We’ve touched on the importance of education and discussed the pros and cons of college in a previous Passengers episode, but I think it’s worth bringing up again, especially since we are close to the start of yet another school year. I imagine there was probably a time when most people went to school to learn. They applied to colleges hoping to further their education and gather the necessary information to begin a successful career. But, such an ideal is all but gone it seems.
According to TheCollegeSolution.com, over a 10-year period, the number of college students majoring in recreation and leisure studies has jumped by over 90% (This is not intended to diminish these graduates, but the dramatic increase shows students are more interested in the idea of leisure than anything else). Amongst other areas of study, the major that has experienced the largest decline is, not surprisingly, education.
So has the college culture shifted? What makes college so useful? Is it worth it?
“The advantage of knowledge is that wisdom preserves the life of him who has it.” [Ecclesiastes 7:12]
Scripture clearly spells out the importance of being knowledgeable. The original intent of colleges provided an avenue for people to chase after higher-level education in pursuit of wisdom. Unfortunately it seems too many collegiate students are more interested in what our culture defines as “college life” and not so much the learning part. The sporting events and the fraternity culture remain of incredible importance. Sex, drugs, and alcohol abuse has become mainstream on campuses around the country. There are studies available that even show students leave some universities knowing less than they did when they got in. You can fill in the blank for what you think has turned the pursuit of education into the decline of education.
I believe one danger is students treat the high-priced schools like they are country clubs instead of institutions of higher learning. It is a four-year social event. If you plan to attend Country Club University, it would be cheaper to just join a country club. A nice club would cost you about $3,000 and you’d get all the golf and tennis you want. The average university tuition is around $30,000. For those keeping score, school is about 10 times more expensive than a country club.
And there’s no need to look for a party school. The college party culture has exploded to a point where education no longer seems to be a priority. And that sells. Schools are in the business of making their school desirable for applicants and enrollees, and if the “party school” label helps that, so be it.
“An intelligent heart acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.” [Proverbs 18:15]
I feel like I may have gone down a rabbit trail that bashes both college students and colleges themselves a little too much. That is not my intention. I will forever value the time I had at James Madison University. That period of my life made me equipped for my career, my life, and brought out some of my largest passions, including music. My time at Regent University getting my Master’s degree also equipped me and helped me fine tune my ever-improving methods of communicating through various media.
For those of you who are around college age, whether you decide to go to college or not, I have one request. Pursue knowledge. Seek Wisdom. Experience the world God has put you in by participating in it, and learn everything you can.
For those of you who are Believers–strengthen the Christian mind. The acquisition of a Christ-like mind is scripturally based and faithful as a follower of Christ. It creates informed community of equipped Christians prepared to articulate a Gospel-centered loving worldview to an ever-changing culture.