UNITED STATES—I was recently having a conversation with some friends and family about college. I know a lot of people tend to say that high school is the best days of your lives, but I disagree. College were the best times of my life, however, did I truly learn anything while in college? We had a heated debate about not only the cost of college education, but rather many of those courses that are ‘required’ are really worth it?

I don’t regret going to college at all, do I like the fact that I amounted thousands of dollars in debt as a result of college, no. That is the thing about college, it places so many Americans in massive debt and then you exit school and you can’t find a decent paying job or worse, you find yourself in an industry that is not even connected to your studies. You spent 4 to 5 years studying your tail off and guess what; you don’t end up with a job you enjoy or in an industry where you see the potential to move up.

That is damn disappointing America and raises major question. I have always been a firm believer that if someone pays taxes you should have the option to attend a public university if you chose to apply. I mean public tax dollars goes to fund those universities so guess what: you should have that opportunity if it is something that interests you. You should NOT be shoved to the side if your test scores (SAT, ACT or overall GPA) are not top tier people.

I mean testing is NOT a firm predictor of success America. I mean I know people who scored extremely high on the SAT or ACT and after a semester they dropped out. Drive is what keeps people in school, the quest for success and knowledge and mastery in your field of interest matters most. The reason this discussion came up was because in our conversation we discussed the importance of transcripts in the job arena. Why is it important and what is an employer actually looking at?

Many of us don’t know the answer, but what we discovered is that your grades in your major are far superior to those university requirements! I honestly can’t recall too much that I learned from the university requirements that I was forced to take. I mean what was the purpose of those humanities courses or those science courses, the foreign language course, the social sciences courses, I did recall my studies in my geology course about plate tectonics and how certain things like the magma from lava are vital to the creation of so many various rocks people. It was very interesting to say the least.

What I did discover is that a lot of those university courses end in plenty of funding to the university especially for your first two years of studies at many universities. You know what that tells me: perhaps you should only have to be in college for two years instead of the typical four years. I mean you are focused on a particular study, so what does the university requirements teach you? Does it give you the opportunity to practice what a lecture class, a recitation class or what a college class would be like so that you are better prepared? Perhaps, but I don’t need 2 years to master that people.

I mean my major studies in film and film criticism I didn’t have less than a 3.0 in ANY of my courses. I’m an alumnus of Michigan State University (go Spartans), where we’re graded on a numerical scale, not an alphabetical scale. We ranged from 0.0 (meaning you failed the course, the equivalent of an F) to a 4.0 (which means you exceeded the expectation of the course, the equivalent of an A +). College is not just supposed to be about learning the importance of being independent, it is an opportunity for most people to learn WHAT they want to do in life and to start to actively pursue that interest and learn a mastery in that particular field to practice what they’ve learned in the real world. That is what I think about when I think of college. You may start as an undergraduate, move into graduate studies before ultimately topping at in your doctoral studies.

People should NOT go into debt going to college, it just should not happen if you ask me, but college should be an invitation to understand life, more about you and what you want and how you plan or want to contribute to society. This does NOT mean you need to go to college for such things to be accomplished, but you should feel like you’re getting these things from college. If you are not, that is worrisome and it makes one wonder if our universities and our educational system is actually doing what it should do. That’s a loaded question, but it is something we truly have to think about America.

Written By Jason Jones