I have often said that my education has somehow interfered with my learning. This statement may be perceived, in some regards, as criticism of the modern educational system, but as for my personal experience, it deserves a much more through and detailed explanation.
Growing up, my parents did their best to send me to what they considered to be the finer schools, and to them, the most important things in life were success and achievement. And since a very early age, I was conditioned to strive for success, specifically through academic pursuits, and to continue to learn as much as possible, regardless of my age or educational achievements. I was raised in an environment where knowledge and intellect was of utmost importance. Still to this day I can still recall spending my weekends and summer vacations perusing through books at the local library, browsing exhibits at various museums, and taking day-long trips to historic sites. While my friends were out having fun at amusement parks, I was busy dedicating much of my young life filling my head with knowledge.
I have a friend who is motivated by money; as far as he is concerned, he will do whatever is necessary to accumulate more money than he will ever need to live, and perhaps, more than he will likely spend during the course of his lifetime. As an adult, I have come to realize that in life, each of us has our own unique desires and dreams of what we wish to accomplish. Lately, I have observed a disturbing trend in modern society in which the desire for wealth, fame, and popularity have all become vogue.
Most people who seek higher education do so simply in hopes of obtaining a college degree. A college degree is shown to get one an increased salary in many professions, and many professions now require a degree for employment. When I was enrolled in college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, and in all honesty, I still don’t know; I just want to know about anything and everything. Unfortunately, modern universities are not set-up to cater to people like me, instead they are looking for students who are perfectly focused on their chosen field of study.
On a side note, having a degree does not equate intelligence; I know of several people who never attended college, yet are very knowledgeable and successful in life, and I also know many more who have degrees, but are not very intelligent or successful. At the time of this writing, I do not have a college degree, and yet, I am more successful than a handful of my friends who have gotten their degrees, and feel as if they, for various reasons, wasted their time and money. One must be ever-mindful that the reality remains the same that while a university is an institution of learning, it is also a business, and as such, a degree is nothing more than a product they are trying to sell.
The problem I faced when I attended college was that although I attended for what eventually amounted to many years of various studies in a variety of disciplines, I was eventually forced to leave without a formal degree. Ideally, colleges and universities should offer degrees in non-specific areas of study for those students who simply wish to pick-and-choose what classes they decide to take. Despite the fact that I was never was given a degree (in my opinion, I rightfully deserve one), what I miss most about college was the intellectual stimulation it provides, which is something that is seldom found in the post-graduate adult world. I took a vow to never stop learning, and I encourage everyone to do the same.