Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:September 19th, 2008 18:54 EST
The Importance of a College Education

The Importance of a College Education

By Tameka Bankhead

"Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times" -- (Gustave Flaubert)

Graduation DayIn light of the economic crisis, many believe financial goals take precedence over intrinsic desire or the pursuit of knowledge. People are increasingly impatient with the idea of holding out; rather waiting entails placing an order in a fast food dining room or even working towards a higher degree of knowledge. Americans are accustomed to fast results. In today`s unrelenting market, people want quick returns on investments.

Traditions are falling to the way side, in light of this new found outlook of what is or isn`t expedient in climbs to the top of any industry USA.

When it comes to the pursuit of higher learning, obtaining a college education is as important as one wants it to be. If a ten year old child prodigy for example, was given the opportunity to pursue classical piano leanings versus academic excellence, it would indeed be a loss to America.

There are others` who believe that the pursuit of happiness not the contribution to society is most important. I agree with the prior perspective. It is a loss to America and the rest of the world, to not, educate every citizen to the extent of their ability; for in doing so we advance the country.

Personally, I went to college to further my intellectual experience and to prove to myself and others I am versatile.  I strived to be a base and a bound ", as my mom always says.

Creative and seemingly gravitating towards arts and crafts, I instinctively knew that with the primary socialization I received, coupled with a lack of being around artist, that I could not make a living off of my artistry.

I also knew that a college education is a tall price to pay, in the face of deferred artistic dreams, rising taxes, lowered homeownership and the current economic crisis. But students persist. Students persist for the level of respect guaranteed, as a testament to their levels of intelligence, and that after there tireless devotion, they will be rewarded with macro managing work environments and, the most coveted, job security.

I enrolled to an academic institution not only for the rewards, but to contribute what I have learned through real life experience. I enrolled with the belief that one person can do much to of progress the country`s collective perspective. And in this juvenile thought process, I gave academia the opportunity to involve my experience with my fellow students.

But when people who have never dedicated themselves to a goal like higher education ask me why I would choose to waste my late twenties in pursuit of a possibility, I tell them I am going to refine myself. I have secured jobs within the workforce without a college degree, so my interest in school primarily was for enrichment.

I am not bitter as result of going to school because there was no other way I could have acquired knowledge I so hungrily desired. Nor could I have met people of such high caliber.  When I witnessed Saul Williams rapping in one the videos offered in one of my afro history courses about poetry throughout the African Diaspora; I wished I hadn`t taken this aspect of my academic career so seriously. I mean what place did poetry have in academia anyway?  Those cultural courses promote the illusion that hip hop is welcome into academia and onto to campuses nationwide. Places of educative importance act so hip when they aren`t, or would much rather less, not prefer to get to close to the evolution of certain subcultures.

For example, I met a young woman by the name of Latrice on campus. When we would walk to classes together during my first semester in my new University she would hold high volume conversations on her cell phone and if that wasn`t an affront to Mrs. Manners she then would laugh so loudly it embarrassed me.

Latrice arrived to school daily from her home which was a halfway house which I thought odd by standards of the University we attended. When we would meet for lunch at a popular restaurant, Latrice would boast loudly how she was from our shared University, while I slunk behind her. It was odd to me how she had landed an n opportunity with a prestigious University but did not realize the etiquette expected of her position. But then why did she have to act any particular for approval from a school in which she had already gained such approval.

Needless to say, she didn`t last at the University as I spoke with her later and was informed how she had chosen to transfer.

She didn`t have to say what I sensed likely was the reason. There were no programs to assist in the socialization of transitional students.

In obtaining a college education many students prepare early on for what their aspirations in any college U.S.A may be.

In many cases however as in the case of this writer, a desire for an education is bread out of attempts to enter and remain in the job force. Thus I discovered first hand what transitional students` face. Transitional students find a myriad of reasons as to why the task of attending a University late in life can appear daunting.

Many of theses transitional folks have returned to school only to find themselves thrown in with a pile of inexperienced college aged children, having nowhere to present or contribute their unique skill sets.

Transitional students find themselves attempting to alter the relevance of their age, thus causing them to underachieve in the fear of standing out and being singled out as the transitional student and being met with the ooohhh aahhh of their student peers, thus isolating them further.

University life is akin to having an affair outside of your personal relationship, " says Phillip Brookes, you can`t talk within social groups of undereducated people, and it`s very frustrating ".   So it is not good that transitional students remain in the back ground of their given fields of study.

They should be placed in the front of their respective courses of study to be documented observed and researched, to better facilitate learning on both ends. By placing transitional students in the lime light it causes them to be sharp and directed.

Being placed in a position as team leader gives students something to judge their performance by and live up to.

Finally, allowing transitional students to be held accountable for more than there share of duties (within reason) and being placed as the example to their classmates by professors.

This approach will create advance teaching strategies that will further the American people; campus and beyond. If the transitional student is not an example, teaching methods will become stale and everyone will be asking ". "How important is a college education anyway?