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The Reality of College

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posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 04:11 PM

Originally posted by Hitemhard

on point 3.) Really? Going to college to get plastered, smoke pot and party all day is considered part of entering adulthood?...

Uh, I said celebrate the end of your childhood and be initiated into adulthood. I never saud "get plastered, smoke pot, and party all day". That was just a ridiculously hyperbolic assumption you made. Also, "mommy and daddy" never paid for my education, thanks. I paid my way through undergrad and graduate school with grants and loans. I worked my butt off in college going both semesters and both summer semesters that were available, but to say you can't ever have, go to, or attend any kind of party in college is a little...ridiculous.

I'm sorry your individual situation was so incredibly difficult. The bitterness iust leaps from your post. Some of us enjoyed our learning experience. Neither me, nor any of the close circle of friends that I made while going to these ludicrous parties you speak of, leeched off of our parents to get where we are today.

On your second point about companies, I say you are full of it simply due to my own experience. As I stated, even though I don't have a degree at my current entry level job. Not only does upper management at my work rely and trust me to take charge of my position and my department, but they are eagerly waiting for my one year deadline to pass so they can promote me...

Your own experience isn't nearly representative of the greater job market, now is it? I'm glad that you're such a diligent and hard worker and that your supervisors are chomping at the bit to promote you to greater responsibility. That doesn't change the fact that most mid and upper level job positions require a degree from an accredited University. Once again: I said mid to upper level, not entry or lower level positions. It is entirely possible for someone without a degree to obtain these higher level positions, but it is much, much more likely for someone with a degree than without one.

Please, go ahead and go to a job board and find postings that don't require degrees. The vast majority of well-paying jobs that have the most responsibility require a degree, period.

A degree is worthless if you don't know how to use the knowledge you attained. I didn't finish college, but that didn't mean I didn't know how to use what I learned, and worked hard like my parents always said. I could use another example, but out of respect for the person involved, I won't mention it...

You're kidding, right? I never said college degrees were the golden ticket to great positions. Experience is a huge part of getting hired for any position.

I'm sorry, but if I was hiring for a position between someone without a degree and someone with a degree, and they both had the same amount of experience and came with glowing recommendations, I would take the one with the degree every single time. You know why? Because they showed they can follow through.

Again, it's always possible for someone without a degree to succeed. A degree will, however, dramatically increase your chances of succeeding and command a larger salary than someone without a degree. There will come a point in time when someone without a degree reaches a glass ceiling on the corporate ladder. Promise.

My advice would be to finish your core classes and concentrate on majors and electives you find interesting, but keep your eye on the ultimate goal of obtaining the career that you want.

[edit on 6-10-2009 by Avenginggecko]

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 04:35 PM
I find it strange how people polarized on this topic with some folks downright indignant over this person's college experiences. However with tuition being what it is for many colleges across the US I advocate people be honest with themselves when they see college is not working out.

Indecisiveness in college about what it is you are there for can be an expensive endeavor which requires some serious thought as to which direction you desire your life to go. If college is not the answer for whomever then trade school or on the job training are also viable options. There's nothing wrong with technical schools, some of the highest paid and least affected by the current economy are professions classified as technical trades.

College is not the be all end all just as it's not the snobbery and parties many experience. It's about perception, the OP's perception and it's neither right or wrong.

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 06:47 PM
reply to post by prestonposthuma

I believe the opposite.

It must just be your school.

I barely have any class time, and I'm full time mind you.

I don't even really have to show up.

Work is not really that intricate.

High school = Day care, College = They don't care.

As for the learning, that is up to you, if you do what you did in high school, just day dreaming, not paying attention and thinking of everything as busy work, than your not learning anything besides passing college.

Also my teachers are not snobby at all, thats also probably just the school your going too.

As for high school, it is a day care for hearding the masses of youth through prongs of busy-work-classes so that they aren't doing anything malific to society.

