April 1, 2010

In which I think we stigmatize silly things

It's time to vent about schoolin'!

(I warn you, I just got out of a Nyquil coma & I may not be thinking straight)

Sigh. We really stigmatize silly things without bothering to understand why.

So, I've officially been in college (aka university) for 2 years (4 semesters yaaay). I've got friends graduating already & before I know it I too will be walking across that damn stage again. I've also lost (if you can call it that) some friends already to, uh, basically the System. That is, the myths about at least 4 people you know a semester dropping out of school? REAL.

I've sort of mentioned that before but watching some tweets from the fabulous Dorianisms brought it back up again and I thought about it. Most of my friends simply couldn't afford college, and despite the fact that my college is about as cheap as they come without being a community college, that's pretty real. Not everyone is going to have the IMMENSE LUCK I had to score scholarships, nor would anyone want the super-debt that comes AFTER being able to temporarily afford school. I can see that (because I'm going to have that super-debt).

I've also given thought to people just not being prepared for college, that for which I seriously blame the System. A lot of people either take high classes that look nothing like college courses (I'm looking at you, IB/AP) or didn't take what they would need and usually end up toiling in general ed for about 3 years. That really, really sucks and is fucking time consuming when you're trying to get out that bitch in 4 years or less. Let's not even talk about summer courses good GAWD (I don't want to think about it).

Anyway, what I've really not to dwel'd on a lot is some people just may not be prepared for college/university. Some of us just aren't up to it. I didn't think I was myself to tell you the truth--not even counting my adorable social awkwardness, I don't really handle stress well and I'm not really a people person, I don't like competition (so I don't do it, I'll never be special), I'm frequently depressed with not much to go on except blogging & talking to friends and family at home, and did I mention I seriously do not handle stress well? University is all stress. It's like the fucking bane of my life. If it weren't for the fact that I pretty much have no choice I'd probably just not have bothered. As I tried to explain to my room mate, I love education but I always have & probably always will fucking HAAATE school. It's pretty ri-damn-diculous up in here sometimes.

To my subject title, yes I think we stigmatize silly things. There's this shame culture for SOME REASON around people who don't complete university or get something less than a bachelor's degree (for USians. I'm not totally sure what the 4-year degree equivalents are around the world, if it's not something close to that). There's plenty of totally valid (not that we get to judge what is & isn't valid though) reasons for not completing or not even going to university. It's a lot of classism and I think it's just really silly. You know what's even worse? Getting a 4 year degree used to be pretty much the peak of your academic career but it's slowly becoming the equivalent of "having a high school diploma"--that is, allegedly, not much effort and it surely isn't going to have the job offers flying at you if that's what you were thinking.

I think, at least stateside, it's starting to ebb a little just because university education is possible for more people but it's still just as daunting for some of the factors I mentioned above. Speaking of education I think we also shame people who don't finish high school way too much. When you're going to high school, about the ages of 14-19 I think (depending) it's a pretty critical time; high school is basically state enforced so I suppose when people drop out it's seen as you suck so much you can't even finish basic requirements or you're a delinquent or something, which isn't always true.

Sigh. We really stigmatize silly things without bothering to understand why.

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