Most of our potential as human beings goes down the toilet (And how we could change that)

For most people academic qualifications/ a college degree = success in life.

And that’s a big problem in our society.

I’m of the opinion that the key to success in life is understanding that academic qualifications do not equal success in life, nor do they ensure success in life. Nor are they key to success in life.

Most people (parents and teachers in particular) obsess about grades, degrees, name of the school/ college/ university etc.

There is a reason for this. Those people understand success as having academic qualifications.

You have a degree (preferably from a prestigious institution) — you are a “success story”. You are perceived as a successful young person who will become a successful adult. Guaranteed!

Those, on the other hand, who didn’t have those early life opportunities, or who were lost in their teenage years and early 20s (like so many of young people nowadays and in the past), they are the reason for their families and whole communities to feel worried.

And that’s insane!

We basically convey the following message to those young adults:

If you want to be somebody in this world you need a college degree.

If you don’t earn some kind of academic qualifications in your early 20s, you’ll be forever doomed and your life will suck shit.

If you’ll waste your late teenage years and early 20s, you’ll be left behind and probably will never be able to catch up.

People who didn’t go to college end up working in shitty jobs earning minimum wage.

Don’t we all know those stories when a well-meaning parent tells his / her child that if he / she will not study she will end up cleaning toilets or driving a garbage truck?

This message is the root cause of most of the misery in people’s lives.

It’s a bullshit message, which is nothing but a cliché which people repeat without giving it any thought at all. It emerged out of a wrong assumption (that people without academic qualifications are doomed in this world).

And what’s particularly disturbing, it works as a self-fulfilling prophecy in the whole society. People who know that they will not go to college (in their teenage years have all the reasons to think that it’s not going to happen for them) give up on themselves entirely by the time they’re 20 years old.

Why?

Because all adult people in their community have come to believe this bullshit message (that without college you’re and will be nothing in this world) after hearing it for the millionth time from media and politicians who only tell us how bad it is that only a fraction of us get a college degree, and they (those young adults) have been brainwashed to believe the same.

F*ck!

When will you stop bullshiting all those people?

When will you stop polluting their young and able minds with all those dumb clichés?

When will you understand that people don’t screw up their lives because they didn’t get their college degrees in their early 20s, but because they believed a lie (the biggest lie ever), that the only time to build your future is in your late teenage years and early 20s, and that the only way to succeed in life is if you’ll go to college and get a degree?

When will you open your eyes to the fact that we actually have a lot more time to build our futures? How about our late 20s, our 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond? Why shouldn’t it also be a time in which people build their futures? Why should millions of able and talented people (from all walks of life) think that they’re doomed in life only because of this 5-year window in their early 20s?

When will we all understand that this bullshit message we send them is the root cause of their anxieties/ depressions/ fear of life?

When will we stop congratulating our children, like they’ve arrived, for getting their degrees and becoming a lawyer/ doctor/ accountant/ banker. Like, from now on everything else will click.

F*ck!

How sad!

How sad that all this human potential gets flushed down the toilet, because we collectively have decided to hold on to a screwed up, dumb belief.

How sad that 70–80 years of most people’s lives go to waste because of that.

How sad that nobody realizes that.

How sad that people maintain this myth and pollute with it all new generations of people.

How sad that we use data about college education all the time, but are blind to other, more important, factors.

How sad that we don’t appreciate enough the work that is done by people who don’t have college degrees and glorify only college education?

How sad that we bullshit people that the only way to gain knowledge is by going to college and spending a fortune there, while we have Internet.

How sad that we don’t show people other ways.

How sad that we look down on people without college degree and often treat them like a piece of shit.

What do we expect?

Let me tell you what we can expect.

We can expect that it will continue to be this way. Those with college degrees (the so called “elite”) will still be able to feel good about how they fare in their lives, they’ll be viewed as the society’s “success stories” (just for having those diplomas!) and those who didn’t go to college will continue to give up on themselves, feel like unworthy people and waste their lives.

Collectively we will continue to waste a massive human potential each year.

All because of one silly belief.


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Writing is my oxygen. I write every day. About parenting, career life and the challenges of being a young adult.

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