yet you have colleges of today that are built to guide students, or so they say. In reality, however, college is an academic 'institution' that has been around enough to have an impact on society. Some members of society hold college educated people in high regard. Although this somewhat conflicts with egalitarian views along with other views, the "reality" remains that a college education affects the way people perceive the degree-holder.

Some people believe a college education gives a person a background, a track record if you will. These could also lead to a person having credentials and credibility. In other words, college gives a person experience which can be shown to the world on a resume. It is the realization that people hold this background in high regard that creates a situation for college students. Those who don't have a background may encounter scrutiny from employers, and college gives a person a background. College builds someone a status and a background. Most people are not allowed into an institution (business or other) without a background. Some people would call this "institution conflict." If you don't have recognition from one, you won't be recognized by the other.

Many people wish to destroy this institution conflict by destroying the institutions. However, some people believe the best way to do that is through espionage or becoming one of the collective. You've got various things that have changed since the 1700s. Most of all, you have the Internet. Yet the Internet has many people who were college educated. It is these people who are guiding others to knowledge. As time goes on, the amount of accurate information will present itself to people; and the possibility of a truly free education may become a reality. However, experience is the thing that colleges offer that the Internet does not. Unless a person does experiments, keeps logs, and gets certification through exams and testing, proving you've got experience is a very difficult task.

Interestingly, however, is that experience can be gained in many different ways:

The Artist[edit]

Some people say artists ought learn in college. College gives an artist a knowledge background as to methods, materials, art history, aesthetics, and other aspects of art. Some people would call this a 'formal' education in art. However, some artists don't need to go to college. These people are artists. They create art, and their ability to create art comes from talent and so forth. Whether or not these people are considered artists is up to aesthetics and debate, but a person doesn't need a college degree to be considered an artist. Artists draw, paint, sculpt, and do many other things with resources and mediums. Some artists graduate college and don't find a job right away. In other words, the ability to create art is more about experience, less about formal knowledge. Although, formal knowledge allows the artist to understand techniques, but such things can be learned out of various art books.

Artists show experience through a portfolio. However, the artist may want to take into consideration a type of formal education. This formal education may come from a freelance art teacher or through various art books.

The Scientist[edit]

On the other end of a spectrum you've got the scientist. This is the kind of person that finds graduating from college a necessity. The reason college is a necessity for this kind of person is for various reasons. One would be ethics, which discuss how science is to act in the future according to society. Another is a formal education in lab work, which often a group of persons doing experimentation. In whole, the scientist often goes to college in order to receive a formal education and work with a group of persons toward a common goal.

'Yes' and 'No' Summary[edit]

Yes and no. This all depends on a few factors. One of the factors is what you want to accomplish in the long run.

Want to be a computer scientist/mathematician/physicist/linguist/translator?

Go to college and make the best grades you can.

Want to be a biologist/chemist?

Go to college, because ethical concerns exist when employing people without proper training.

Want to be a scientist/doctor/neuroscientist?

Same as above.

Want to be an artist/actor?

You probably don't need to go. Most artists only need a portfolio to prove to others they are the cream of the crop. Colleges and universities don't really help these type of people. Many artists from earlier days rejected the schools and became famous. Salvador Dali was an artist who saw himself better than the teachers and later worked with Picasso.

Want to be a graphic designer/businessman or -woman?

You need training. Who is going to hire an interior decorator with no experience? The easiest place to get experience is college. And to get a job in the business world, unless you want to stay in an entry-level position, a degree is required.

In all reality, if someone holds a four-year-degree, he or she should be able to find a job somewhere. So college is your best bet for job security!

Recommended Reading[edit]

Bird, Caroline: The Case Against College (1972)