John recently received an email from a co-worker that started off with: “I’ve never met anyone who pursued a college degree just for the fun of it.” I immediately thought, “Isn’t that sad?”
Our society sees college as a means to an end – as a requirement for finding a good job/career. I wonder: Does anyone see how narrow-minded that is? Life is more than earning money or working at some kind of prestigious career.
It’s sad to me when I see young people being forced into college majors that they don’t really care about – for the possibility of a lucrative future. Notice I said, “possibility.” There are no guarantees that a decent, well-paying job will be found after spending many thousands of dollars on a university education.
What if people were told it’s okay to study something they love? What if people were allowed to be themselves and expand their minds in ways that were meaningful to themselves rather than to other people or society in general? Imagine how our entire culture could be uplifted by people doing what they love to do!
Our YMCA recently put out a little, informal voting box asking people to vote for one of two options: Would you prefer to (1) work at a job you hate that earns a lot of money, or (2) work at a job you love that makes just a little money. I was pleasantly surprised to see MANY more people had voted for option #2. This gives me a sense of hope that people are waking up to the importance of being themselves and doing what they love.
In my opinion, a college education should help students learn about a wide variety of topics and hone their own personal skills and values. Students should enjoy learning for the sake of learning – and just see where that takes them. New doors will open – including doors no one even saw before. It just takes a bit (or maybe a lot!) of patience and trust. I know we all have it in us to encourage each other on this journey.
To all the students out there: Enjoy this new school year!