The State of College Education and Why It’s Pathetic
If I’ve learned anything from being in college and other schools, it’s been how to teach myself the material without the help of professors or teachers, who most of the time don’t know their ass from their elbow. Here’s a quick summary of what generally goes on in higher learning institutions:
The professors walk into the classroom and give everyone a gleaming look of superiority while the students continually second guess themselves if they’ll pass his or her class. Then everyone is handed a syllabus— mind you, they LIVE by that syllabus. One time I asked a professor a question which was related to the course I was taking, but it wasn’t in the syllabus.
“Oh…well….that’s not in the syllabus, so I can’t go over that,” he said. (Wipes the sweat off his forehead since he probably knew nothing about my question anyways)
After the imperative review of the syllabus, students are assigned to go purchase a textbook usually in the range of $150 – $300, because these universities have already squeezed the last dollar out of you from their excessively high tuitions, but that’s not good enough. No way, they also want to viciously squeeze lemon juice over your wound by requiring you to spend an additional $600-$1000 on textbooks. But what happens after all that? Good question, let me answer that for you:
YOU’RE FUCKED, BE PREPARED TO LEARN EVERYTHING YOURSELF OR HIRE A TUTOR
That’s right, you heard correctly. You’ll be lucky if you get the professor to give you an hour’s worth of his or her time. Their office hours are about as useful as scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush. It’s an extremely limited and rushed experience; usually there are other students waiting to see the guy as well. Asking for help will usually lead to greater confusion on the subject matter since they almost NEVER fully explain the concept at hand. They feel you should “try to figure it out yourself,” which basically means: “Yes, that’s correct, I don’t feel like helping you…just go get some peer tutoring.”
Thus for the rest of the semester you develop a somewhat complicated relationship with your textbook— “I bought you, you’re boring and I totally fucking hate you. But I need you for the semester.”
Unfortunately, this is the state of education in most colleges today. Hundreds of students gather in a giant lecture hall to take notes on a professor’s pre-written lesson. There’s no hands-on experience, nothing. You basically sit down, shut up, and write down what you’re told. Then you gleefully are supposed to go back to your dorm and be all like, “Ohhh my god….I’m sooooo lucky to be in college and bettering my education by limiting my knowledge to a textbook. OMG I’m crying right now, this is so amazing, I’m so happy.”
But we’re forgetting one thing that’s the ultimate form of judgment in college: the almighty exams. You’re expected to “memorize” a whole bunch of concepts before mid-terms and finals. But just to shove it up your ass a bit further, most professors will not tell you what’s going to be on the tests. They like to play hide-and-go-seek mind games with you and make you try to choose the most important material. Ahem, in other words, if you study the wrong stuff, consider yourself done. And that whole thing about “pick out the most important things from your notes” ….I’m calling bullshit on that. There’s been several times when myself and others have chosen things from our notes which would be considered by any logical person to be the most important things, but then it’s not on the test. Meaning, if the professor said what you were going to be tested on, you could save yourself hours of unnecessary study time. But it’s not about making things more productive for the students, it’s about sticking to old-fashioned, ineffective traditions that don’t work.
The whole thing is an absolute joke. According to the National Training Laboratories, you retain 5% of the information you learn from a lecture and only 10% from reading a textbook. Those numbers are pathetically low, yet this the way most professors run their classrooms. I’m not saying all universities or professors are like this, but I’m sure you could agree with me that most are. So we have the two most ineffective ways to teach students being the primary way of education today, not just in college but in our school systems as well. I’m appalled and disgusted.
I have to pay a university money to make me buy a textbook and learn mostly everything myself? Well if that’s the case, why couldn’t I skip going to college and instead just the learn material myself from textbooks and the FREE internet? It’s the same exact thing, minus the tuition. But the profiteers behind universities wouldn’t want that. They want you to believe that college is the Wizard of Oz, and you can only learn from them. They want you to believe that you’ll be considered “a loser” if you don’t attend college. Most people forget that universities are businesses just like anything else. They’re out to make as much money as possible, and will use clever psychological marketing to do so.
I say boycott these universities and people need to start thinking for themselves and forming their own fruitful impressions on life; learning from hands-on experience. The reality is that most employers could care less whether or not you have a college degree— they want ON THE JOB EXPERIENCE. I can’t tell you how many people I know who have college degrees but can’t get a job since they’re inexperienced. Again, it’s another thing that universities hide from us. Are all colleges bad? Of course not, things like Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology are essential to bring about new technology and doctors and medical advances to our world. One thing is for certain, colleges should be re-evaluated by society and be updated to match what’s currently needed in the world. Instead of focusing on lectures, colleges should have students working in the field, which is the holy grail of education.