Any desires and abilities to be a free-thinking and autonomous individual have been derailed over the course of my education and upbringing. The established notions of how one is to grow and live one’s life restricts movement and free thought. The goal of the school system, beginning in elementary school, was to prepare students for college rather than providing an exemplary education in the present. Success is considered to be financial for all rather than individual--personal. How can those who have their own plans go about fulfilling their goals when the system rejects and disrupts those goals at the first sign of deviation?
There has to be steps taken to educate individuals rather than masses. Individual preferences must be taken into account. Education of the masses is big business. Unfortunately, education of the masses negates the individual. If one is self-sufficient, capable of learning the prescribed curricula on his own, what reason is there for him not to? If one can grasp what takes others twice the time, time is left to satisfy curiosities, delve into topics with more depth, and to further supplement one’s education beyond the prescribed. But when the student is mandated to attend class, where little intelligent debate exists, where generalizations and ego-stroking have free reign, formerly curious, probing minds fall idle and are wasted.
The desire to attend college to earn high paying jobs and the exigent need for our society to consume less is dissonant and hypocritical. Should we not be moving towards living with less? Granted, one needs money to survive. But how much stuff does one person really need? Most students claim they go to school, not primarily for the education, the enrichment of the mind, but for the riches they hope to achieve with their diploma in hand. Our parents and educators serve as a poor examples. Graduates and future students cannot attend college with the mindset of exceeding the material wealth our progenitors have taken from this earth because any personal material comfort gains will be mitigated by the devastation done to our habitat and to the other humans who have to live with the consequences of our greed and immoderation. The dreary statistic that there would need to be four or five Earths to sustain our level of consumption can be repeatedly heard on campus, but evidently few understand or want to face the serious problems caused by our greed. The self-serving nature of the students is reflected in the self-serving nature of the institution.