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 07:12 PM
My experience of college has been a lot like the OPs, I went to a large University, actually its currently the number one party school in the United States but it also has a great academic reputation as well as the largest alumni association in the country. What I realized was it all depends on what you are looking for, just like in real world. There is always a niche to fit what you want no matter what. Maybe the OP should have done some more research before settling on that school, for example, smaller colleges are well known for more intimacy and respect between students and professors. If you just want the name I say suck it up until you get further into your degree and the classes get smaller and more detailed.

However, I will say college is just like high school only you are legally an adult. (most people) College students are largely not seen as or expected to act or take on the responsibility of a full adult (in America). There is even a new term for college student-emerging adult. It is a time to solidify who you are and what you want out of life. Basically its a softer way to transition from a young adult to an adult with real bills etc. But I do disagree with the whole experience versus a degree argument. Most positions require a degree now so if you have experience and no degree you are recommended to get some type of formal education be it college or a trade school.

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 07:20 PM
College at a university is exactly like high school EXCEPT you have to actually do you're homework and study for exams and if you don't you will fail.

I still see people texting non stop during class. I still see people that don't care and even forget the formula sheets for a test. I still see people that only spend 10 minutes on a physics exam when in reality it should of taken at least 50 minutes.

These are the rejects of society who will drop out and FAIL!

So in a way college is more less a good way of weeding out the people who don't give a flip. If you make it through, congrats, you care and you want to learn. If not, have fun working at that factory down the street.

It is a shame though that people have to pay so much money in order to get a decent paying job.

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 07:22 PM
You forgot EXTREME political bias, either far right or far left... don't think I've ever had a prof somewhere in the middle.

The vast, vast majority are hyper liberals bent on political correction than their subjects.

American education is a sad joke.

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 07:33 PM
College is worthless...

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 08:21 PM
Hm...rather interesting post considering I'm 21 and didn't go to college, but get asked often about why I don't/didn't go and what about my future. I'm at a very interesting cross-roads where I'm either going to have to get a nice job(got laid off) or I'm goin to take my 6,000$ and just travel around. Another thing is I don't want a secure future I'm kind of excited about seeing the world. But is a secure future what you want?

To me if I were in your shoes I'd follow some of the advice given above about take the ideas of other and combine them with my own reasearch i do and find the truth of it on my own, but also ask myself, what am i expecting from this experience and then drop those expectations for your expectations are the only things distorting your judgement. Also, I'm sure some time might help, hope it works out for you as I'm sure it will.

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 08:46 PM

Originally posted by prestonposthuma
1. Redundant. Everyone who tells you college is so much different from high school is wrong.

I quite like something Howard Zinn said that sums this up nicely. He had gone to college hoping to learn some real history, get some real depth, but when he got there he discovered it was the same fairy tales as he was taught in elementary school, just with footnotes.

Personally though, even though I think the education I received in college was totally worthless and out of date before I'd even started the course, it was worth getting that piece of paper. So many jobs I have had required college level qualifications, even just crappy office admin jobs.

I see a few ways to get ahead in life, and get some real money.

1) Nepotism. (Getting a foot in the door from a friend/relative)
2) A college eduction. (That piece of paper that seems to magically increase the wages you are paid)
3) A damn lot of hard work plus a huge amount of luck. (Ie starting your own business (most fail, but those with skill AND luck can do very well this way))

I didn't know anyone who could get me in any doors, and didn't want to take the risk of starting my own business, so #2 was the route for me.

[edit on 6/10/2009 by harpsounds]

posted on Oct, 6 2009 @ 10:03 PM

Originally posted by Linksncontrol

I still see people that only spend 10 minutes on a physics exam when in reality it should of taken at least 50 minutes.

Don't assume just because it takes you 50 minutes and someone else 10 to take an exam that they haven't studied or can't answer correctly. Nothing has changed I remember 23 years ago being the last person out of Physics and Chemistry exams every time it never failed. I required more time to take tests than my classmates it didn't prove anything nor did it guarantee a higher grade for either of us.

These are the rejects of society who will drop out and FAIL!

Hogwash. You can't tell who will be a success or failure in life by a decision to stay or not stay in college. There are a great many people who dropped out of school and went on to be huge successes Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Richard Branson and Oprah Winfrey are prime examples.

