I’ve struggled with the notion of post-high school education for a good portion of my adult life. It’s a necessary evil. Regardless of what you actually know, sometimes a formal education is the only way to command respect (and a job) from society. I’m not negating the importance of any sort of education program. Sometimes what you learn is less important than the experience of learning itself. Some people seem to use their education as a crutch for their lack of interpersonal relationship skills. Some use it to compliment actual knowledge. And a few even can apply what they learn to everyday tasks and skills. Blah blah blah.
The bigger problem I’ve had with it is the way secondary education is organized. I can’t count how many times I’ve ‘applied’ at a college or technical school but never followed through because the steps necessary are absolutely ridiculous. Admissions, Financial Aid, Counseling, Scheduling, Degree Plans, Transfer Credits… there’s a ton of things to worry about and I’ve yet to find an institution that actually follows through with helping along this path. (A few people at my school now seem to help out quite a bit though).
My current school started out great with the enrollment and planning. I had a plan in place using my GI Bill and getting financial aid along with housing. As each quarter went on things seemed to get a little bit harrier. Because I had prior credits from the military and other schools, I wasn’t allowed to take certain classes again. The only classes available did not contribute to my degree plan. I then found myself with too many credits and had to write appeals to continue getting funding. On top of that if I’m not enrolled in classes full time my VA benefits go down and I may not be able to have my flight fees covered. Dare I mention one of my required classes is from another university? It’s such a crazy mess that it’s no wonder some people don’t even attempt school. My GPA is over 3.75 yet if I make one slip up, everything I’ve worked for the last few years would be absolutely pointless.
Why can’t schools simplify the process? I understand there’s always going to be variables and budgets and breaks etc. etc., but there’s got to be an easier way. A one-stop style of system would be excellent. Advisors that are trained for any particular instance would help as well, instead of always having to refer to some other person or department to handle an issue.
Anyways, no one really cares about an individual’s plan for education except maybe their parents or the ones paying for it. What I will say for anyone thinking about going to school… Do it. The process is difficult, the subject matter may or may not be useful in applying your skills but there are countless benefits from completing an education. Maybe it’s the people you meet, or the places you get to go. Sometimes it’s an excellent perspective on how other people think they understand things and it will give you an edge when it comes to winning a job position (or winning an argument). I feel like my pace is painfully slow for the amount of BS I have to go through just to get something almost as common place as a high school diploma or GED. Regardless, I’m glad I finally decided to do this and though my actual career could be completely different than what I’m studying now, what I’m learning from this experience is proving to be worth its weight in gold.