I’d compare studying at University to eating out at Nando’s*.
You get the hype, you hear the stories and then you realise, shit, how fucking overrated is this?
*(I have to pick up my own cutlery, seriously?)
I’ve never quite got the obsessive nostalgic view people have of University.
In fact, I still don’t; a full five years after graduating (fucking hell, I’m old).
I mean, what really does it account for? Sure, I have a degree (that looks nice on the LinkedIn profile).
But I’ve never been able to shake that nagging feeling inside that says “I paid three grand a year for that, really?”
Where does a degree actually get you in life; in your career? It didn’t get me a job, certainly not directly.
And let’s be fair, any fucker can get a degree. It was hardly the height of academia.
Beyond that, there was no pathway presented to me. No “here’s how you apply for jobs“, “here’s what you ought to be applying for“, “here’s what sort of salary you should be looking at“, “here’s how to negotiate a salary“.
No. None of that. More of “here’s your degree now fuck off“.
Oh, you owe us 20 grand, by the way.
In case you don’t know, I “studied” Journalism and Sports Development at University.
What the fuck is that? I couldn’t even tell you myself**. But apparently I’ve got a degree in it and that makes me qualified, kinda.
All I know is that Sports Development was a series of mind-numbing and seemingly endless Powerpoint presentations that, believe it or not, could be accessed remotely. You didn’t even need to turn up. I could have spent the whole three years in bed if I wanted.
(I gave it a good go, admittedly.)
Three grand a year for a set of PowerPoint slides.
How fucking underwhelming is that?
To be fair, I went to a shit University (hopefully they don’t read this, those late library fines must be through the roof by now). And I suppose that’s my own fault. Though, again, it wasn’t like I was ever presented with any real direction beforehand.
Going to University (or, indeed, college) is just prescribed as “the next logical step”; there’s no actual thought process of how young people should develop or even begin their career.
You’re given your education and booted out to fend for yourself, there’s nothing in-between.
(Bit of a recurring theme going on here, you may have noticed).
That’s not to say the education system should spoon-feed you everything. Of course, there ought to be a certain amount of “doing” for yourself. Otherwise, we’d all be lazy and incompetent bastards.
But there’s only a certain amount of theory worth bothering with if you can’t actually put any of it into practice.
I look back now and consider what I’ve done in the last three years operating in a workplace a whole lot more worthwhile, beneficial and productive for my career than what University ever gave me; a qualification and a shed load of debt.
Before I slag off the education system completely, I’ll relent slightly; I’m sure there’s plenty of courses out there that offer a genuine foundation of knowledge that will ultimately help form the pivotal building blocks for a relevant career.
I’d be willing to bet those instances are of a premium, though.
I wonder how many people who took the same Journalism course I did are actually Journalists now? Or at least continue to write in one form or another?
(From the small pool who have yet to delete me from Facebook I’d guess it’s none).
Further Education has its purpose, there is no doubt. It just shouldn’t be for everyone. There ought to be more of a transactional system in place that can facilitate the period between education and career.
Oh, and it shouldn’t cost anything. Where’s the fucking logic in that? “Yes, we’ll make people pay for trying to better themselves.”
Anyway, that’s politics for you.
**The definition of Sports Development from sportsdevelopment.info:
“It can mean the development of sport for sports sake and equally the use of sport and physical activity opportunities for the development of society – sport as a social instrument.”
Nope, still no clue.