Thank God I wasn’t college material, writes Matt Walsh.
He hated high school.
I dreaded every class, every assignment, every test, every worksheet, every mound of busywork, every shallow and forced interaction with peers I couldn’t relate to or connect with or understand; every moment, every second, every part, every inch of every aspect of my public educational experience.”
One day in detention, the teacher asked what he wanted to do with his life. He thought maybe he could be a writer. Writing was the only thing that came naturally.
That’s when she dropped the bombshell: “Well, that sounds like an amazing goal, Matt. Get those grades up and go to college for a degree in creative writing!”
. . . I have to go to college to do the one thing I’m kind of halfway good at doing? I have to finish high school and then go through FOUR MORE YEARS OF THIS? Impossible. I’m not college material. I’m not even high school material.
And I have to get a DEGREE in CREATIVITY? Wait, WHAT? Your creativity comes from your own mind and your own heart — you can’t learn how to be creative. If I can write things, and people want to read the things that I write, shouldn’t I be able to market that ability, regardless of my college experience?
Walsh never went to college. That means he didn’t “amass a gigantic debt” or “miss out on four or five years” developing his skills. He supports his family of four as a writer.
College makes sense for future doctors, lawyers, engineers and the like, Walsh writes. But it’s a scam for most students.
Something has to change. Listen to me on this one. Something HAS to change. This can’t continue. It is not a sustainable model. There are millions of kids with no assets, no plans, and no purpose, taking out enormous loans to purchase a piece of paper they’ll likely never use. It can’t go on this way.
. . . Total student debt has gone up by 275 percent in the last decade. How far will it climb, how many more kids will be thrown to the wolves, before we change direction? Since I was born, college tuition rates have gone up by 500 percent. FIVE HUNDRED PERCENT. Why do we send guys like Bernie Madoff to prison while the academic elite get away with gouging an entire generation to death?
“Don’t send your kids to college” unless they’re pursuing a career that requires a degree, he writes.
Writers can demonstrate their skills by writing. In many other fields, it’s harder to prove competence. But certifications, digital badges and such like could help young adults show what they know.