So in a way college is more less a good way of weeding out the people who don't give a flip. If you make it through, congrats, you care and you want to learn. If not, have fun working at that factory down the street.

It is a shame though that people have to pay so much money in order to get a decent paying job.

My goodness you exhibit some arrogance with your post. If you think that a piece of paper will make you a success in life just by having it then you have a rude awakening indeed. Real success don't depend on that paper but the person willingness to make wise decisions for themselves.

People can achieve goals in life whether holding a degree or not it's up to them.

As for factory work, it's honorable work and you would be surprised how many of those workers have degrees and how many earn more than their white collar peers? Again you would be surprised.

[edit on 6-10-2009 by Chai_An]

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 01:05 AM
I work in an office filled with Engineers, B.S., M.A and M.S. in everything from Mathematics, Biotechnology to Computer Science, you name it. We all work in very similar divisions within the Company. A major nationwide Insurance company.

I have completed some college but never attained a degree. I work in a support role and most provide feedback and support for Agents. We all make pretty good money but our industry is completely dependent on the economic health of the country. All of my coworkers with degrees can not find work anywhere else.

The American system of education is nothing but prepackaged intelligence. Most of which if not all of it must go through the approval of the Government. Who do you think approves and provides grants for the creation of the books and all the material used in Public School and State run Colleges/Universities.

With other Nations moving away from the Dollar ... where does this leave any of us ? The value of the Dollar is going to go down.... we may face inflation... I know that my States Gov. jobs are all going on another furlong. Tent Cities are always in the local news and business are closing up all over town. It seems to me that it's only a matter of time before I enter the ranks of the unemployed. A lot of people are loosing hope. Is continuing your trek through Higher Education worth it, perhaps it is. But what will this Country look like in Ten, Twenty, or Thirty years, your degree may not be worth anything at all.

A dollar is not worth the paper its printed on now. The value of the Dollar is continuing to decline. Zun Tsu said something like, "Never let your enemies know that you are their enemy until they are under your control and unable to fight." No other nation can beat the United States militarily...but we are being crushed economically without any fight at all.

Lets keep out sourcing jobs, the big corps. save money and people here that buy their products eventually go broke...without a job.. how long can it last.

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 02:11 AM
reply to post by prestonposthuma

I majored in Computer Science and writing is much more important in the working world than you might imagine. Our SW team is constantly writing up design documents based on requirements from the client. The clearer we can write out our design means less headache down the road as there is much less likely hood that there will be a misunderstanding.

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 02:58 AM

Originally posted by prestonposthuma
First off, I'll say that I'm speaking from personal experience, and from what I've seen after my personal college experience has begun. With that said, here it goes.

I'll begin with the preparation process. For anybody else who has gone through college in any way, it's an understatement to say I wasn't sure what to expect. I was expecting to experience what many people describe as "the best years of your life". This is what college truly consists of:

1. Redundant. Everyone who tells you college is so much different from high school is wrong. Still the same amount of busy work that really doesn't teach you much. So far, every class I've been in has bored me to the point of sleep. It's almost as if all they want is for you to recite what you're told, jump through the hoops and you're good.

2. Professional Level Snobbery. Everyone envisions a professor who provides insight into important topics. This isn't true. Every professor I've had puts out a snob attitude. The whole "I'm better than you" mindset plagues them. Making class even less enjoyable. The fact that nearly everything involving school seems impersonal is a huge downfall.

3. Sheep. People that tell you college is a wonderland of diversity, for the most part, are lying to you. Everyone (mostly everyone, there are a few exceptions) cares about partying or studying nonstop. Like I said exceptions yes, but few and far between mind you.

4. Sports. I attend a larger University and one thing is definitely certain here, sports are the most important thing on campus. Me being a sports fan, but not a huge one, is almost like a strike against me in a way. At the new student convocation, we were told to study and support the sports teams. Somebody isn't trying to make money now are they?

5. Material. I currently have a history class and all the material I'm taught is the history that is published in textbooks. Why are we not taught the history that really happened? Not the history of the few who have the power to write it.

6. Relevance. Statistics show that half of what you learn in your first year is outdated information by your third year. What true use is that? Another HUGE point is why take the range of classes that are required? If you are majoring in computer engineering, you're required to take an english composition course. What true use is that?

