High school sucked for me. It sucked for me more than most people in fact.
I don't frequent bars often but when I do I can recall several occasions where a drunken person from my high-school years has to apoligise over and over again for that "thing" they did to me back in grade 10; 8 years ago. I never ever remember them or whatever it was that they did. But they do because for them; my humiliation was a high point during their sucky high-school years.
There is one thing I miss about high school though.
Knowing everything. That was nice.
I knew exactly what I wanted to with myself when I was in high-school. I was going to be a writer. It was so simple, all the Personal Planning tests I did told me so. (They were so easy to tailor, a retarded monkey could figure out how to have it say he was going to be an astronaut.) I knew I was going to be rich, successful, insightful and cutting edge. It was all going to come together for me, and the shy kid that got picked on would show everyone.
Then… I graduated.
Almost immediately all that wonderful knowlege left me, and with it fled my confidence in my favorable destiny. I still planned whole-heartedly to be a writer, but it involved actually writing stuff, and I hadn't quite gotten to that part. Writing wasn't panning out, and so I decided I needed to do something else… just so that I could buy food and clothes and such while I was figuring out why I didn't know how to write anymore.
The problem was, I hadn't thought about what else I might do. There was no profession that came to mind that I felt I would be good enough at to make me happy… or at least lots of money. If I had figured that part out I would have gone to college, but I wasn't sure. So I held off on spending my money on a post secondary education until I had figured out what I wanted for myself.
It took me 4 years to figure out that I won't ever be anything else. I'll always be an aspiring writer. Maybe some day I'll actually succeed at it. But the more I aspire, the more I wonder if I should still go to school. Everyone else's stuff seems so… polished. Journalists seem to know so much about their topics, and though my ideas seem good to me, somehow they lack a powerful delivery. Is it because the writers of the things I read went to college? Or is it because they've been at this longer than me?
These little inklings of self-doubt are par for the course though. I'm certain these days that success is not based on what you have learned, it's based on what you can do. If I write a blog that attracts 50 thousand viewers a day, is a magazine going to refuse to print my work because I don't have a degree? If I can draw great pictures quickly, will a book seller refuse to contract me to draw for them because I don't have my bachelor of arts?
For a creative mind like mine, it's about your portfolio. If you want to be a doctor or a lawyer or a profession with a stanardised qualification, then get your ass to school pronto. Though if you're looking to create something original then perhaps you should save your money and endear yourself to a few mentors and start teaching yourself on what you need to know.
Allright, feel free to flame me for this because I'm jumping to conclusions without actually experiencing. (Something I do fairly often.) But it seems to me that Arts degrees are something of a joke. Many students I've spoken to consider them a float-through degree. To me it looks like an easy prerequisite to a legitimate professional degree that keeps a student dropping money into the education industry while they get the party years out of their system. Yes yes, I know it's modular, it's purpose is to be a stepping stone for students to get into what they desire. And if they change orientations in the middle, their 3 years of initial college isn't all useless. A wonderful sell; totally worth 60,000 dollars and 3 years of my life. But really, what does it teach?
Does it teach me to do reserch? Kuz I'm just no good with that Google thingy.
Does it teach me to be artistic? How do you define art anyways, does a teacher define it with his vast historical understanding…? Or do millions of viewers looking at a picture on Deviant Art?
Does it teach me how to learn? This is a valid point that I've heard from many advocates of the modern education system, being that college teaches a person how to learn. Which is why companies set up policies that only individuals with a degrees can start in certain positions. But really, these companies are just looking for someone bright who knows how to work. So treat it like a job prerequisite like any other standardised profession would have. and spend the money because there's a job you know you'll get at the end of it.
Post secondary education is a huge industry. But unlike most industries that provide the service a customer asks for, Colleges and Universities provide the service that they decide you need. They tell you that college is the only way you can be successful. They force dozens of schools of knowlege unrelated to the information you actually need down your throat for your (to-be) hard earned money. But these days with information as easy to access as it is; many of the things we relied on for Universities (and their libraries) to hold are now available within our homes. We can learn the things we need to know for free, and without wasting our time with the fluff.
Would I be more successful going to college? Perhaps, perhaps not.
But I've started on this path, and I intend to see it through. I'll save my money and pirate my education off of the internet.