I’ve come across two interesting articles this week so far, both of them related to the American educational system. I also found some tweets that may or may not be funny, but the relevant question that at the end of each reading I did to myself was: is college really that worth it?
As an international student, I cannot speak for my American peers, due to solid different experiences that we had to go through in order to get into a college. However, we at the end of the day before going to sleep we ask ourselves if all the work we’re doing is going to give us something. Besides concerns, endless paperwork, and – unfortunately, but not everybody – a huge debt on the shoulders.
In my Journalism classes I’ve learnt a few things: respect and deliver the truth, be vigilant of your surroundings, and be thoughtful in every aspect of your work. On the other hand, in my Creative Writing classes I’ve learnt to respect and deliver all kind of sentiments, be vigilant of the story-flow, and be thoughtful toward your audience.
Now. Considering my personal situation and social status, I would affirm that I’m grateful to be in college. Getting a higher education made me discover many things that are still shaping my mind. I would’ve never know how to express myself, unless I had a vast spectrum of media in front of me that I could chose from – writing, acting, modeling – and only college in the USA could give me all of it. In addition to the academics, I’m learning to live in spaces and with people that constantly challenge me, something that as an international student is everything but a loss: you start knowing one or two worlds, but you put yourself out of the comfort zone and learn twice.
As a creative person, majoring in Journalism is both a struggle and a blessing. It is difficult because news reporting or politics are really not my thing. AP style is important, but boring. Writing leads, even more. Copy editing? Grammar is not the first thing I honestly think of when waking up. It took me so much time to adapt and learn stuff about the USA and the world in general – even about Italian and Brazilian politics. Plus, the chaotic period we’re currently living under the Trump’s administration is not one of the most appealing nor joyful to get an education from. Although those are definitely not my favorite topics to directly discuss at a dinner table, I find them essential and remarkable. If you know a little (you don’t have to be a governor nor a lawyer) of politics and world news you are already making moves.
Fun fact: last summer I attended a wedding in Amalfi and I was able to have a solid adult conversation discussing over young Black and Brown Americans in colleges: I was so glad to take part of such conversation, because I gave these older people so much information and their feedback was enlightening to me. They were amazed to learn stuff that most of the times gets filtered in other countries. Oh, the joy of being a journalist – being polite, clear, and strong in your affirmations, while listening and learning through other people’s words.
For this reason, Journalism was and still is a blessing, no matter how challenging it might be. There are days that the news set my thoughts into turbulent thoughts, other days I’m more still and care less about the world. But again, even if you’re a creative and poetic soul, you need to have your feet grounded on Earth. Otherwise how can you jump the highest, if not starting a solid base?
So is college worth it? Yes, but also not. It’s been almost two years that I’ve been feeling the need to change space. Maybe that’s just me. But there are lots of people who didn’t need to get a higher education in order to pursue their careers. I believe that in college you learn about life, but living life outside the college bubble is the ultimate lesson you get during your time in college.
I am lucky to be enrolled and to have gotten the chance to be where I am, even though I learned that the academic world or the corporate system or anything rigid, graded, 9 to 5 business is really not my piece of cake. Oh, I know I’m definitely not the only one thinking like that.
So is college worth it?
- It is, but if you can’t attend it either is fine.
- It’s not, but if you got the money you should give it a shot.
- It is, because it opens you so many options.
- It’s not, because you can set your mind to something and do it in your own way.
There are and there will be many answers to this question.
I simply see college as a tiny temporary phase, where you can find the unexpected and the real you. It’s a good start to understand where you stand in this world, what do you want to do, but it’s not the ultimate answer. Not at all.