If You Can't Answer These Questions, Drop Out of College.
📕

If You Can't Answer These Questions, Drop Out of College.

Understanding if your extracting the most value out of college, and why it is important.

Universities are full of knowledge and information. The advertised value of college exists as, information and in the minds of brilliant professors and educators.

The issue with universities is they do not teach students how to use the information. The traditional classroom does not incentivize young people to create new things. Or to see the information through their unique worldview. It is indoctrination, seeing the information through the educator's worldview.

College doesn't teach you to become a better learner. Becoming a better learner is only found by pursuing one's curiosity. When pursuing your curiosity, you create frameworks to become a better learner. (If you are interested in developing better learning and ideation strategies check out https://www.brandonzhang.com/essays)

I want to raise three fundamental questions for students in college. To ask themselves or for parents or guardians with children in college. If the student cannot provide articulate answers for some of these questions. It might be healthy to consider taking a gap year or dropping out. Illustrating clear answers to these questions reveals that the student can use the information taught to them.

The Three Questions

In the years and time, you have been in college, what is an truth you have learned about human nature?

What is a fundamental truth that has been revealed to you through the classroom?

What is an intuitive skill that you have built up in your years of college?

These three questions measure learnings from three important areas of the college experience:

Social Experience

In the years and time, you have been in college, what is the truth you have learned about human nature?

Information

What is a fundamental truth that has been revealed to you through the classroom?

Wisdom and Lived Experience

What is an intuitive skill that you have built up in your years of college?

The ability to articulate meaningful answers for these questions will show that the student is using the information to formulate unique ideas. The inability to provide articulate answers for these questions will show the student is not extracting the proper value from the college education.

To extract the most value from a college education one must become better at learning. Once you become a better learner. You can see the information through your unique worldview and ask better questions. This will enable you to extract the most value out of college.

But if you can't answer these three questions. You should consider not going to college and taking a gap year. You're not able to use the information now. You're wasting time. There are other things you could be pursuing. Then, you can always go back to college. When you have become a better learner. But if you're not able to provide clear answers for some of these questions. You're not in the right mindset to go to college right now.

How to become a better learner

The ability to answer these questions isn't a measure of intelligence or ability. It is measuring one's ability to self educate and reflect. When oneself educates they can digest the information given to them and see it through their worldview. There are traditional things you can do to become more self-educated. Things like reading more books or taking courses on Udemy or Youtube. But to extract the most value from education, one needs a framework for self-education.

Here are some basic tips to become a better learner:

  • Think deeply and reflect on the information
  • Journal your thoughts and ideas, and questions that arise from the information.
  • Don't seek just to get the information.
  • Review and re-watch material to grasp the basics of the information
  • Find your own solution, when engaged in education do not just follow along.

The Fundamental Question

The underlying question operating behind this article is akin to the “elephant in the room.” There is a discussion about the end goal of education.

In our current system is the end goal to turn out like-minded thinkers to go into the workforce? Or is it to raise truly educated individuals who can think for themselves? If it is turn students into workers then colleges won’t be here for long. There are better options that provide students with high paying jobs in shorter amounts of time.

But if the purpose of college is to raise individuals who can think for themselves and can leverage different types of experience into one unique worldview. Then college Is by far the best option available.

This fundamental question will seemingly predict your reaction to this article, or even the title. If you believe universities to be a place for students to train to get jobs, you would tend to disagree with my premises. If you tend to agree with the problems of a university, you will most likely agree with me.

The end goal though of this discussion is to find a balance between personal and institutional responsibility. With more focus on the individual can make the most out of their education. As well as how hopefully institutions can update themselves to restore the greatness that they once had.

To not take this discussion seriously, is to not take the future seriously. Things that worked for my parent's generation, clearly don’t seem to be working for millennials and Gen-Z. There is a misalignment in what is provided and true value.

In my opinion proceeding as normal with no change in education, would cause America to fall behind against rising powers. No longer as the place where innovation happened, but it would be seen as the place where mediocre happens.

Alternatives

If you read this and feel you need a break from college here are some alternatives.

www.thinkful.com

www.thriftbooks.com

www.writeofpassage.school

www.udemy.com