Thursday, December 05, 2013

Is College Necessary?

It's not for not-insignificant fraction of the people who enroll; that's my opinion.  Here's another:
Lately the question “Is College Necessary?” has been under debate. One factor sparking the debate is the record 85 percent of recent college grads living with their parents. While economists and academics argue about the benefits of a college education and the loan debt incurred by many students, what are recent college grads thinking, especially those who can’t find jobs or if they do, cannot support themselves?

In this guest post, Cristina Schreil, a 2011 graduate of New York University who majored in English Literature and Journalism, investigated how her generation feels about the expectations they had and what they feel now—diplomas in hand. Like many of her peers, she admits, “in no way am I supporting myself 100 percent, but I am still pursuing the goal of working in journalism full time. I think it's going to be a long journey.” Here is what Cristina learned about her peer’s attitudes and struggles....
A common theme in the first several paragraphs is that students were encouraged to do what they wanted, that they were entitled to "pursue their dreams" and could expect a well-paying job upon completion of their degree.  This is why, if I were ever to give a graduation address, this is one of the things I would say:
Many will expect me to stand up here and tell you to “follow your dreams”. Don't do it, it's horrible advice. Find what you're good at, and do that. You'll be happy—who doesn't like doing what they're good at? And by pursuing what you do best, you'll be making the best imprint you can on the world.
Notice I don't say they'll make oodles of money.  I tell them that they will, in the words of the 80's US Army commercials, "be all they can be".

No comments: