Do We Really Learn Anything In College?

I’m currently frustrated by the immense desire to get the hell out of here. Pennsylvania is a lovely state and all, but I’ve spent my entire life here. I have the strongest urge to see the world and basically be in any place that isn’t a state that starts with the letter “P”. I feel like I live an extremely isolated existence and I’m not experiencing what all there is out there.

I want to be a traveler. A nomad. Someone who floats across the globe and sees all the wonders offered by God’s green Earth. I’m just not really sure how to do that, especially now that I’m $80,000 in debt (thank you, college education). I seriously sometimes feel like academia is a prison. It’s a large amount of money that you are forced to spend if you ever want any chance at a livelihood (at least it is in the US, I hear things are different in other countries). It also doesn’t really afford you with any life experiences. I’ve spent the past three years getting wasted and when I’m not doing that I shove vast amounts of knowledge into my brain. I can tell you a whole lot about how a cell works or how DNA is replicated, but I haven’t the slightest clue about any of life’s great lessons. For 80K I really don’t feel like I’ve learned anything.

I’m convinced that knowledge comes from books and wisdom comes from experiences. Lord knows I’m not having any experiences sitting in a lecture hall or reading a textbook. That’s why I’m not exactly eager to launch into medical school. I would like to live a little bit before I lock myself in a cell with a mountain of textbooks.

I haven’t written about this yet on my blog, but my desire for real life, real world experiences has led me to apply for Teach for America. They basically have the acceptance rate of an Ivy League institution (Last year 55,000 applications and 6,000 accepted). I made it through the initial application, phone interview and final interview. I’m just waiting to find out if I got in. That will happen January 7th. I guess I haven’t written about it, because I’m afraid I won’t get in. And if I don’t get in I’m going to have to face that fact on this blog along with in real life. Which will suck. Everyone expects me to make the cut, because I always make the cut. If I don’t it will just be embarrassing. Not to mention I do really, really want it. Two years teaching underprivileged youth in a part of the country I’ve never lived in is just the sort of experience I’m looking for. I’ll get to serve a purpose rather than being a mindless, memorization machine.



2 thoughts on “Do We Really Learn Anything In College?

  1. Come to Atlanta and work for the CDC. It would be my dream job except I didn’t major in biology. I just think that job would be awesome and I’ve met people who worked at the CDC who LOVED it! Good luck getting into Teach for America. Not exactly sure what it is but I’ll look it up! And $80,000 is insane. I graduated with $0 in debt and am telling my kids not to take out loans if I ever have them. At least not for an undergrad.

  2. Excellent thinking. In my day you could get a 6 to 7 year education, with a PhD. For around $30,000. In the late 80’s I worked in the University of San Francisco’s rehab engineering dept. I never met so many lazy over paid people (often times referred to as professors). I left after a year with a well developed dislike for all academy. Tragically, today’s universities are not only a rip-off, most are a travesty.

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