Its kind of ironic because in the last personal post Little Egg was talking about her struggles to come to grips with a career choice and how she was in the middle of a crisis over a college major, and here I am today to talk to you about my concrete hopes for college. I think it really goes to show that everyone is at a different point in their lives, especially when you're reaching the end of high school and are starting to make plans for the future. So don't feel bad if you're not where everyone else is, or if your older sibling was at a different place when they were your age, because to quote Action from West Side Story, no one was ever your age, and your journey through life is totally incomparable to everyone else's.
So with that out of the way, I'll share my thoughts as well as my recent journey out to visit some college campuses.
I'm fairly certain I want to be an elementary school teacher. When I was little I would spend hours playing teacher in the basement, and now that I'm older every aptitude test I take always leads me back to being a teacher, or a social worker, or anything that deals with helping other people. Its something I'm good at as well as something that I love and would be more than happy doing for the rest of my life. Plus its been a longtime dream of mine to decorate an elementary school classroom.
In my mind college was always just a place to learn, a quick stop in the road who's purpose was to do nothing more than fill me with the knowledge I needed to go on and be successful in my career. I was having a conversation with my Mom in the car today about what the meaning of college is, and she said just that, and I realized that I thougt the same way because it was how I had been raised.
But after spending time on the campus talking with students and graduates and professors its dawned on me that college is much more than just a stop on the road. High school is much more too, so is middle school and elementary school. I think we're kind of tricked into thinking that school is nothing more than a long and treacherous path that will hopefully, eventually lead us to a career that will lead us to success and the ability to support ourselves and our families.
Back in the olden days, like the way olden days of the Renaissance, school wasn't about a destination. It wasn't about a future career. It was about learning. Mostly because only the wealthy people could go to school and since they didn't need a job other than just sitting at home and being really rich, school was able to be a fun, simple learning experience. It wasn't shoved down the throats of students that all they were doing was of the utmost importance because one day it would lead them to wealth and success. Students were allowed to learn freely and really immerse themselves in true and genuine knowledge. They were allowed to pursue education and wisdom in a free and honest sense. Now things have changed and its all become a race to the finish line with the sole purpose of money being at the top of everyone's list.
You go to college to get a degree that will then get you a job that will then get you a house that will then get you a family that will then get you a life you can be proud of.
I think there's something wrong with that. Because learning has such a value. Being able to know new things and broaden your perspective and stretch your mind to reach new heights is so, so important. Its a gift that for thousands of years was granted only to the most privileged and wealthy. For women you can tack on a few more years before we too were granted the high honor of getting to sit in a classroom. Its something that at one point in history people were willing to die for. At the end of the Civil War the main focus of the Freedmen was to set up schools so that they, as free African Americans, could at last be granted the opportunity to learn. What was once a gift, a high honor, or a distant hope, is now a burden, or a cause of intense stress and anxiety. And I think that's because education is no longer what it once was. It is no longer the unrestricted pursuit of knowledge but a harrowing journey to a future career. We zero in on money and nothing more. We focus on scores and grades and not actual learning.
I want a college that will give me the space to do more than just be prepared for a career. I want a college that will let me research and learn in an environment that upholds the simple act of obtaining new knowledge and information. In college I don't want the end goal to be a diploma and a teaching certificate, I want the end goal to be a new perspective, an open mind, true ambition and the desire to keep learning and to help other people to keep learning in a way that is productive and valuable.
And this blog post did not go as expected but I'm gonna publish it anyway because I think its an important message for us all to hear, especially with AP scores finally getting totally released. I'll say it again, for those who didn't get a 3 or above. Education and true knowledge cannot be judged by a number. You are a smart and capable human being, and your true worth is not found in a test score but in your mind and in the new ideas and new perspectives that are housed there. Pat yourself on the back, whether you passed or not, because you sat in a class that some kids were too scared to register for, and whether or not your scores say you are, all of you are extremely well qualified because you have learned something, and that cannot be taken away from you. Your experiences are your own and cannot be measured or judged on a five-point scale.
This random burst of passion towards learning will likely be the basis for a real killer essay that might get me into one of those wonderful colleges some day.
Quick thoughts and a look into our minds. Follow for casual life updates and everything else.