This I think is a fairly well put together interesting video that was recently featured on YouTube.
I watched it and had a few thoughts. The first and foremost being, man am I glad that I went to a school where I got to be in small classes. Average class size of 115? that's ridiculous. Yet I could look at every statement and say yes I know someone just like that, or I am in fact just like that.
I then read some of the comments left for the video, and that is what actually spurred me to write something; there were comments saying well if you didn't use facebook, or just didn't spend as much time online...you would actually get what you should out of an education.
Well, I have two responses to this, one direct and one really the reason why I'm writing here. The first is: the internet is addicting. It is, no questions asked all of the technology that we associate with the internet allows you to become drawn in, and it seems that there are higher returns the more you use something. Blogs: I check the blogs that I read everyday, sometimes more than once a day. The people whose blogs I read don't update everyday, I don't update everyday, but as a consumer of this information I want new information and stimulus every day. I will point out that if you're away from the internet for a week, in many ways you don't miss it at all (or at least I don't, but then we all know that I'm an obstinate hermit who hates technology). Anyway long point made short, the internet is addicting, and is the easiest way to remain socially connected for many college students.
Here is my other reaction to the comments and the video, and I guess society: (today has been a colon day!!!)
The comment was that you have to get this education in order to make a reasonable living. The thing you always hear is well you'll never be able to do anything worth while unless you have at least a BA. Yet not everyone is academically inclined. That is not to say that some people are too dumb for school, but rather that some people are not wired such that they will get anything worth while from a college education except a diploma such that they can get a better job (and ostensibly debt). In fact I would argue that there is a tremendously large population that simply slogs through college because they feel they have to in order to get anywhere in life.
I don't think that everyone should go to college. I don't think that everyone should desire to go to college. I don't think that our society should place such stigma on those who don't pursue higher education. It absolutely can be a waste of your time and your (or your parent's) money, and it may not be because you are lazy and easily distracted by the internet and video games.
we have education for youth up to the age 18 because it is the way that our society has created to try to expose youth to all of the opportunities that they have. All of them, so that means that if they choose to not become an I-banker, or pursue some other profession that does not require higher education, that does not mean that the system has failed them.
I'm not actually sure that our goal should be to get as many kids as possible to go to college. I'm not advocating that there should be a smaller intellectual elite, but rather that for those whom college will not serve to expand their worlds in a manner that they are interested in, perhaps we ought to have other options that are looked at as equally noble endeavors. Apprenticeships to skilled labor, or learning art organically rather than through history, there are so many ways to expand ourselves that are just as worth while as college.
Anyhow I'm not sure this has come across very clearly as I wrote it as I was having thoughts about it, rather than after mulling it over for an extended period of time and the honing it down to something that you the reader might follow as a concise argument. Don't be alarmed if you come back and the post has been edited for further clarity.