College isn’t nearly as important as people say it is. I am highly successful (you’re reading my blog, and you’ve heard my name before in the industry), yet I found college (which I attended with all my now successful friends) to have been mostly useless. I got a couple of things from it, but those can be replaced easily by other types of education…
When I hear this type of talk, a simple question comes to mind:
Where are all the people saying this that didn’t go to college?
I’m not talking about people who went and got the benefits and didn’t graduate; I’m talking about those who didn’t participate at all.
Where are they among those with the quality blogs and the startups and the book tours and the revolutionary ideas about education? I tend to find that those who are most interested in talking about the uselessness of college are those who benefited greatly from it.
And there’s a simple explanation for that which is not simply that those who went are those with the most authority to speak on the matter. No, that’s missing the main point. The real reason for this absence is that those who didn’t go to university tend not to think about such things. They’re too worried about how to pay rent, or how to avoid losing everything in a messy divorce, or who’s going to win Dancing With the Stars.
In short, they’re not thinking about how bad college is because they’re not sophisticated enough to–because they didn’t go to college. By the way, if that offends you, you probably went to college.
Thus, we’re left with a massive number of people who did go to school, benefitted greatly for it via a myriad of invisible ways, and yet are thoroughly convinced that it did very little for them. And they’re the ones doing the well-written blog posts about it.
The privileged in this world benefit from a legion of advantages, including quality parents and a peer group of those who believe they have options. Step one for those receiving these benefits should be acknowledging that they are, in fact, real. And yes, college is one of them. ::