I received an email this afternoon reminding me that next Tuesday is “College sweatshirt day.” Teachers are supposed to wear their college sweatshirts to celebrate the fact they went to college and show their students they should go too right after high school.
I’m not going to wear my college sweatshirt Tuesday.
There are several reasons I refuse to take part in this madness. First of all, my college got enough of my money. It was a lot. They actually owe me a sweatshirt.
Secondly, this sends a terrible message to our students as a whole. We are basically saying to all our students that if you don’t go to college, you will be a loser. Actually, you will likely go to college, try to find something you are interested in during the first few years while spending thousands of dollars that you have loaned from the government. Oh, and that loan is not forgivable either. They should wear an old torn up sweatshirt instead to protest the terrible return on investment of many college degrees.
That torn up old shirt should represent the reality of huge debt these kids are getting themselves in.
The reality is that we are sending seventeen and eighteen year olds to college without ever experiencing any sort of real life at all. Most of them have been shuttled around on sport teams and to test taking tutors. They have no time to actually experience a job. They have no time to experience curiosity. They can’t understand what it is like in virtually any career. They have been too busy studying for exams and doing mindless homework sheets. High school graduates should be experiencing mentor relationships. They should shadow professionals in many different areas. They should experiment with volunteerism and helping others.
Shoving them immediately into college after high school is not the answer.
Still need convinced? Ask any Junior or Senior high school student what they want to do as a career. Most of them answer something like “I don’t know… maybe (enter major here)?” They have no idea. Why buy the Ferrari when you don’t know how to drive? Why buy the major before you know what it is really about?
No, I won’t be wearing my college sweatshirt on Tuesday.
I will be wearing my Disrupt Education shirt.