Each and every day we are given the opportunity to make decisions— some more important than others. We deviate decisions based on how we feel, the risk of them, and how each decision can benefit us. When decisions come at a great cost— money, time, resources— we examine closer the potential return, the potential benefit, and the potential lost.
It’s 7:35AM. Hardly awake, semi-coherent, and mildly flustered, I sit in a class that pertains nothing to my major, interests, or wellbeing, yet is essential to take to fulfill my general education requirements. I paid over $1,000 to sit in this class at 7:30AM three times a week over the course of the next four months. The book alone cost $230, and the teacher proclaims spending at least 8 hours a week, outside of class, on book problems, readings, and independent research. With the minimal amount of curiosity and the utmost amount of frustration, I ask myself, “why am I here?”
Sure one can argue: it’s a beneficial cross-discipline, it is informational, you need to do it, etc., but honestly, what does this class offer me, the business economics undergrad striving to establish my future while managing my ever-raging, high-minded ambition for success? I despise learning about genetic patterns and anthropological theory (sorry if you take offense) while my mind focuses on perfecting the skills of success and investing time in practical work that beneficially shapes my future. I concentrate on what interests me, what I want to do, and who I want to become– all the rest remains somewhat obsolete in that discretion– now tell me, “why am I here?”
As a student of formal education, I question its effectiveness for utilization down the road. Here to get educated nonetheless, what are we truly being taught? Theoretical, trivial knowledge? Or the skills and habits that lay the framework for a sophisticated, bright future? Some teachers understand the importance of expressing to students why they should be here, and the “useful” knowledge they should retain, yet the vast majority of professors adhere to a system and its standards, teaching in the liberal arts fashion, never addressing the relevant: what to look for in life, what to do, where to go, how to act, etc. I remain mindful of the professional occupations requiring intensive schooling and independent research– I applaud it– but for the remaining 97% percent of us, our time, money, and dedication is better spent indulging in the art of success in our relative personal and professional lives, through means of experience and focused learning by books and mentors, rather than memorizing and regurgitating facts to get an A in a course that places me closer to receiving a piece of paper that claims I’m “educated.”
Invest in success; invest in your future. Focus on the applicable. Get it?