12 Most In-Your-Face Reasons Why I Will Not Go Back to College
Upon completion of high school I followed the herd and enrolled in college. I decided to go to Brown because I believed they would offer the same type of learning environment I had experienced in high school.
While my high school experience was different from most because it focused on pursuing knowledge outside of what people consider to be normal (i.e The focus was not on testing, rote memorization, AP courses, sitting in rows and desks like soldiers, textbooks), for me it was more effective. It far exceeds public school standards and captivates its students through erdkinder. I owe much to my development as a human being and citizen of the world to my high school education. What I discovered was not only was my high school experience superior to that of a traditional public school education, it also exceeded the memorization “learning” experience I was offered in college.
I was disappointed to discover college was not what I expected. I had hoped for an experience similar to high school where we asked more questions that started with “how” rather than only focusing on problems without the expectation that we would find meaningful, real-world solutions. Instead, it was a test-oriented “learning” environment that required me to study for tests that rely on information that I could access in less time than it would take to read through the test. I felt this artificial measure of my learning was not the most effective use of my time and pursuit of knowledge. I couldn’t go along with the status quo any more. I knew I wanted to build things for the world now and make information more available to everyone. College wasn’t helping toward figuring out how to do that.
Once I had discovered what I really wanted to do, I realized college was not the best place for that because they expected me to “learn” on their terms, rather than working with me to customize my learning to provide an enjoyable experience from which I would benefit the most. College didn’t help me solve problems, it told me to solve problems that already had rigidly prescribed answers.
So I left.
Now that I’ve left college behind, I’ve had the opportunity to think about my decision and determine if I want to go back. The verdict? Absolutely not.
Here are the 12 most in-your-face reasons that I made the decision not to go back to college.
1. College was getting in the way of my learning
Let’s face it. Testing isn’t about how much you know, its about how much time you are willing to spend memorizing facts. I am tired of memorizing facts when I can find them easier online in less time. I am tired of not using those facts to try to create something new. People get better grades than me all the time in school. I never cared about the grades I received up until college, and I didn’t start caring afterwards. I was in school because I wanted to learn. Being in an environment where people would talk about crazy physics concepts but had no idea what the LHC was doesn’t help maintain that interest either because i saw it as spitting in the face of those currently working hard in the field, now, for one to claim oneself as passionate.
2. I wanted to pursue my dreams
I recognized that even if I were to get my degree, I would be trying to do the same things I am doing now, but I would be spending money and taking time that took me away from achieving what I really wanted. One thing that I hear all the time is, “College will get you through the door.” People don’t realize (or acknowledge to me) that there will always be doors you have to “get” through whether or not you go to college. The real question is what will you do to stand out from the rest. A degree no longer serves that purpose. I’d rather spend my time doing what will help me stand out.
3. The sky is the limit for some, but for others like me there is no limit
College proved to be a very unimaginative environment, where people care more about what people think of them (grades) and less about what they think of themselves and what they really want to do in their lives.
4. The school wasn’t what it appeared to be
Despite promoting themselves as a “liberal” arts school, when you have many people who think the same things and have very little acceptance of other ideas, you’ve created an environment that doesn’t teach how to not solve the problems of society today, but instead continues these problems into the future.
5. OccuFAILed. Let’s move on now, there is real work to be done
Seeing the Occupy Wall Street movement on campus, I thought that most of these students will become the people in the towers everyone else is screaming at whether or not they wanted it. It is not very compelling to see people fight for social economic change, then go back to their dorms and live their “9 to 5” lives. No that’s not how it should be. Causes like that should be fought for until your dead. If not, then don’t waste my time, your time, and clog up the streets.
6. Why pay for something you don’t really want?
I don’t want to pay for something I don’t want. I went to college expecting the same kind of educational environment I received my entire life before that point. I went to the first public Montessori elementary school in the nation (Sands Montessori), and then the first public Montessori high school in the nation (Clark Montessori). I thought that a “things are as how you see it” attitude was how the world worked. I stuck with it for year, but realized this was not for me. People are only able see what they are willing to look for. What I wanted was a Montessori-type college (or a place – it doesn’t have to be college) where we people are judged on their ability to solve real life problems. That would be worth my time and money.
7. I want to make my own doors
I’m not interested in the door that a degree in engineering opens. I’ve seen the type of jobs people with engineering degrees have. I would rather be double-tapped before I applied for one of those jobs after college. I had a short internship with P&G Chemicals in the 12th grade which I got by asking a some people I know. Yes. The saying appears to be true. “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” I thought it was “cool” until I saw that the engineer I was talking to was running a reaction to make bubbles for soap. I would like the whole world to know this: Bubbles do not do anything to clean. They’re there to just make people who have no idea about the chemicals in their products think the soap works.You would be surprised to see how many products are out there that are like that. Doors like these are not of interest to me. I want doors that I can open with other people who share my passions and choose to work with me.
8. I want to do the work that I want to do
There are plenty of other people out there who like dealing with how school works and are good at it. I don’t need to pretend to be one of them. I would rather work with people with their individual skills and implement something from a collective work ethic, than spend my time focusing on one thing “the college degree” and having less of a likelihood of such efforts to be implemented. For example in a start up company, if you only focus on one way to achieve success, you are less likely to find it than if you pursued multiple ways. It’s simple probability.
9. Life should be enjoyable, all the time
I want to have fun with my life everyday, not just on the weekends. I want to work on projects that I love. That’s what I get by doing my start up. I get chance to work with people in my community and with my friends who want to change how things are. We work to achieve our goals how we want. Hopefully I’ll be able to spread and share this mentality to others who will be willing to try something new.
10. Taking charge of my economics
I want to be in charge of my own economic power, not some employer, and not government agencies who tell me what they think I should do in my life. I’ll do what I want to make a living. I’ll do my own research. I’ll test my own hypothesis. I’ll find and do it with other people who have the same motivations and goals I do. I was not able to find such thinking at Brown. Most people want to wait for someone to tell them what to do when it comes to their career.
11. I feel like I am imposing my beliefs on others by being at school
I don’t want to take away from what other people want to do. Just because I feel this way, there are others at school who don’t. I feel that by being there, I bring an air of negativity that people will not appreciate nor want to listen to. Part of me agrees. Why should they have to listen to me when they don’t have to? They should listen to me and others because they want to.
12. I want to help change the world today, not when I get my degree
If I keep putting the things off that I want to do in my life, it will only get harder to do them when I’m older because of the things call “obligations.” I have no interest in having “obligations.” I want to have passions. I’m angry because I do not see enough meaningful effort to allow knowledge to be open for all. I’m frustrated with the lack of solutions invested in to pursue to solve our problems. I will continue to seek knowledge in all its forms. I know we can change the world today. There are things right now on the market, such as waste water recycling and rain water catch systems, that if implemented in peoples homes, would result in not having to pay for water. I am tired of dealing the socioeconomic corruption that has been infused with the morals of our society. I am ready and plan on reacting.
As I told my mother: “I am going to go with my gut for spiritual guidance, I am going to use my mind to help me get there.” I have no regrets, and I will continue to not have them. This is how I want to live my life. How do you want to live yours?
Featured image courtesy of Creative Commons via h.koppdelaney.