The New Romantics
David Brooks wrote an editorial in the NyTimes titled the New Romantics that has stuck with me. He wrote about the practicality of an education that most parents want to see for their kids vs majoring in Shakespeare. Parents drop their kids off at college with the hopes that they will learn the tools there that will help them get a job upon graduation in something that will give them security. The thought process is probably that a college education is not cheap so you should have a solid ROI on that investment.
I think back to when I was in college. I believe that my generation went off to college, called their parents once a week and figured it out. This generations connection with their family is very different. You can text, you can skype, you can be connected daily. I have very mixed feelings on that.
College is a time to grow, find yourself, make new friends, take random classes that might be of interest and a time to become an adult. Kids are 18 when they go to college. In the eyes of the law that is an adult.
Brooks argues that as we move into a more automated society (computers, robots) that the need for creative thinkers will become more important down the line. I agree. College is a place to find your passions, expand your mind and gather knowledge. Is resume building as important as taking a random opera class where you end up having a love of opera for the rest of your life.
You learn a lot when you start a job. The reality of the world and work is very different than the classes you take in college on marketing. I doubled majored in retail and business for a multitude of reasons and the number one reason is the fear of not getting a job to support my life right out of college. If I had to do it all over again I’d take what I needed to get those majors but all of the extra would have been around arts, literature and maybe history. The few classes I took on those subjects are the ones that actually stayed with me. I still remember reading Tess of the D’urbervilles and discussing it at length in class. I am pretty sure I remember nothing about my marketing 101 class except that I had to take it to get my degree.