January 16, 2015
The Obama Administration is already emphasizing that students will receive funding only if they attend schools that either provide transferable credit or job training. I”ve never understood why conservatives and liberals put strong emphasis on college leading to employment. Job training doesn”t require a bachelor’s degree; it requires discipline and sticking with employment no matter how crummy. You can learn persistence by getting a job right out of high school.
Today’s top universities are no longer churning out thoughtful graduates who go into adult life with a worldly view on things. They are spitting out overachievers who are so afraid of failure they can barely function in normal life. Recently in New Republic, former Yale professor William Deresiewicz documented the alarming trend of college graduates who have zero skills at coping with life’s twists and turns. Current undergraduates show severely low levels of emotional well-being. They, Deresiewicz said, possess “toxic levels of fear, anxiety, and depression, of emptiness and aimlessness and isolation.”
If the top universities in the country are producing graduates with the maturity level of a middle school geek, how in the world is universal community college going to help America’s competitiveness?
By and large, contemporary higher ed is a rip-off. I graduated from a state university in 2011 with a bunch of mediocre, C-average kids who skated through school. Before that, I blazed through community college, paying most of my way by working at a local theme park. Both required little intellectual dexterity. I learned early on that you only need to show up to every class to virtually guarantee a passing grade. Anyone with 8th-grade writing skills can graduate base level university if they remember to set their alarm after coming home from a frat party.
Anyone who thinks the key to American prosperity is more college graduates ought to have their own university degree revoked. We don”t need more bachelor’s degrees. We need fewer special snowflakes that drift through school and fall apart in the real world. We need young adults that know both success and failure, joy and heartbreak; who can struggle on when times are hard. No university can teach students to be grateful for the privileged lives they lead. Places of learning can only provide the foundation to better understand the highs and lows that come with being a person. And they are far from the only place that can serve as that conduit.
In between fake rape accusations and speech suppression, universities are no longer places of learning. They are a means to put off being an adult for four years while pissing away work experience on an increasingly worthless piece of paper. They swaddle young folks in a cocoon of politically-correct warm feelings. When these students emerge into the cutthroat job environment, the safety blanket that protected them from “trigger warnings” and offensive material will be gone. All that’s left will be the raw, uncaring world which college failed to prepare them for.
And President Obama wants to create more of these sorry people?