I wanted to write something in response to some recent articles and commentary I’ve seen from colleagues and friends of mine. It concerns the subject of college.
Much of this recent commentary, while well-meaning and making valid points, nevertheless paints a picture that is in need of qualification.
So I wanted to share my thoughts.
Is it a waste of time? Should you go? Should you go to a trade school? Should you start working?
These are important questions, and should be agonized over. Never before have students been faced with such a bewildering variety of choices and challenges.
But it would be a mistake to adopt a blanket rule that “you shouldn’t go to college” or that “college is a waste of time.”
This position, in my view, does a real disservice to young people, and fails to take into account many important factors.
Let me first say what I do believe.
First, it is more critical than ever to look for value in your education.
The days when you could just expect to take out a bunch of loans without thinking it through, or just expect a job to come your way after graduation, are long gone.
You need to shop around. You need to consider options you may never have considered before. You should consider:
- The state school
- The junior college
- The trade school
- The ROTC option
- Other options
Price matters, value matters, and the whole picture matters. So, the “no college” advocates do make a valid point when they say that many colleges are overpriced holding-pens of SJWs and dead-enders. But the problem is, they overstate their case.
Second, the “no college” advocates assume that everyone out there wants to start his own business, or is capable of starting his own business.
And this simply isn’t true.
Although in this part of the internet we extol the virtues of the entrepreneur and the lone wolf, in reality this model is not appropriate for a significant number of people. And that’s the reality.
This is the simple truth that needs to be recognized. Everyone should incorporate this value system in some way into their worldview, to be sure, but not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur.
Not everyone wants that path. Not everyone is cut out for that path. And there is nothing wrong with that. People have different temperaments. There is no one-size-fits-all boilerplate to life.
Third, the reality is that college (or some version of it) provides a structure and rigor that the average person needs for learning.
Are you going to explode into creativity while in college? Probably not. But that doesn’t matter.
Fuck your creativity. Time will tell if you have the creativity or not. For now, assume you need to get in there and slug it out with the rest.
There is plenty of time for that later. Before you can be creative, you need to get your ass in there, sit down, and work. You have to earn it first.
Creativity comes after you’ve mastered the fundamentals, and you know what the hell you’re doing. Most of life is brutal hard work. And the sooner you get used to that, the better. So get in there and suck it up.
No damned whining.
If you think that you’re going to be able to teach yourself differential equations, Maxwell’s equations, and other advanced subjects by sitting at your kitchen table all day, you are deluding yourself. Some people can do this, but most cannot.
Fourth, college provides an environment where a young person can socialize and bond with other people.
It’s a social environment. You are not an island unto yourself. You need to be around other people your age. Yes, you can say that the environment has lately been poisoned by political correctness, SJWs, and other social ills, but at the end of the day, no one has yet found an adequate substitute for collecting people together around an academic ideal.
You may not be aware of it, but college has helped you in ways you don’t fully appreciate.
You will grow and learn just by being in the environment. Do you have to search for the best value? Absolutely.
Fifth, some professions require college.
If you have any aspirations of being in a certain profession, you will need a college. Again, I am not trying to convince you to attend a traditional four-year school, although for some people, that may be the best choice.
You only get so many chances at things in life. Fuck up your education, and you will waste years playing catch-up.
Sixth, I believe that we have a responsibility as men to pass on good values.
Education is one of the most critical things in life. To denigrate it or minimize its importance is to me a dangerous thing. We, as men, must not abandon the halls of learning to those who seek to dismantle the principles on which our culture was founded.
You have an obligation to get in there and hold the line. Yes, you. You need to get in there and fight.
There is nowhere else to run to. You make your stand here, and now.
If you came from an immigrant background, like I did, you will probably be aware that there were people who came before you who worked their asses off. Who worked their fingers to the bone. Who suffered greatly so that you could have the privilege of an education.
My grandfather drove trucks for a living. He was raised in a country that knew the agonies of civil war and famine. Coming to America was a privilege. To him, education was the most important thing. In fact, it was the only thing.
He didn’t have one, and yet he knew how vital it was. My other grandfather sold peddled clothing and thread so that his kids could have an education. He also came from a nation wracked by unrest and violence.
I’m sure other readers here have similar stories.
Don’t disgrace your ancestors.
Don’t make a mockery of their legacy. Don’t be a damned loser. Don’t be a damned asshole.
Don’t make a fool out of those who suffered for you. A lot of men–far better than us–died for the privilege of giving us the chance for learning. Remember this, and never forget it.
You get your ass in there and educate yourself, to the best of your ability. Now. No bloody excuses.
That’s all I wanted to say about that.
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