I Learned Nothing in College

Nothing in College (1 of 1)I didn’t learn a thing in college. All that money allocated to a formal education in academic knowledge did little to prepare me for the real world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not at all condemning the idea of learning the way I did. I’m not some cry baby have it all. I’m well aware some would kill for the opportunity. This isn’t a rant on how the educational system failed me… no, this is an open letter about my disappointment in spending upwards of $30,000 to learn about stuff. Stuff that wouldn’t help me the month after I graduated, nor the year later and still not today. Before I get carried away, let me go back to the beginning of all this and mention that my CLEP Exam Prep paid off really well. I filed my university applications in my last semester in high school. We were so wrapped up in the idea of getting into the “right” school, careers ahead of us, job offer fantasies and that inevitable happily ever after. You see, it’s this very dream that was the first to be shattered in my first sit down with my new guidance counsellor in the first week at my new prestigious institution. He looked at me straight faced and gave me the reality of what it meant to go to law school (by the way, I was suppose to be a lawyer). My world disintegrated, “what do you mean I have to pick a backup plan? I want law, nothing else!” What I actually meant in my head was: why can’t I just achieve what I want without the fear of rejection?

This was after all what I had worked so hard for, right? No, all my hard work meant I could sit in a classroom while one professor after the next posited theory. Where was my practical knowledge? Where were the eureka moments? Condemned to sit and absorb what I was being fed, I quickly turned my attention to access information I wanted to soak up instead the dribble about whatever the hell I was supposed to be learning. So, you know what happened after that? I started to enjoy learning. Everywhere I went I would pick ideas apart, ruminate on them and then apply them in real life situations. Sounds a lot like the very thing I was fighting, doesn’t it? Well, yes, it was but here’s the kicker: everything I learned those 5 years was simply because I went out to get the information, it wasn’t given to me. So then, what am I getting at? Why did I even bother with all of this? It was that little piece of paper at the end of the journey that opened up doors. That triple major, graduating with honors and the Dean’s list, all those things boiled down to a single shred of paper; my diploma. Where the hell did I put it? Who knows, but it’s opened doors, some cracked only just enough for me to kick wide open. Access to these places, these new ventures through the environment I put myself in, all because I wanted to. When I say I learned nothing in College, what you should read is I learned what I wanted to in college. Before anyone dictates to you what you should learn or where your interests should be, think about this: what are you going to do with it? It’s your life to live.

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Neil Watson

Editor At Large