By BigLemon 36 Comments
So I just finished a 26 page paper that was a midterm for a course I am taking in public administration. And boy it feels... okay. There was an initial sense of accomplishment and pride upon completion of the paper, but then the thoughts started popping into my head. I just did a 26 page dissertation on methods of management and Max Weber. Why? Don't get me wrong, I don't mind writing papers, but what does this paper prove? What does it show that I have learned? If anything, it shows that I am able to regurgitate information and form it into coherent statements that can be (semi) carefully constructed into what constitutes academic achievement. But strangely, I don't feel like I have achieved anything outside of conquering my crippling procrastination yet another time to trudge towards the finality that is my degree. And what does that thing mean anymore? I find myself in a stage of moratorium, somewhere between figuring out what I want to do with my life and the means which I will employ to that end. Is a college degree the ticket?
We've been taught from an early age that education is the only way out, that it is the clear path to success. Now, college tuition rates have increased drastically in the last two decades and show no signs of slowing down. I have friends graduating from schools with four year degrees and $80,000 of debt. There's no hope of paying off that loan even in the next 35 years. My generation is the supposed future of America, yet we will be up to our necks in debt by the time we turn 25. We have molded ourselves to an age old formula of producing young adults with college educations that is over a century old now. Our current education system arose out of a need to produce workers quickly and efficiently to meet the demands of growing industrialism. Do we still need to keep pumping out what is the manufacturing equivalent of a processed product? The general consensus is that students belong to the workforce before they even enter it. And while I am sitting around trying to figure out what I want to do, I'm racking up bills! It's enough to drive one mad, you know...
So, I want you to share your experience with the American education system (or any education system, my international breddrin).
Also, what's the longest paper you've ever written?