You get what you want out of it. Whether it be education, social skills, personal development, you name it. The path you take is up to you. Ultimately, the value of your college experience is up to you.
There are those that argue that the education you get in college is unparalleled and that you should take advantage of it – which I agree with to some extent.
[But small tangent at the risk of sounding ungrateful for the opportunity I’ve been given, I argue that the education isn’t as great as it’s made out to be. I want to push outside the box here. There is more to university than the school part of it. There are plenty of other things that can be taken advantage of in this university bubble.
For me, I’ve known since I was young that I am not a traditional student. With a distaste for doing things the conventional way, I’ve always hated sitting in classrooms and listening to lectures for hours on end. But let me explain why. It’s not laziness and boredom. I find that maybe only half of the actual lecture is relevant content and real learning. So let’s break it down: on my heaviest school days, I’m in class for roughly eight hours. Given my estimate of only half of the lecture mattering, there’s a four hour deficit in my day that could be spent doing other, more meaningful things that I truly care about or that add to my personal development.
If I can teach myself the material in half the time that the professor is boring the fuck out of me, what’s the point of sitting in lecture?
Now, I’m not saying I haven’t learned valuable things in my classes. I have been given a great foundation that has allowed me to be ready to jump into any professional setting and be able to critically analyze situations. I wanted to include a side note on my position regarding the “most important” part of school, so you can see where I’m coming from.]
I’m just saying, when people get bent out of shape about doing perfectly in their classes, I challenge them to look at their experience holistically. There is more than meets the eye here. I argue that personal development and soft skills are the best things you can get out of university.
So the question comes: is college worth it?
To which I answer: Of course! But you have to continually push yourself to make the most of it and think outside the box.
I’ve come to see college as a springboard. There’s a certain kind of magic in this space. It’s everything you make out of it, and there’s an enormous amount of liberty (and pressure!) that comes from that fact. I’ve grown tremendously over my time here – I’ve tried so many different kinds of jobs, discovered pieces and parts of myself that would have never come about if I had stayed at home. I’ve met people from everywhere and have learned tremendously from them too.
[Another side note: the amount of people you can get to talk to you because you’re a college student is crazy!!! I highly recommend playing the “cute, lost, and in awe university student” the next time you’re trying to get information or network! This is the only time people actually want to help you before entering the real world.]
I do admit, I have found more value in the relationships I’ve built, the professional experiences I’ve had, and the personal development I’ve experienced here – leaps and bounds over the education.
The education has been on the back burner, but I think I’m doing just fine.
My answer is not a traditional one, but it’s the same as most students: Yes, go to school.