Saturday, September 06, 2014

College Is Not a Means Unto Itself

A realization I had about a month ago was that children, most of their parents, and a scarily high percentage of the rest of society view college not as a tool or a way to improve one's career, but rather a means unto itself.  That college itself is the goal and whether anything comes after that is irrelevant.

If this isn't bad enough, I fear it's gotten much worse.  For while there's no limit to the "you can't put a price on education" type rationalization coming from liberal arts majors, any time I've tried to talk reason, sense, logic, foresight and math into young kids today (and many of their parents) about the risks of majoring in a worthless subject the response is typically vehement if not violent.

This leads me to believe that media, the education system, government, and (yes) parents have convinced children college is not only meritorious unto itself, but an entitlement, a life-purpose, a life-dream and a birthright.  Every child/student/young person DESERVES an college education and that education is the most important thing in their lives.

And that's not hyperbole or rhetoric.  It's true.

Consider your own personal experience when you were about to attend college.  20 years ago in my case I was led to believe that college was the solution to all of my problems.  That when I got to this magical world called "college:"

Everybody would be more mature
Girls would throw themselves at me
I'd go to great parties and make great friends
My degree would guarantee me a job
My then 18 year streak of poverty and lower-middle income existence would finally be over

No doubt your expectations of college were equally bullshitty.

But also go back to when you were 17 and ask yourself what else did you have to look forward to in life?  What else was there in life?  You were just as ecstatic to go to college as your entire educational life up until that point was to make it to the Holy Land of College.

Now imagine today's kids, with thrice the amount of ass-kissing, "you can do anything-ism," "you're all winners" and the elimination of trophies, GPA's, valedictorians, and any other form of competition and you can see how college is all they have in life.  And anytime anybody dares to critique their dreams or deliver a dose of reality, their rabid reaction belies their insane obsession with college.

Sadly, no matter how psychotically and irrationally wedded to college they are, does not mean we don't at least owe it to society to point out the truth.  And scream and pout and stammer their little feet all they might, somebody has got to stand up and point out the obvious:

College is NOT a means unto itself
College is NOT meritorious unto itself
You CAN put a price on education
And that price is when your investment in time and money does not result in more of the same in return

College is a TOOL to advance your career first and foremost.  And the second you treat it as anything other, especially a luxury good or an entitlement, you only serve to destroy the 70% of your life you have yet to live post-college.

Naturally I speak to the choir here on this blog.  I don't think anybody here is going to disagree that with tuition running at $70,000 you should demand a fiscal return on your investment.  But the sad truth is this message will fall on deaf ears because those who so desperately need this lesson are not sane.  They are fanatics.  They are junkies.  They are as zealous as ISIS is to Islam as they are to college.  And nothing will get the way of achieving their dream.

To that end there is not much left to do than what we're already doing.  Mocking people who major in the puppetry.  Laughing at people who are $120,000 in debt with women's studies degrees.  Telling the MA in Music that yes, we would indeed very much like fries with that.  And in short, living better lives than them.  But I hope that in your own realm, within your own sphere of influence, that there are some youth or some friends or some family members who are at least receptive to reality, sanity, and math.  That they haven't been fully duped and brainwashed into thinking their lives are so worthless a "college degree" is the best thing they can achieve.  That the college degree is tool to help them achieve greatness, and often and optional tool at that.  And if you can get them not to destroy their futures like the College ISIS Fanatics then you've done a world of good in genuinely saving some lives.



It is a good post............

Anonymous said...

"That college itself is the goal and whether anything comes after that is irrelevant."

All modern people view every goal this way including marriage. Its the end goal, and there is not foresight to what comes after.

Anyone who questions this type of thinking is considered in-SANE, by the normies who do exactly what they are told.

College is such a racket. I was just a business intern for six months and was forced (due to an incompetent IT newbie) to learn the ins and outs of IT, Networking, and some basic web languages. Mind you I did not go to school for this. I taught myself with an internet connection, for free.

