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Friday, August 23, 2013

This Is For My Instagram Models...

Here we are, back to talking about the selective ways in which we educate ourselves.  Are you ready?  No matter, because I am going to jump right in regardless.

When we watch movies or television shows based around either non-fiction or plausible fiction stories the theme of "street smarts" pops up fairly often as part of the plot, either directly or indirectly.  You see, before we were all connected to anything and everything through technology, most people did not go to college, nor graduate high school if I am being real.  People living a few generations ago were required to think for themselves and learn whatever it was they were interested in from the ground up, either as a means of making a living or developing their hobbies.  These people carved their own ways for the most part and when they pushed as far as their individual intelligence, apprenticeships, and self-education would take them, more formal education was sought out.

Just like anything else, there were exceptions and some instances of those graduating from their local, small town schools going to large universities, but not often.  Yet, amazingly, some of those who made the decision to trudge along on their own accord were some of the most innovative and most willing to take on a struggle as a means to figure out their own purpose in life.  Today, we are told to go to four-year schools and only to use community colleges as a stepping stone to get to that place.  You have no idea what you want to do with your life?  No clue?  Go to college anyway because you can just pay large sums of money for tuition and pointless classes until you figure that out.  
Oh, and tech school...  Tech school was always presented to me as a last-resort option.  Meaning, if you could not make the mark in a four-year school, you could always fall back on a tech school.  These are not ideas that I believe personally, but are the ideas that were indirectly shown to me as I was growing up.  My parents would be happy with any feasible direction I happened to take in life, so I never heard this from them, but I did from almost every other adult I met.  
And I ended up going to college.

Formal education is a great thing, and if you have set a goal in your mind you cannot attain without that degree, go right ahead and chase after while I back your decision to do so.  The problem is that most of my generation has been taught the only way to success is brought about with a reputable degree.  How is this so when some of the most wealthy, successful, innovative, and creative people in the world are college dropouts?  Simply put, we are not challenged enough to figure out who we are and what goals to set for ourselves during the most impressionable years of our lives.  

This is why I admire some European countries so much for their career training.  Most high schools in America do one thing:  prepare students for college or university.  Students who go to public schools are required to attend whatever school is within their district, with few exceptions.  This can make the education system suffer for lack of certain accountability aspects and I am a product of this because when I was sixteen years old, I paid off my geometry teacher to pass me (really, I did) because that was the one subject I struggled with; many of my friends did the same exact thing in other classes.  
Because there are just as many passionate teachers out there as uninterested teachers.  The teacher I paid off told our class that she was only teaching to pay for her master's degree, essentially stating she did not care about what she was doing.  Some European countries make their public schools compete for their enrollment.  
There exists a land where many, smaller, government-funded schools are scattered around, each specializing in a vocation or varying facets of prerequisite education.  Students must apply to the school of their choice and if accepted, will be learning primarily the subjects they are most interested in.  These schools can be a significant distance from their home, but if the student makes the choice of attending, getting to their classes on time lies upon them.  This process makes the schools and their educators compete for more students, therefore focusing on a more quality education. 

I used a word in the last paragraph: "vocation" which is often ignored in America because having a vocation is only good for poor, stupid, or lazy people;  at least that is what I was clandestinely taught growing up since real, successful people had "careers".  
As a result of this awesome system, we end up with students going to college who would be better-suited to explore their own ventures and build their own successful future - but they were taught not to.
We have inventive and insightful minds full of brilliance and they were told to be accountants.
I know people who obtained a four-year degree which ended up restricting them to desk work because they were told that was the best way to live their life.
  Still, there are others who have much to offer the world but lack enough time to make a real devotion to their goals.

So, what am I trying to say?
If your chosen career path requires college, by all means, go for it!
If you have no idea what you want to do with your life, take a year or two to think that over.
Everyone needs a stable job or career as well as a hobby.  
If your hobby becomes your job, great, but if not, explore other opportunities and love your hobby no less because of that.
Not having a degree makes you no less of a person.
Not having a devoted drive, makes you a worthless person.
Not pushing yourself to achieve your goals makes you a lazy person.
Settling for a lifestyle you hate is a waste of life.
Settling for an irresponsible lifestyle is a waste of time.
Talking about big things is not the same as doing big things.
Stay humble.
Stay yourself.

Grace and Peace,

-Add me.  Stalk me.  Tweet me.  I really don't mind.-
Twitter:  @JDrewSilvers

The lyrics in the title of this blog came from this song:



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