I got a four-year degree and no student debt. I live in the US. It’s a rare privilege, partially rooted in being a trustworthy-seeming white dude, partially rooted in having no social life in high school and getting consistently good grades, and partially rooted in choosing to join the booming web tech rat race. So, from experience:
First, you just wasted a lot of time and money.
Let’s ignore the actual classes, for a moment. I got my job because one of my profs personally recommended me to the company I work for. This, the networking opportunity, was a big deal on its own. And your whole think piece completely ignores it.
Now, let’s get back to your claims.
Plenty of students drift through four-year colleges because, well, that’s what you do. I did the same thing. Now you have a degree you didn’t really need, and mountains of debt to boot.
Not if you go on scholarship. Typical scholarships require, beyond the requirement that you apply for an accredited college (sorry, Liberty “University”), any one of the following:
1. Be a member of some disadvantaged group. Note: I got a nearly free ride without benefiting from such a scholarship, proving that the wannabe-Nazis are full of crap when they complain about not being able to get into college because of such affirmative action programs.
2. Go to a high school that doesn’t suck, and get a GPA of 3.5 or higher. That means mostly A’s with room for some B’s, or mostly B’s with room for some C’s if you’re taking Honors/AP classes. Note: This is the path I took, which required retaking a class in the evening, because I got a D in an Honors class. The computer-based retake classes are obnoxiously easy, by the way, because the high school is incentivized to want to get rid of you with a high enough grade, and that’s terrible, but I didn’t know it would be so stupid until after I was in it, and it worked.
3. Do some extracurricular activity that motivates some group to pay your way, like a sports scholarship or a religious charity.
If you’re running up debt going to a state university, you are doing it wrong. Or you’re in a bad living situation without the support group that allows you to pay attention to your studies in high school, but that’s what #1 is supposed to help with…
Predictably, Democrats want to destroy private-sector higher education in favor of their existing network of cash-machine indoctrination camps.
Private-sector schools are ignored by accreditation boards when they teach stupid lies like creationism as science. They also get in trouble for grade inflation, but that applies to public colleges, too. That’s been a problem, mostly because the incentives are just kind of messed up.
In any case, you’re missing the obvious: most leftists that I know are fine with private education. They’re skeptical of unaccredited education institutions, and they don’t want schools with zero history classes, but those have nothing to do with hating private schools. Well, now that I think of it, they also tend to hate private schools that never offer scholarships, but that’s from a desire to create equal opportunity regardless of background.
Nothing is free – you might not have learned that in Economics 101.
I learned that in On-Level* Economics in high school (I don’t think they ever said it in so many words, but the implication was an inevitable result of the assumptions of “scarcity” and “supply/demand curves,” the idea that zero price would result in infinite demand, and that there didn’t exist infinite supply of anything, so the result is that the place where the supply and demand curves would meet is going to be somewhere other than zero, but that’s because it’s a class in microeconomics, not On-Level Platitudes).
* not honors
If you had paid attention when you were in school, you’d probably not talk shit about the school system like this. It’s bad, but it’s not as bad as you claim. Also, I’m actually open to the idea that four-year universities are being over-extended. The rising price of plumbers and electricians and such is a good sign that there’s a needlessly falling supply of them. Also, grade inflation is a serious problem, and I don’t think it would be as big of a problem if students thought of bad grades as a sign that they were going into the wrong line of work, rather than the end of their personal world.
The mafia of higher education – just like government-run public high schools – seeks to demagogue and destroy all competing educational opportunities and choices. Our only option, at this level and every level of our education system, is to rebel. Start our own schools, advance for-profit colleges, homeschool our kids, and challenge the government-run, public-school orthodoxy.
What, exactly, are you proposing as an alternative? Do you just mean giving students the opportunity to read and interpret historical documents themselves? That kind of thing was sadly lacking in my previous educational pursuits, but is obviously infeasible when education is run on a strict schedule. Or do you literally mean “alternative history,” which, like “alternative medicine,” is bullshit and lies.
Even the “good schools” with shiny new buildings and small classroom sizes are infected with liberal indoctrination. Assume nothing. Watchdog everything. Does your kid’s school say the Pledge of Allegiance? You probably don’t know (and don’t want to know).
It was part of the regime in high school. Nobody recited along, because the teachers could not force us to recite it, but it was there. This is ground-up rebellion like you asked for. I hope you like it!
It was not part of the college regime. Why should it be? There are non-American-citizens going to that university! Forcing them to listen to that thing would be a pretty good example of demagogue behavior.
What holiday is more important at your kid’s school – Earth Day or Veterans Day? Or Presidents Day?
We got Veterans and Presidents Day off, IIRC, so obviously no school events there. And, in case you were wondering, Good Friday, Halloween, and Christmas were all censored into terms like “fall break,” “winter break,” and “spring break,” while Presidents and Veterans day were all given their proper name. Patriotism is allowed, religion is not.
Don’t even try to mention God – that could get you expelled.
Bullshit. The high school I went to about seven years ago, which is well after school-run prayers were ruled unconstitutional, literally had a student-run Bible study club (and it was a public school). The teachers are not allowed to mention religion outside of a detached, historical context, but teachers are fired, not expelled, so I assume you’re talking about the students.
Whatever story you’re thinking of as a counterexample probably involves a student violating some general rule, like trying to force a class into off-topic territory, or preaching while representing the school, or harassing other students. Or the teacher themselves were wrong about what the rules actually are; that’s happened before when a teacher violates some student’s freedom of religion because they believed some conspiracy newsletter or pastor when they described the Supreme Court ruling while it was still new.
