There have been many lessons over the last 4 years of college for me. I think the greatest of ironies is that little to none of it was intended by the college. The first thing that I learned is that much of what I earned from college was not from any of the curriculum.
If you are moving into Psychology you should expect something very disturbing. Namely the fact that you will be reading report after report of how to properly educate people in ways that will result in long term retention of information. However that information alone is obviously not disturbing, it is the fact that at no point will you ever experience this information in your courses. You will take spaced out massively cumulative exams and be taught in a very limited setup that is justified in the same manner every time “Well this is how I was taught.” You may not believe me yet, but just wait till you are in college. That was the same response I got from every Psychology professor and I imagine it’ll be the same for you.
Diversity is more important than education. This is a very important thing to remember when going to college. Now I’ve been told that I will never understand because I’m white, which in no way will perpetuate stereotypes, but my understanding of the importance of diversity is unimportant. At least at this college you will hear the word diversity more than you will ever pride over quality of education. Humorously enough when you DO hear about the quality of your education it will be explained with the word diversity. This press of grotesquely uneven importance is why you are likely meeting all sorts of college graduates that are no more informed about anything (let alone their Majors) than the average Joe. Your brain is astronomically less important than your lineage or the natural color of your skin (sorry fake tanners).
People do not go to college to become educated for the large part. More often than not when you ask folks why they are in college the answer is short “Job”. Because of this there is a much more prominent level of cheating. When your goal is education there is no logical reason to cheat, however when you goal is to get ahead it is almost a self fulfilling prophecy. I found it disheartening how many times people discussed in class how they were cheating with friends. What surprised me was not how prominent it was, that’s something my cynical self tends to assume, however it was how extraverted they were about it. It was absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. After all all that college is is a 20-40k dollar application to your career.
So when you are sitting there with someone who has an absolutely astounding GPA and everything they are saying sounds like utter ignorance you can thank college. While it would be unfair of me to make such a statement about all folks who do well in college or all college students I do think it would be equally unfair to act like College actually educates the vast majority of its students. At least–not intentionally.
On Episode 6 of Season 3 I believe that Penn and Teller said it far more succinctly than I have when they called College “Bullshit”.
PS. I also met tons of lovely folks and easily a half dozen amazing professors (the rest were great people but mediocre instructors). Not everything about college is negative however none of the positives really have to do with the entire point of college which is the problem. You are not a bad person for going to college but it in no way makes you better than a large percentage of folks you meet on the streets. They can get the same education by reading the books you’ve read in most cases and save tens of thousands of dollars.