The emphasis was palpable. Go to college. Amount to something ! The career path was that simple. If employment doors were to be opened to the graduating youngster, then go to college to make that happen.
I quite expect excoriation for what I am about to write. After all, my thinking flies in the face of the traditional Mom and Dad with kids coming of college age. Not to mention, I have grandkids in college myself.
Back in my time, off I went in pursuit of a liberal arts curriculum. It became evident in short order that a quirk in terminology held sway. It was actually a curriculum of liberal thinking, a bastion of such.
That, in and of itself, was not offensive to this conservative. What was offensive was the seeming intransigence of the professorial norm of the place. There was no room for any different type of thinking other than their own. So much for the liberal approach!
It didn’t take long for this to annoy me. I thus reasoned: How the hell will I ever make enough money in four years to get through this place ? College wasn’t exactly motivating.
I was painting houses in the Summer, so the work-a-day world was no stranger. I could already make at least a meager living. I could either do that or bury myself in studies of Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War.
Let me see. What better served my interest ?
See ya later, Rutgers !
It was not a regrettable decision. I stumbled here and there, but embraced an unusual notion. Just work hard and apply my own God-given capabilities. Go with the gut.
Funny how it worked out. Twenty three years later, at 49, I sold my advertising publishing business and retired. Now, at 66, life is still quite blissful!
On a serious vein, a close look at debt attributable to college studies in America is already at crisis level. Years ago colleges should have been avoiding their culpability in the foray rather than assuming post position.
Our colleges need to come down from their high horse. They’re not completely indispensable.