So, if anyone here is wishing they had gone to college, or if anyone is thinking about it, take this into consideration. Is it worth the time? Is my heart in it? Do I truly want to do it? While yes, I am learning about a broad range of topics, will these do me any good in the real world?

I totally disagree.

1. For me it isn't that redundant at all. I have the same classes Monday Wednesday Friday, and then different classes on monday and thursday. This means that each class counts for much more of your grade, not to mention much less homework than high school (I'm a liberal arts major).

2. None of my professors are really snobs..
Politics of Developing World Professor-- Mild Mannered guy who tolerates all ideas although if someone says something incorrect he will correct them. However if the student proves his point then the teacher usually accepts it.

Theology -- Pretty basic, he teaches biblical doctrines and such. I guess his only bias is that he teaches at a Jesuit University, but he isn't a Jesuit (still priest though), and he is pretty accepting of other religions.

Spanish -- Again, you can't really have a bias for a language class

Philosophy -- Just about everything is class discussion in relation to what Plato or whichever philosopher said and what we think about it and why.

International Studies -- My teacher has somewhat of a bias personally but when he teaches class he tries to teach both sides of whatever. For example today we talked about the global economy, and he had a slide of reasons denouncinc globalis

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 03:08 AM
sm and a slide with pro-globalism statements.

3. As for diversity what can you really expect. I mean it's college people are going to study to get good grades and party to have fun. Its just what happens naturally... Plus there's a good amount of diversity here in terms of different organizations students are involved in be it sports,newspaper,radio, clubs and organizations, Student Government, etc.

4. Sports. I don't really go to a larger school, so aside from intramurals and stuff sports really don't play that large of a role. I love this fact.

5.Material. I guess it depends on your classes but in mine various views are tolerated so long as you can make your case and not spout off things without evidence.

6. As far as different classes its supposed to make you a well rounded person. Whether or not that is important is certainly up for debate. As far as information being outdated by the third year, how else do you suppose classes to be taught than they currently are? If a student is truly interested in a certain subject, he or she should truly be following any developments in that field.

All in all I disagree with what you say, though I can imagine your situation. You said you go to a larger school which is probably a lot different than mine which is a midsized Catholic Jesuit University (don't want to give name out).
Hopefully your experience of college life gets better.

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 01:35 PM

Originally posted by notreallyalive

Originally posted by Alaskan Man
i am getting some special welding certificates at my college and there making me take communications classes to learn how to tig weld, how retarded is that?

If you used "there" instead of "they're" on a resume it might keep you from getting the job; the top hiring dog might not be so lax. A year or so of basic English can help anyone.

right, well you're spelling is good, however you may need to brush up on your reading.

its not a writing class, and i have in no when been taught anything about written communication.

thanks for acting as the grammar police tho, i mean no one could understand what i said...

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 04:07 PM
College is simple, it has two parts, undergraduate and graduate.

Undergraduate classes are a review of all the things you should have already learned. They're a waste of time, and money, and exist because the primary education system here in the US is way behind schedule.

Graduate classes are your major's classes, and generally are more interesting and involved. However, due to the paygrade of a common instructor or professor... your teachers are still hit or miss, and sometimes you'll find you learn nothing from them.

In the end it's all a scam that spends it's time doing two things:
1. Sucking as much money as possible out of you.
2. Teaching you to be a worker.

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 10:29 PM
Here's a different perspective: I attended a liberal arts college in the early 90's, and had a lot of fellow classmates that majored in a specialized field - say, accounting, engineering, computer sciences, and the like.

When these technical degree students graduated, they made quite a bit more money than I did. Entry-level accountants can easily pull down $45-50k their first year out of college, as can most engineering students.

My first job out of college earned me barely a sustenance level. I struggled. I think I earned maybe $22k my first year out of school, if that.

But, I had two advantages over my "technical curriculum" peers: One, I learned to write in college. Second, I was forced to learn to read a lot of content in a relatively short period of time during college. And, thirdly, I learned to be a relatively rational, objective - and independent - thinker. Lastly, I learned how to solve problems creatively and think outside of the box - to take calculated risks, and look for alternative solutions. These traits parlayed well for my future.

