The religion of…higher education?

         Higher education in 2012…Are we still going to college? Are we still raising our children to believe that a college education is necessary for success?


Many are. And for the life of me, I can’t wrap my mind around why.

And I definitely can’t wrap my mind around paying the ridiculous tuition fees-or even worse, taking out student loans.

The only thing I see that’s “higher” is the cost.

Little sidenote here: “tuition” is “intuition” with the “in” taken away. We’ve traded in our intuition so now we have to pay an institution for the “tuition” part.

Let’s see.

The employee’s economy is in the toilet. People are stuck in the slimy, abysmal hole of student loan debt…need I say more?

Student loans can-and I use can with emphasis here-  put you in the hole forever. It’s no laughing matter. As someone with a significant amount of student loan debt myself, I cringe everytime I hear some dopey parent brag about how their kid got accepted into some hotsy shotsy college.

..Or I want to shake the sense out of an annoying high schooler who tells me she’s going to college after  graduation.

I want to scream when I try and share some wisdom about the situation with some snarky college freshman who snubs me like I’m this poor loser who couldn’t make the cut so I’m bitter. Then they give me the “sorry that didn’t work out for you, but I’m not you” type of response.

 “Would you mind if I smack you silly for a few minutes?” I yearn to ask with every fiber of my being. 

 don’t ask why I put this here…and no, I’m not a cat.

They don’t get it. But I do. I get that college/higher education is a religion. I get that people are brainwashed to think that they must go to college to be successful in life. I get that people are confusing “education” with “socialization”.

Hey, I’m not blowin’ smoke here, folks. I went to college. In fact, I went to several (a long story, believe me).  What modern society calls ‘school’  is not school in the true definition of the word. Most people are ignorant of how mass education in America started. True education means to help people bring out their genius from within, where what we call education reverses it. People open up their heads and let an institution pump their brains full of their information.                

What does it matter now? you may wonder.

Well, to break the spell of higher education we first have to unplug ourselves from the mirage and take a real step back for some clarity.

How does the saying go again?

Then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free…

Free from what?

Free from the mold, the box, being in the army of automatons…

Free from the insecurities of being graded on your performance, from the sleepless nights of going into default on your student loans because you can’t afford to repay…

Free from conformity and from the “shoulds” and “have-tos” that make us drink, smoke, sex-up, and dumb ourselves down just to make it through another week on the plantation….

My thing is this: if you want to go to college that’s your business. All I’m saying is that it should be YOUR conscious decision-and a well-thought out decision at best. Not only that, but you should not go to college, graduate school or any kind of PHD program just because you “have to.”

You don’t! I want to shout it from the rooftops :

YOU CAN BE SUCCESSFUL WITHOUT so-called FORMAL EDUCATON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I misspelled “education” for comic effect. ha ha.

See, college is for some people I guess. If you want to be a surgeon then okay-go through the motions. If you want to be an attourney, then bend over and take it, too. In my opinion, if you really know what you want to do with your life, i.e. surgeon, then why not just start medical school instead of wasting years in undergrad? Do you really need philosophy 101 for that? Why not have one school year of all “general education requirements” and then begin medical training? All those years you are in school you could be actually building your own dreams by getting out there in the world and learning from experience. Energy is a priceless commodity and none of can afford to sap our energy on something that is not going to benefit us later on.

If college, you just don’t have the time-and especially the mental energy-to read any books outside of class textbooks. When do you have time to reflect and learn? Or eat healthy? Or start your business (which is a huge job all by itself).

I think about all the years I spent in school when I could have been writing and gaining experience. Where would I be today if I had started my freelancing at 18, or even 25?

You know, this was supposed to be a relatively short blog. But what was I thinking? This topic is very close to home for me.  What can I say?

To continue my rant, I can’t understand why college is seen as a wise investment. For the most part, college is merely an extension of high school.

Only a few short generations ago, people were owning businesses, farms, and were married and raising families at sixteen. There were only two categories-“child” and “adult”. There was no such thing as “teenagers” or “tweens” just “coming of age”. Now, due to sitting in a desk raisng our hand to go to the bathroom from age five to 25, we are lame and incapacitated, unable to think independently. We were socialized to please our “boss” i.e. the teacher, and never to think of our own best interest.

Teenagerism is a modern-day socially engineered invention, just a prolonged perpetuation of childhood. These most formative years in our human development is going up in smoke as we are rendered dumb and useless for anything other than adult slavery to the system. Remember, we were trained never to trust our own wisdom and our own choices. Only the way other people grade you matters.

Point is, becuase we are locked in a box and treated like unruly babies up to 18,  most teenagers are incapable of stepping into adult roles and being productive in the world the way their anscestors did.

  Parents today insist that these formative years are for “freedom” and irresponsibility-being wild, rebellious, stubborn and debacherous. leaving their children unprepared for the real world.   

I was one of the millions who were brainwashed into going to college because that was supposedly the only way to get a better life. My parents were part of a generation of  an insecure “blue-collar” workforce-insecure because suddenly their bosses were hiring younger people with college degrees and they were expected to keep up.  A few years ago, my oldest friend was hired as a manager at the city housing authority office. She was placed over people 20 years her senior-all because she had a masters degree from an ivy-league school. The irony is that the employees under her got the same job she has today with just a high school diploma-and minus the hefty student loan debt.

My advice to young people is simple: Know who you are. Turn off the television, put down the ipad, turn off the cell phone, and take a long walk at the park. Stop and smell the roses. Think about what you are good at. Think about what you love to do. Note: it’s usually the thing that you are afraid to admit to yourself. It’s the thing  you think you can’t make any money doing for a living.  So be honest with yourself.

  Red pill or blue pill.

You take the red pill and you go to sleep and you forget you ever read this blog. When you wake up, you will be back at the admissions line at the university of your choice. If you can’t afford it, there is a finacial aid office where they will “give” you a loan

You take the blue pill and your eyes will be opened to things you never imagined. There is no going back. You will unplug yourself from the phone, iphone, ipad, blackberry, tablet, flat-screen t.v. along with any other distractions. You will feel a bit of fear and discomfort, a being born again. This internal work will yield you great results. Without school consuming your energy and time, you can begin practically pursuing your dreams.

Assuming you took the blue pill, you now have been honest with yourself about what you want to do, so now the next question is, how are you going to go about becoming that?

Practical example: you want to design clothes. The pill of choice?

Red pill-you will go to a fashion institute like FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). If you cannot afford it, they will give you student loans. You will expend much time and energy to doing well in your classes and internships, hoping it will pay off in the long run.

Blue pill-you will see that no matter what anyone says, you have more than one choice regarding how you will achieve your goals. You must question and determine what is right for you. If you are independent and learn by hands-on experience, then you will skip the classroom -and the hefty tuition- by apprenticing a designer or seamstress. Maybe you will work in a clothing store at the mall and move your way up into the fashion world.

The point remains that your training and skill can be developed the “old-fashioned way”.  What matters more is your committement to yourself and your inner knowing that this is what you are meant to be doing and that you will be what you desire to be.

I will stop here for tonight. There is so much to say I will have to continue it another time. My hope is that if you are a parent reading this, you’ll consider allowing your children the freedom and sincere support to pursue their dreams and not just a college degree.

Be blessed and keep writing, loving, living!

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