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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Linearity in Education: Should You Go Directly From High School to College?

Why am I showing you a video on education and education reform?  Well there are several ideas in the video I think as someone who is or will be paying for college you should be thinking about.  You need to think specifically about why you want to go to college and if it is truly right for you.

Now don’t take this post as a discouragement to attend a college or university.  I think that for many people college is beneficial, but this is not the case for everyone.  I also believe that college is not a prerequisite to adulthood.  A prerequisite to adulthood? You may be wondering what I am talking about. 

For some people going to college straight out of high school is a foolish choice.  This may seem like a strange argument, but this is a truth that many parents and educators tend to avoid.  Some students simply aren’t mature enough to handle college.  If you aren’t focused and disciplined, if you don’t value education as much as you value having a place to live and food to eat, then perhaps you need a little more time before beginning college.  You just may need to become an adult before you continue your formal education.  A little life experience will teach and show you your passions, talents, and limitations.

The concept Sir Ken Robinson that is mentioned right around 8:50 in the video of linearity is an important one.  Some people go to college directly out of high school because that is what they are supposed to do.  They major in whatever their parents or teachers tell them they are good at.  What is missing is the epiphany that should occur that shows you where your passions and talents lie.

Some of you have already had that epiphany, but ignore it because you have been told not to do this or that because there are no way you can make a living at it.  Those that tell you that may think they have your best interests at heart, but they lack the vision and creativity to see that any talent (if combined with discipline, passion, knowledge, hard work, education, and connections to the right people) can make a living for anyone.  So you love music, art, dance, or some other non-science/engineering career field?  Use your talent and passion in unconventional ways.   Combine your love for music, art, or dance with helping others through therapy. Become a composer for video games or TV shows.  Not everyone can be a rock star, but advertisers need jingles. Open up a dance studio that offers genres of dance instruction that aren’t always offered like Capoeira.

So why am I emphasizing figuring out your passion or developing maturity when we are talking about paying for school?  Well, school is very expensive as you very well know.  You don’t want to spend a large amount of time and money on something you won’t be happy with in the end.   There are multiple studies that show most students will change their major at least once.  Sometimes your idea of what you like won’t mesh up with the realities of the major and changing majors is necessary, but if you don’t understand what your passions and talents are before beginning school then you risk changing majors multiple times and stagnating. 

You may have noticed The Cost of Education tab.  At the bottom of the graphic you will see that 86% of people that went to college were satisfied with their degrees despite the large financial burden.  That means 14% didn’t find their passion.  They wasted their time and money.  I want you to be in that 86% that feel their investment was a good choice. 


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