Public, government-run institutions are P.C. indoctrination camps. Our only hope is private sector schools and vigilant private citizens.
Kind of, yeah. In the biology unit of high school science, the teacher specifically led with a disclaimer that students who refuse to believe it should please just answer the questions with the correct answer according to the curriculum, mentioning that evolutionary theory is based in the scientific method as best as she knew, but refused to actually say that creationism is wrong. That wishy-washy nonsense kind of grates.
As for college, the science classes I took were physics and chemistry, which have no political controversy in today’s world. Same for the computer classes. That’s one of the reasons why universities are pushing on STEM so hard. Less controversial.
How much time during your education did you study civics, U.S. history, or the Constitution?
In university, not very much. I majored in Software Engineering, so outside of a general “history of engineering” class, none at all.
That stuff was, again, high school curriculum. If you had gone to a public school, instead of a private Christian high school, you’d have gotten a history class on all of these topics. You’re complaining about how college failed you when you obviously slept through it. That’s a problem caused by the combination of grade inflation and your unwillingless to learn, not a liberal conspiracy.
Did you learn about how our founding generation viewed human nature and government, or just that they were slave owners?
Some, yes. The class mentioned theories of government and human rights, like John Locke’s social contract theory, a breakdown of the Constitution (there was a contest for memorizing the preamble, but it wasn’t required, because there has been an organized movement to reduce the emphasis on memorization in school), and the Magna Carta’s change to the relationship between Parliment and the English Crown. Notice the breadth of it, designed to place the United States in its context rather than a sermon of American Exceptionalism. And, yes, there was some mention of slavery in the early history of the Republic, though the school actually made a point of claiming that “slavery was a large part of the motive for the civil war, but was part of a bigger narrative difference; was the United States a federation of many nations, or a nation of its own?” Yes, the public high school was teaching the dominant conservative narrative. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Pete Hegseth.
Naturally, my four-year degree in Software Engineering didn’t contain much political history. Though it did have a required course in ethics, it was an obviously checkbox-filling easy-A.
Or, instead, were you required to take courses on gender studies, ethnic studies, and the lost art of underwater basket weaving?
I was required to take a couple of humanities credits. I chose a communications 100 class, and an art history class, and a class in cultural reactions to death and dying. The first and last were pretty well-described as “P.C. indoctrination”, while the middle was pretty apolitical (I am speaking from what the Political Compass considers a moderate left on the left-right axis, middle of the authoritarian-libertarian axis).
It’s not that we shouldn't study the plight of women and minorities in American history – of course, we should. The problem is that most students leave college (and middle school!) with a strong sense of America’s sins, and very little idea of why America is the freest, most fair, most tolerant, most just, most prosperous, and most powerful country in human history. The American “experiment” has worked…if we teach it.
I was wondering if you wanted more student freedom or to simply have a different flavor of P.C. I now have my answer.
A claim like that has no place in an academic context. One of the things I thought was actually pretty cool was when the Social Studies class (in other words, Civics class) showed the students a few “news articles” with nonsense biases. One of them was the “Nacirema” article, which presented common western practices with a clear negative bias (it described common oral health habits, like brushing your teeth, as “a bizarre fixation on the mouth,” and presented doctors requiring payment as inhuman cruelty), and the other one was the even more famous “Dihydrogen Monoxide” essay that called for water (two hydrogen atoms, one oxygen atom, but the chemical name sounds scarier) to be banned.
The perfect example of the listlessness of higher education today comes from Harvard Law School – the so-called gold-standard of law schools. Law students who matriculate there are not required to take a class on…wait for it…the U.S. Constitution. We are now looking at a generation of high-powered lawyers who may or may not understand the greatest political document in human history. It’s lunacy, and very dangerous.
You aren’t required to take a class on William Shakespeare in order to be considered educated on literature, either. If you major in literature, you’ll read and dissect plenty of his plays. Don’t worry about that.
Finally, your real education starts now.
As someone who is mildly annoyed at aspects of the education system, but not competent or confident enough to propose solutions, I don’t have a problem with this claim. You should learn more from experience then you did in school. That’s true.
But don’t lie about the education system. And don’t spread lies that other people told you about it, either. If you’re going to talk about what’s going on in schools these days, at least consult a recent graduate. Or, better yet, sign up to audit a college class yourself.
No more safe spaces or trigger warnings.
This statement, on the other hand… really annoys me. You should warn people if a class is likely to trigger common phobias and forms of PTSD, like if the class is going to talk about rape, or spiders, or the horrors of a war that an older student might have actually experienced, or whatever.
Your debt needs to be paid off, the world doesn’t care about your feelings, and your parents’ basement is embarrassing.
I agree. I just wish rationalist phrases weren’t being thrown around by the alt-right. Y’all suck at rationality.
You have your life in front of you – and a country that needs you. Get to work, follow your passions, and – if necessary – get the skills somewhere else that you actually need to achieve the American dream. You may have wasted a lot of time and money in college, but so did everyone else. Now is the time to open up your Bible, pick up a history book, and get a job. History is not over, and you can choose to be a part of it. Toss your cap and gown in the garbage (you’ll never wear them again) and join the American experiment. We’re hiring: Patriots wanted!
The Bible is an influential piece of literature and should be studied as such. As for the rest of this stuff…
You have your life in front of you — and it’s time to start growing up. You aren’t special, and neither is your country, but you only have one you, and you only have one home. Do the best by it that you can. Never stop learning, and don’t take anything for granted. History is not over, and you can choose to be a part of it. Please recycle your cap and gown (you’ll never wear them again), put your diploma on your wall or something, and find your job. Sorry the job market is going to be so brutal.