An old friend of mine then tells me hes going to school for computer science to learn how to code so he can make video games. This is a week after I signed up for Code School ( to learn the nitty gritty details of the code I learned during the internship. Hes going to fork out close to $40,000 in loans, and two for four years of his life, for information that will be irrelevant by the time he graduates. Meanwhile, Ill pay the price of a new t shirt every month to learn from the comfort of my home, in less than a months time.

Wraith said...

Ever notice that those who claim "you can't put a price on education" are usually the same ones charging you an arm, leg and testicle for it?

Funny, that.

Wandering MGTOW said...

I might buy that if mommy and daddy paid for it. If I got stuck with the bill, I'd think again.

Paul, Dammit! said...

My son is 11, and his mother, who immigrated here 14 years ago from a country with abject poverty, (Brazil), has been drilling both myself and my kid about college for him since, well, forever.

Now, I've got a graduate education in a STEM field, which I don't use, having found happiness and a lot more money than any STEM work by working on boats, which enabled me to pay off the 6-figure student loan debt handily.

So, having said that, you've been able to articulate a point I've been trying unsuccessfully to make for some time, so thank you very much for preaching to the choir. I certainly had more success with my kid in that regard. His latest thought, articulated just recently, was that if he didn't apply to be one of my deckhands at 18, he'd go the ROTC route and let Uncle Sugar pay much of the bills for college. Smart kid. At that age, boys vacillate between wanting to drive a dump truck or be a doctor, but I figure either one pays better than the degree in Native American Transgender Studies that his peers will probably gravitate towards.

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that older generations of women did fine in getting their MRS degree from college. The degeneracy of modern college is at least half explained by the degeneracy of modern women.

Really, college would be at least minimally acceptable if the women were feminine, and the men weren't excessively disciplined betas. The men ARE trying to get good jobs, but have no charisma or hustling ability whatosever.

Anonymous said...

I agree with your post on every level, except the conclusion. Some years ago I recognised this problem and I realised that what these young people need is an example of an alternative to college. This is what I wrote and I still get contacted about it today.

JKB said...

I try to use this quote from a 1926 article by Percy Marks. He was a professor who according to Wikipedia wrote the Animal House the the 1920s, The Plastic Age. This is about as fair an assessment of college I've seen. Problem is, college isn't so much a hot house anymore. College is more like the vacant lots in a Progressive controlled city. Occasionally, a bright flower will find purchase but mostly it is a tangle of weeds:

The idea is, of course, that men are successful because they have gone to college. No idea was ever more absurd. No man is successful because he has managed to pass a certain number of courses and has received a sheepskin which tells the world in Latin, that neither the world nor the graduate can read, that he has successfully completed the work required. If the man is successful, it is because he has the qualities for success in him; the college "education" has merely, speaking in terms' of horticulture, forced those qualities and given him certain intellectual tools with which to work-tools which he could have got without going to college, but not nearly so quickly. So far as anything practical is concerned, a college is simply an intellectual hothouse. For four years the mind of the undergraduate is put "under glass," and a very warm and constant sunshine is poured down upon it. The result is, of course, that his mind blooms earlier than it would in the much cooler intellectual atmosphere of the business world.

A man learns more about business in the first six months after his graduation than he does in his whole four years of college. But-and here is the "practical" result of his college work-he learns far more in those six months than if he had not gone to college. He has been trained to learn, and that, to all intents and purposes, is all the training he has received. To say that he has been trained to think is to say essentially that he has been trained to learn, but remember that it is impossible to teach a man to think. The power to think must be inherently his. All that the teacher can do is help him learn to order his thoughts-such as they are.

Marks, Percy, "Under Glass", Scribner's Magazine Vol 73, 1923, p 47

heresolong said...

My sister spent four years at college, didn't finish her degree, and defends her time there and the expense to the taxpayer and our parents as "needed to find myself". I love my sister and she is an awesome person, but such blinders.