As we wrap up this week, you might be a little bit concerned that I advocated for the fact that college might not be for everyone because you view college as kind of a steppingstone between living at home and 100% independence.
If you believe this, you do not understand the purpose of the University. Yes, I understand that this time of four years can allow people a greater degree of independence while still providing RAs or room checks. People are responsible for more tasks than they would be at home most likely, but there is still someone watching them to make sure they make good decisions.
As a result, the best advice I can provide for someone who believes that the role of the University is to provide a fish tank for children to come of age in is that perhaps you should just your parenting style to help with that maturation happen at an earlier time. Maybe during high school, children should begin developing the skills needed to live on their own.
Of course children are not going to be perfect, and obviously they are going to make mistakes. I don’t discount that whatsoever, and I don’t have some unrealistic expectation of how children ought to develop. However, I think we should change both the responsibility of parents and the ability of young adults. I think that we can expect more of 18-year-olds leaving high school than that they need four years to party and incur debt before they are able to be responsible adults. I think this type of perspective actually respects typically the young adults who are capable of being responsible, and I think that we should expect that as much is possible rather than succumb to the societal expectation that young kids simply cannot be responsible and need the time in college to mature.
I hope that, as we come to the end of the series, you don’t find me anti-intellectual or anti-young person. I am all for learning in every area of life, and if you truly have a passion for learning, then the University is for you.
However, if you don’t really want to learn and simply want to get a job, I think you should not be forced to have to get a credential unrelated to your job in order to get any type of job. We are quickly moving and that direction where jobs that simply do not require specific training at the University level are requiring degrees in order to get interviews.
Specific vocational training should be available for a great deal of jobs to of course produce capable employees but also not damage the purpose of the University which is to pursue knowledge rather than create credentials. Many types of training can also be done on the job which might actually be more effective anyway since different companies want their employees to do jobs in certain ways.
The end result of this type of system is a place where people are able to learn what they want to learn and get the job they want to get. They will not spend thousands of dollars on a piece of paper that does not provide relevant training and they really don’t even want to get but need as a credential to get a job. This will therefore purify the mission of the University, and it will also better serve people who are currently being hammered with debt that they are not able to pay off.