Most of the decisions I’ve made regarding my education were made for the wrong reasons. Around the time you become a teenager, you are fed this notion that you have to take specific classes, in order to choose a major that will land you the best job; putting into consideration that the definition of a good job actually means a more lucrative job. I’m sorry to say I bought it, believing that the only way to get a “good” job is to have a “prestigious” major; regardless of what really makes you happy or what you’re truly passionate about.
As a freshman in college I chose the wrong major, which I then changed, due to this particular mind-set and I’ve regretted it ever since. It made me feel like a failure, not to mention it destroyed my grades and my self-esteem. This brings me to my second point: grades, the merit you are given for conforming to the traditional outlook on learning. Grades have become like a game to me. Each assignment is worth a certain percentage of my grade in a particular class, and all the classes added up make your overall grade, therefore each assignment is worth a certain number of points and the more points you achieve the higher your chances to make it to the next level. It has all turned into a game, the excessive need to earn grades, and to get a degree have overshadowed the real reason why one goes to college, to learn. Then again students don’t really choose what they want to learn.
It is true one chooses their major, supposedly based on their interests; however you don’t actually choose what to learn. I just watched a movie called Accepted, which is about a boy who gets rejected by every university he applies to, so he decides to create his own university. And in it, students are given the chance to create their own curriculum and choose what they what to learn. I realize of course that this is completely unorthodox and unfeasible, however learning something because you really want to learn it, is the only way it will actually be of any value to you. I recently read a history book, because I wanted to read it, not because it was assigned to me or because I was required to read it, but because I really wanted to. I’m not particularly fond of sitting in a classroom while listening to someone talk about a topic I may not even be interested in, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like learning. I love learning new things; I would just prefer doing it on my own terms.