Friday, May 08, 2009

Welcome to University:The Real Version

Photo via by kevindooley
Dear Students,

Welcome to University. Normally, in our welcome brochures, we use a wide of variety for inspiring, academic lexicon that goes something along the lines of this: "you are about to enter a great learning instiution"; or, "it is important that you study hard and get good grades"; or, "university will change you - if you don't get a degree, you won't get a job." But this welcome letter is different. We are going to tell you the truth. For once. So here it goes.

Grades don't really matter. Because university is only the start of your learning. The real world teaches you more lessons and insights than a sitting in classroom day-in, day-out.

Knowledge is everywhere. You don't need to pay for it anymore. You don't really need us. If you have enough drive, initiative and enthusiasm, you can find knowledge anywhere. Or you can go online and educate yourself. Just look, Some of us universities are beginning to realise this and are now making our courses free online. (MIT Open Course Ware). Why? Because we have finally realised that education should be for everyone. University cost $$$$. $$$$ leads to an opportunity divide. An opportunity divide is not good for the world.

Remember don't study all the time. Fail some courses. Because in life, you always fail once in a while. Reslience is the key. Stop stressing about assignments and tests - its stupid. We all learn differently. Sitting in an exam room is not how the real world works. The university environment is not for everyone. And thats fine.

A degree means jackshit. I say, again, I degree means jackshit. No one cares what you did in your undergrad. What they care about is your character, your ability to think. You don't have to come to us to learn that shit. You can learn it anywhere if you want to. It is insane that our institutions have put so much emphasis and pressure on youth to get a stupid piece of paper, which no one cares about anyway.

Everything you learn in university, you will not use in the real world. People will tell you this again and again. But you still go to university. Why? Because societal norms expect you to. Because it is the right thing to do. Our patterns of growth are not in line with our natural flow. We are humans. Made by God, Allah, the Universe....whatever......Go more with the flow of things.

And lastly, go get drunk at university. Have fun. Talk to people. Stay up late and cram your assignments. Fail. Then Fail Again. The university setting is the marketplace of status anxiety. Get rid of your ego. Enjoy. And stop striving towards getting your degree. Its just a stupid arbitary piece of paper that means nothing in the end.

Ladies and Gentlmen, I say again: Welcome to University.

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