Junior year of high school, the search for colleges began and every thought consuming every minute of our every day was what life would be like when we were finally “free.” Though a chapter in our life was closing, there was always the safety net of knowing something else was ahead. The college parties, the ability to cook for ourselves (aka eat as much junk food as possible), and the chance to build a new life away from where we grew up.
Junior year of college, the search for graduate schools and the dreaded real life job hunt begins. While this chapter of life, our college years, is also quickly coming to an end, there is no safety net of guarantee that something actually lies ahead.
We make this life for ourselves, set in our routines of going to club meetings, class, maybe the gym if you are into that. Not once do we learn that when college comes to an end the world will be very, very different and because we don’t know how different it will be, chances are we are not remotely prepared for it.
Living in a dorm where everything is taken care of, and our only job (for the most part) to be a good student and engage in “resume builders” will probably be an insignificant blip in the radar 40 years down the road, and it won’t provide us with any practical skills that that can be put to use. Yes, the relationships we make here are important, the activities we choose are near and dear to our hearts, and many skills come out of just being a part of them, but I still have no idea how to fill out a tax form, what to do if I get a flat tire, or even how to make a simple healthy meal. I might be able to make a motion following Robert’s Rules of Order but that won’t matter when I am making motions living on the streets because I don’t know how to apply for a loan to buy a house.
We are taught from the start of freshman year to get involved, we are taught which clubs will look great on a resume, we are taught to acquire as many internships as possible, and it is an unspoken rule that if you are falling over with cords at graduation you did something right. We learn the perfect formula to get an A on an essay, how to cheat the system to optimize the highest possible grade in the class, and we are driven to go to class to ensure a great GPA, not to actually learn. I wish college taught me there is a life after graduation, and most importantly what to do in that life after graduation.