As summer begins its decent into fall. young adults across America cringe at the inevitable event that rears its ugly head yet again: college. Yes, I said it, college. See college is not just school. School is the mandatory law, college is more like voluntary punishment. School is close to home, and familiar; college is galexies away and foreign. School requires attendance, college requires perseverance. School is a test, college is a battlefield. Looking toward the future of borrowing more money you can’t pay back and spending money on textbooks that you’ll use once will have the majority of people wondering, is college worth it? Well is it? Here’s my thought:
Education vs Experience
Why should anyone go to class yet alone college when everything you can ever learn is google-able?! In a sense going to college is a lot like going to your individual college classes. Yes, on the syllabus your professor makes it abundantly clear that in order to get the most from this course, you must attend every class. Now, even the best and the brightest of college students thinks this is a little excessive. I mean, why would I attend every class if the entire course is practically online? Worksheets, textbooks, sometimes even midterm and final exams can all be found by typing in one sample question into google (hi there, Quizlet!) If the entire class is accessible online, why would the teacher make attendance mandatory? Well, first, it’s hard to teach a class full of empty chairs, but second and most importantly, your professor promises you the most from this class, which is experience, and that’s why he or she urges you to attend.
See, it’s not the education that the teacher necessarily wants you to have, (cause let’s face it university itself is like 100% available on Google) it’s the experience that comes from engaging in discussions and debating ideas that you cannot learn from sitting in your room on your laptop coping and pasting answers from Quizlet to your test sheet. It’s the questions you ask that even make the teacher think, or the group project that forced you to be a team player, or the disagreements about issues that allowed you to understand another person’s worldview or culture; it’s these things that must be done in the classroom. It’s these moments that your professor doesn’t want you to miss out on, whether you have an A on the class or are barely pulling a C minus.
The same can be said about the college experience as a whole. Why should you spend thousands of dollars over the four years on books, and club dues, and room and board if the classes are google-able. your roommate sucks and your professor is a tenured prick? Well. it’s not the education that’s necessarily worth it all the time (when you get your first real job your freshman year GPA becomes irrelevant) but the experience that’s priceless. You can’t put a price on learning a new skill, developing a talent, or making a friend. Internship opportunities, roommate bonding, community service trips, and greek life are all college experiences that you won’t get back once their gone. No one is arguing against the fact that college in the United States is criminally expensive, but it is, for all intents and purposes, in the long run, very much worth it.