The knowledge I retained from college could comfortably rest on the tip of a nose hair and is largely comprised of two random memories: 1) I can’t believe my calculus professor passed me, and 2) soap is a surfactant.
I wholeheartedly believe college is for learning to take care of yourself, to be resourceful and self-sufficient.
I also believe we pay so many thousands of dollars for college to teach us how to live safely and successfully; yet, millions of young adults leave school without a clue that life will inevitably bitchslap them across the face within the next few years.
While this matter depends largely on a person's college and course of study, and we all have a variety of experiences, you can’t honestly say our school system isn’t fundamentally flawed.
Our nation is going broke, sending teens to college so they can get an incredible education to get the incredible job that doesn’t pay enough to cover the bill for the incredible education, which promised to leave them financially secure.
One day, that bubble will burst, my friend.
Many will be quick to point the finger of blame at the student, but may I ask one thing? Take a quick gander at any college course list and ask yourself this question: Are these classes teaching young people to survive?
No. The answer is no. The system is failing us. It requires us to take math classes, but doesn’t require us to take classes that teach us how to handle everyday life and the associated curveballs.
It teaches us to memorize facts for long enough to pass exams and then get swift kicks out the door, holding bills expensive enough to keep us up at night.
It may be true that universities across the nation offer these resources as options, but it still escapes me why these lessons aren’t absolutely mandatory. Let’s start here:
How To Be Less Of A Dick To The Environment
We’re killing the planet. We’re out-fishing the oceanic ecosystem. We’re running out of fresh water. We’re destroying trees faster than we’re planting them.
Why? We’re a bunch of ass monkeys who apparently think we have a back-up planet to use once Earth takes a dump.
There is no reason why universities shouldn’t require us to learn not only the ramifications of our actions, but also the little things we can do to help that are SO EASY, IT’S STUPID.
Like, that plastic water bottle you drink from; you’re a bonehead for buying it in the first place, but Mother Nature will give you 10 points if you recycle the damn thing.
How Not To Be Sick And Obese
Using your spiffy degree is kind of hard to do if you’re dead, so why don’t colleges require us to learn about which foods to put in our bodies and which ones are no-nos? Why isn’t it absolutely demanded of us to master the art of decoding a nutrition label and understanding what it says?
Instead, our culture caters to obesity with things like larger seats and super-sized cup holders for super-sized soft drinks from the nearby fast-food joint. Ew?
Every time election season rolls around, commercials with sad, overly-botoxed celebrities run rampant with one life-altering message: If you care, you’ll vote. And, if you don’t vote, you’re ugly and your mother hates you.
We don’t care if you’re an idiot. Vote anyway!
Where is the voter education? Why don't these celebs encourage people to be knowledgeable voters, instead of just any kind of voter at all?
If you think the general public is informed enough to vote, go out and ask 20 random people these questions: What are the three branches of the US federal government? Who are the candidates and what do they stand for?
I’ll save you some time: These studies have already been done. Voter education is so low, it’s dragging on the floor and leaving a stain behind. And, these are the people who are encouraged to elect the leaders of our country.
Why colleges don’t require students to learn about the local and national governments, leaders and candidates and the history of government — since you can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been — is beyond me.
How To Get A Job That Doesn’t Involve Selling Your Body For Money
You paid all that money for this fancy schmancy degree, so use it. Wait… what’s that? Finding a job is HARD? Well, it’s a good thing colleges teach you how to start looking! Oh, wait.
Yes, many colleges offer additional, optional workshops about how to write a résumé and cover letters that potential employers will actually read.
I’m just confused as to why students are required to pick a creative arts class, but aren’t required to learn how to represent themselves on paper to possible future bosses, or how to have successful interviews.
Your Rights As A Human Being
You’re young; you’re stupid; you’re inexperienced. Even the brightest bulb in the tanning bed is bound to get duped at some point.
We all need to know our legal rights as students, citizens, tenants, drivers and customers. Lawyers aren’t the only ones who need to be knowledgeable about the law.
Self-Love And Emotional Stability
Spare me the eye roll. More people deal with low self-esteem and depression than many of us realize. It’s real, and it’s devastating.
It might not seem like something that belongs in a college class, but again, if college is supposed to prepare us for a successful life, teaching students different ways to find happiness only seems logical.
How To Handle Your Ca$h
When it comes to money, universities are good at only one thing: taking it.
Do they prepare you for the student loan debt you will undoubtedly face? Do they teach you to invest your money if you want any kind of decent retirement? Do they talk to you about 401(k)s and IRAs? Do they teach you how to be prepared for potential job loss?
NOPE. NOPE. NOPE.
At the rate we’re going, our generation won’t have social security. What’s your Plan B?
Car Shopping, House Hunting And What To Do If Something Catches On Fire
You know what’s hard? Trying to find a safe, decent place to live. Equally tricky is navigating the auto industry to find the right car for you, particularly because the moment you set foot in a car dealership, you have 14 salespeople on you like a fat kid on a donut.
And, once you finally acquire said items, there are a million new things you have to start worrying about: theft, break-ins and the fire you might very well start while trying to cook soup.
How about a little direction here? How about learning about the housing market, insurance and how the guy trying to sell you a car in the back alley probably isn’t legit? Teach us something. Anything. PLEASE.
Again, and hopefully before anyone officially gets their panties in a twist, certain things simply come from solid parenting and self-teaching.
I get it, and it's also crucial to mention we are so very fortunate to live in a place where we even have the opportunity to attend so many diverse universities. How lucky are we education is available and we can choose to study wherever and whatever we want? Not everyone is this fortunate.
My point is this: If you’re going to force students to pay $600 to take Underwater Basketweaving: The Basics, force them to pay another $600 to take Here’s How Not to Suck at Life 101.