By Sarah Rodgers
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When I was in high school, college was described as being a place where ideas are debated, children become adults, and only the strongest minds are awarded a degree.
To say that college is not at all what it used to be is an understatement. College now is now an embarrassment for the academic world. Debates are shut down, and if someone dared to give an opinion that differed from someone else, they run to safe spaces and cry about oppression. I’ve seen people do this not only when it comes to political debates but simply because someone didn’t like a piece of work from artists or authors that have been dead for decades. It is ridiculous.
Emma and I had spoken about this a lot, and this Is how we met. She came across one of my posts about college on Instagram and messaged me that she felt the same, and our companionship continued from there.
Colleges are no longer preparing students for the real world. In reality, they are setting us up to fail in the financial, professional, and emotional spheres.
First, let’s start with the financial. Colleges have become so expensive because of the government bailout. Students are given loans that they can not pay back quickly, causing interest rates to increase the debt more every year. But what is this happening? Inflation is one reason. Inflation naturally occurs over time, and with this new administration, these rates are rapidly rising, and I don’t see them slowing down any time soon. But the fact that colleges can make their prices whatever they please is because the government will bail them out every time. Schools like Harvard, NYU, and Texas A&M are sitting on millions if not billions of dollars from tax cuts, tuition fees, and alumni donations (and even more money if they are in the top athletic schools that bring in millions more due to game attendance and sponsorships.)
These colleges are sitting on loads of money, so why not lower the cost of tuition? The answer, there is no incentive too. When the government or alumni is going to pay off any shortcomings that the schools financially have and students who come out of school and work hard do pay off their debts with the high-interest rates, there is no reason for the school to lower the cost because they are not going to lose any money. In the end, they are only going to increase the prices more and more until people stop attending universities and seek other opportunities, which sadly doesn’t seem like it is going to happen in the near future.
With the talk of free college for all by the socialists of our country and hard-working taxpayers will pay off the debts, that future will be one of the tuition rates skyrocketing to faster rates than they already are.
Most artisans, like construction workers, plumbers, and electricians, either learn through the family business or trade school, which is significantly cheaper. First responders like police officers, firefighters as well as our military mostly only have a two-year degree. They then spend their time in basic training or the academy, or even better, they get into West Point or one of the other military schools where they can get their degree for free and serve our country. Others also go to community college for two years, saving a ton of money before transferring to another university for the rest of their degree. There are so many options to save money on schooling, yet we choose to go to these expensive colleges that are no different than their cheaper alternatives.
The next failure of college is that it is failing us professionally. As most people know, you learn more about the job that you do at college. So why do we need a piece of paper to get a job? There are very few careers that I can say you definitely need a degree before you go in. But for example, I know people who have spent upwards of $150,000 for a gender studies degree. What is that going to get you? A job on the unemployment line. I’ve seen kids start investing as early as sixteen and start a business without a business degree, so why force them to spend then all the money they worked hard to get to pay off a degree that they already know about.
A college degree used to be, as close as one could get, to a guaranteed job when you got out. But now they are slowly becoming less and less valuable because everyone has them now. Companies like Google don’t even require you to have one. Google! One of the biggest companies the world has ever seen.
I think college degrees give people a sense of security, but many degrees are worthless, in my opinion. I’m not knocking your degree, but when you get a degree, you have to get one that will put food on the table for you and your family and to get you farther ahead in society and economic classes. That was the original goal of college, and now, a lot of the stuff you learn I can get with a youtube video or a book which is a lot cheaper and might even help me prepare more for the future than my college professors do.
The last and most notable failure of colleges is the emotional maturity that they have destroyed. If you look back to when Colleges and Universities first started when civilizations started up until the 1950ish, schools were held to a high standard, and only the best of the best went there. Students were the best of the best academically, and even up until the 1990s, students were pushed to study harder and work hard for their degrees. Now they are handed out like participation trophies. Everyone gets one. It doesn’t matter how bad you did or if you even showed up half the time. That has been proven true over this past year and a half with virtual schools. Teachers put in less effort after getting tenure and can do anything for students, and these universities protect them.
Debates about anything are shunned, and if you share an opinion that differs from someone else, odds are they will start to scream, call you names, bully you into thinking the same way as them, and then run to their safe space to cry about their oppression because you felt that Michangelo was better than Van Gogh. And teachers encourage it. Often they are the cause of it. I have been in classes where teachers have blacklisted, berated, and punished students for thinking differently than them about the smallest things. I have lied in countless essays about my beliefs because I knew if I said something my teacher disagreed with, I would fail my classes even if the essay or project was done correctly and answered the prompt.
Students are turned into cookie cutters of one another and are bullied into submission until they believe the same doctrine and narrative that the teachers feed them. And anyone who strays away from those beliefs is seen as a threat.
I attended UC Berkeley, and during my Freshman year, I went to see Ben Shapiro speak. And the reaction from students was nothing shy of hysteria and outright childish. Riots soon began as windows were smashed, garbage cans were set on fire, security has to escort me and other students in and out of the venue because the mob of students attacked anyone who showed support or wanted to go listen to Shapiro. Nine arrests were made, and the school had to pay thousands of dollars, at least, to repair the damages caused by their students. After all of that, the club that hosted Shapiro was blamed for this because ‘we should have known better’ and that the protest was ‘peaceful.’ The students who started and participated in the riots had no blame placed on them. They were praised.
My friend with a broken nose begs to differ.
This is not what college should be like. College should be an open debate and forum for ideas. Colleges should push students to grow up and reflect on themselves, not run to safe spaces and threaten violence against anyone who dares to have a different opinion.
College is becoming a cult for the American youth. It teaches us to hate our family and friends who think differently than us, take our money, don’t guarantee us a career afterward, and gives us teachers who match the mental maturity of a toddler.
And in the end, it is the students who are suffering, not the institutions.