The Delusion of University Life

 These students look excited for the  real world !

These students look excited for the real world!

I think the college environment can sometimes perpetuate this deluded perception of life. Because the very lifestyle of college is similar to a commune, under very controlled and weird circumstances.

I mean just think about it:

  1. Someone else is usually paying for you (your parents). Economically, you don't really have to worry about money for survival.
  2. The college will provide you with food and housing. 
  3. The college administrators get to dictate what makes an educated person. Anyone who refuses to follow this path is not allowed to have a degree.
  4. College professors are anointed ones, or gatekeepers that allow you to move to the next stage. There often is no choice in deciding who to learn from. You must satisfy your master otherwise you will not get what you want (the degree). This reminds me of a government that won't let you leave, unless you pass every security test.
  5. There are student governments to form a false sense of power. This creates a sort of in-fighting so that the executives can delay student actions from happening as often as they can. This is why decisions take forever to make and change is slow and pretty much irrelevant if not acted on within your 4-year-program.
  6. Everyone knows the real source of power is the board of directors and executives, who are often making decisions in their best interests, not yours.
  7. There is order everywhere: certain classes you can only take at a given time, and within a certain year of your college education. There are clear steps to get the degree, and barriers so that others can't make it past you.
  8. This structure makes insecure people comfortable, having this vision of success, that they don't have to create for themselves.
  9. This clear vision of success however, along with the notion where grades are limited, causes people to believe that success is scarce (curves provide only a few people A's).
  10. When things are scarce, people will purposely try to hoard as much as they can, while helping others less, because helping others actually hurts them in the long run.

And by the time people leave, they must enter a world where all of these rules change. These principles of life start to fade away, and the real world is interpreted as "harsh" because it's... well, real.

It's funny, but people call this "having to transition from college to the real world".

If you have to make this transition at all, you may have been in school too long.

Are colleges really preparing students for the real world? Because it sounds to me like they're preparing students for a world that doesn't exist.