Bella Dea wrote:
The way kids are coddled and raised in this country makes it necessary (IMO) for college on a few different levels.
1) .... Life has changed. We are living longer. Being an adult at 18 isn't necessary anymore since we won't be dying (we hope) at 35.
2) Many kids never see anything but the small town they grew up in. They never meet a black person or an Asian . Sounds funny but in my hometown, seriously now I think there might be 10 black families. When I went to high school there, there was one. If I hadn't gone to college, I'd have never moved to Detroit and would never started the life I now love.
3) It's a time to experiment and learn who you are without screwing up the rest of your life. ....
1) Absolutely. These days, people change careers several times. This isn't a sign of weakness, it's a fact of life and it shows you're able to roll with the punches. My job has changed a lot because tech ain't what it was way back when. This would be true even if I was still practicing law. The technology revolution has, quite simply, changed every single job out there that being in college prepares you for. Everything from animal husbandry to archaeology to law to medicine to historian to metallurgist. Everything. So students need to not only learn facts, etc. but also lifetime learning skills. And they need to know how to study and change and grow. It's highly unlikely that most people will know, at age 18 or 21 or 25 or even 30 what they really, really want to do and what will make them happy and fulfilled and continually keep food on the table for the following decades. But if they learn how to learn and how to adapt, they will continue to keep roofs over their heads even if the actual subject they work on changes.
2) Oh yeah. Truer words were never spoken. Heck, I was the first Jew one of my freshman year suitemates had ever seen -- and she was from Providence, RI! College expands boundaries. The common bond is intellect and area of interest (e. g. media people at Emerson College, engineers at MIT, etc.), rather than an accident of where your parents bought or rented a home.
3) Yes again. These are still kids. Let's not (no pun intended) kid ourselves. They are going to mess up and do things that are not perfectly adult. Of course they will! Something magical doesn't suddenly happen on someone's 18th birthday that converts them from a kid to an adult. They need to move along in a maturing process. Some get it during college, some get it before and some get it afterwards. Actually, I'm a fan of a year off, possibly to do community service (like City Year) or to do a kind of internship (such as Teach for America) or even things like Peace Corps or, yes, the Armed Forces. One year. Age 21. Or 18 if you like. Or 19. It doesn't matter. Just, get 'em when they're young, before they are committed to marriages and children and mortgages and careers. Before student loans start coming due. Before they are (for the most part) caring for aged parents. While they are still fresh-faced. And put 'em to work. They could build houses in low income areas, pick up trash, tutor kids, clear land for farming, teach computers to senior citizens, things like that. I think that would mature people in a big way and send 'em out, finally, as more solid citizens of the world.