Today? Most of the technical degree graduates are still making decent money. However, most of these friends have tapped out. Why? They never had to learn the writing skills, presentation skills, and critical thinking skills that would help them climb the corporate ladder. While specialized, they have carved out a niche, but that niche pegs them into a certain wage bracket.

And, I am speaking in generalities here. Some of my friends in engineering have moved up the ladder. But, my income now - after more than 15 years in corporate America - is probably double theirs. Why? Reading and writing. Research skills. Independent thinking. Critical thinking skills. Calculated risk-taking. Listening skills. Presentation skills....i.e., all the skills that a liberal arts major learns in college.

If you walk out of college with these skills, you will have more than paid for the cost of your college education.

Loren Pope has written some great books about the value of a liberal arts degree. A lot of people scoff at the idea of getting a history or philosophy degree. And rightly so. The years right after college are brutal - Low wages, and difficulty landing an entry-level job.

However, once you break that hurdle, the sky's the limit. With your research, writing, and presentation skills, you will go very, very far in corporate America because so few people in corporate America are literate. I kid you not. You will make major leaps and bounds if you simply focus on your strengths - Do your homework, keep reading, keep working on your writing and presentation skills, and never stop learning.

Many of my peers that earned a technical degree, stopped learning when they graduated. Liberal arts students love to read - History, politics, philosophy, current events - you name it. They are intellectually curious, and ask the right questions. They research. They investigate. When it comes to corporate America, these skills are invaluable.

I would tend to favor the idea that a college education, if pursued for the right reasons, and in the right environment, can be invaluable. But, like anything, you get out of it what you put into it. To me, I wish I could spend more time reading than I do now engrossed in my work earning a living. College was that rare, once in a lifetime opportunity to pursue your intellectual interests.

One more note: Computer science majors in particular learned a whole specialty trade that is now pretty much outdated. I am sure that their education evolved as technology changed. But, think about it. How many businesses still use floppy disks and MS-DOS? I would rather a student learn how to learn, engage their intellectual curiosity, and then pursue their technical education when they enter the work force. My two cents.

posted on Oct, 7 2009 @ 11:55 PM
just drop out and join the military to pay off your loans that you may have already accumulated, and read books that you enjoy, to teach your self...
most of the time, like others have said, a degree is more or less preceived as a receipt, for all the bills you paid for at the "University"... for the "University"... besides debt is the ultimate reality you face once you receive your "receipt"... if you dont have the money to just pay for EVERYTHING that is required to attend an institution of higher learning...

posted on Oct, 8 2009 @ 01:50 AM
You've got the wrong attitude.

You're expecting to get spoon-fed and maybe you can get by with that for awhile, but I think by your Junior year, you'll find that to be inadequate. I hope you're a Freshman or perhaps a Sophomore.

Anyway, once you get to be an upperclassman, the similarities to high school will begin to blur. You will be expected to dig far beyond the textbook to pass your courses.

My advice is to get proactive about your courses. Do your class assignments, read everything at least twice, and attend class.

Learn the location of the library and spend as much time as possible there. If you're still in survey courses, you probably aren't required to write term papers yet, but you will soon enough.

Start working on those papers as soon as you get your syllabus. Never write a paper just to turn in a paper. Write it as the culmination of in depth research into the subject of your choice. Read as much information as you can. Make copies of all the literature you plan to use and keep that data handy when you start to compose your paper.

Look in your textbook for suggested reading and do as much of that as you can to expand your knowledge of your subject.

No matter how prestigious your college might be, the quality of your education is entirely dependent on you and how much effort you put into it.

As long as you blame your professors and the misguided values of others for your lack of interest, you're doomed.

I don't mean to be cliché, but it's time to grow up and take command of your life. The sooner the better.

posted on Oct, 8 2009 @ 01:44 PM
reply to post by GradyPhilpott

I have been to every class thus far, I have done every assignment, and have been doing readings. I'm not a lazy shmuck if that's what you were implicating.

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