April 25, 2011

What's In a Degree?

I want to help the sick, I want to be a doctor. I want to fight injustices in the world, I want to be a lawyer. I want to educate our future (the children), I want to be a teacher. I want to publish a piece of literature, I want to be a writer. Ugh, there's so many things I want to do in my lifetime...It just seems like I don't have enough time to do it. Any of the careers mentioned above you need a degree, a piece of paper that says "This person is knowledgeable in this certain subject". I'm 19 and I feel like my time is running out...I'm spending 4-5 years of my life in school. If I did all the things I wanted to do, I'd have to be in school for 25-30 YEARS of my life. Why can't experience count for anything? I believe if you can read, you can do ANYTHING. College is basically reading and studying, you don't have to pay $10,000/semester to read and study.

People always seem to ridicule those prisoners who represent themselves in court. Even if they present their case better than a person with a Law Degree, they still lose. I think the world would be better if life experience counted for something. There are massively intelligent individuals who don't have degrees, but most of them don't have published books. They don't get to see patients. They don't get to defend a fellow citizen in court.

In Europe, college is nothing like the American idea of college. You enroll, select certain subject areas that interest you, live in a complex with fellow scholars and professors, and attend conferences and forums as you please. There are no classes, no weekly tests/quizzes. After you feel that you've been educated enough, after 3-4 years, you take one big test based on your major of study, and if you pass you get your degree. If only it were that simple...I could be everything I wanted to be.

The European way is more of the 'adult' way. In America, we're pacified. We are forced to take these certain classes, at this certain time because "Mother says so". I'm the type of person who hates being forced to do something. I know a lot of people are like me, so a degree would be much easier to obtain if it wasn't forced. American college is HIGH SCHOOL. We're not earning OUR OWN degree, we're earning THEIR degree. We are taking classes that THEY say we have to take, not the classes we want to take. This is why so many people end up in the wrong career!

If only things would change...


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