Higher education is a stressful process that is on the minds of high school seniors everywhere, including myself.
It consumes a potentially fun year with stress and preparation for more education. Students develop a mindset that choosing a college is the most important decision in their life, like choosing the “wrong” one will make them a dead-beat. This dreadfully stressful process places too much burden on a student to ultimately decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Higher education has, therefore been reduced to feel more like a game rather than an important life decision.
Choosing a major, and college is such a stressful burden on students because they feel like they are making one of the most important decisions of their life, yet many have no direction. You couldn’t expect a teenager to make the correct decision concerning what they will do for the vast majority of their lives. They could become invested in their chosen path, both financially and emotionally, even if that major isn’t right for them. For example, I have always wanted to major in biology, yet I recently changed my major to English. If I had decided to stick with biology, how long would it have been before I got bored, or finally understood English was a better suit? It could have been months, or even years. Either way, forcing an indecisive student to choose a major is like throwing time and tuition into the garbage.
If the college process wasn’t centered on choosing a career path, the students could relax. Instead, college could be presented as a place to further develop their consciousness, and understand what they would enjoy studying. This is because education isn’t treated as a separate organization from our economy. In its current state, college is like an industry with the production line being a set of students who can eventually contribute to society. Instead of nourishing a student’s wealth of knowledge, college neglects the individual by preparing them to succeed in a capitalist economy. This has lead to the commercialization of higher education, and the devaluation of a college diploma.
Caitlyn Fronk is a senior at Bethlehem Central High School and is an intern with Spotlight News.