April 16, 2014
Dear School, I'm Breaking Up With You
How's it going? We've known each other for a long time and we've been through a lot. From learning "times tables" in elementary school to physics in high school to all of the university classes, you've always been there.
School, there are so many people that like you. There are so many people who think that you are their ticket to freedom. You've been their friend. They sing praises (fight songs) to your name and wear your apparel with pride. They want to send their children your way, School. They trust that you will help them throughout their life.
Everyone keeps telling me that if we spend more time together, everything will work out. I'm having a hard time believing this. Have you seen the news, School? About all of the college graduates getting paid barely above minimum wage, and not even in jobs related to what they studied with you? These are people who were counting on you, School, and you screwed them! And did you know that there are programmers without degrees that are getting paid more than people with Master's degrees, and even Doctorates? It's because of the skills, School, not the degree.
This is why I'm considering my options and our future together.
School, it seems that you are a best friend to a few particular groups of people, like scientists or engineers or mathematicians. I'm not a part of those groups. I'm interested in those things but not enough to spend 4 years of full-time study dedicated to them. It seems that you want to force people to become specialists in one particular thing. And you know what, School? That may great for some people.
But not for me.
Here's the real problem, School. I'm not interested in one thing. I'm interested in a lot of things. I want to learn about everything!
I want to learn about biology,
but I also want to learn about psychology,
but I also want to learn about graphic design,
but I also what to learn about cinematography,
but I also want to learn about drawing and painting,
but I also want to learn about business,
but I also want to learn about 3D modeling,
but I also want to learn about exercise science,
but I also want to learn about architectural drafting,
but I also want to learn about photography,
but I also want to learn about astronomy,
but I also want to learn about sociology,
but I also want to learn another language,
but I also want to learn about entrepreneurship,
but I also want to learn about history.
See what I mean, School? I know you can provide a lot of knowledge on these topics and even get into the boring and mundane details of each one, which, for some people, is fine and dandy. But what about people like me? What about the people who want to learn about everything? What about entrepreneurs who don't want to be tied to a single industry? What do you have in place for us?
Oh, right. Nothing.
You may say,
"You don't understand!
I can help you!
I can make sure you will always be able to get a job!
You will be credible!
With a degree in hand, you'll be able to say, 'I stuck to it!'
You will be respected!"
"Job job job blah blah blah employment employment employment." School, you aren't telling me anything new. I'm sorry, but we've been over this already.
Do you know how many credits I have, School? After this semester, I'll have 134.5 credits. That's more than you need for a Bachelor's degree! I've taken classes in all sorts of subjects, and instead of waiting for my senior year to get an internship, I've asked around. You want to know how many people are interested in me working for/with them?
Four. Four! I've basically had four job offers and I don't have a degree in anything! And I've had more of a "well-rounded" education than most college graduates!
One last thing, School. One of your greatest lies is security (job security, in particular). In today's economy, what's secure about having a job in the first place? The days of "Get a degree, get a job, live a long, secure, happy life" are gone! For those who believe this lie, it's more like, "Get a degree, try to get a job, get a job at Starbucks, get a 'real job', get fired from that job, back to Starbucks, repeat 5 or 6 times." And good luck trying to pay back those student loans, huh, School?
You promise them secure lives only to throw them under the bus when they graduate. That's messed up, School. Really messed up.
And so, School, I'm breaking up with you, at least for now. Our relationship has grown stale and I need a breather. Maybe I'll check back in 6-12 months, but seriously, you aren't helping me right now. You're just getting in my way.
See ya later, School!
Best regards (but not really),