My Millennial Mind: Formal Education vs Self-Education

Written by Tristan Holmes

Millennial Lifestyle Coach and Journalist

Montgomery, Alabama

In school I was taught how to take tests. I took notes, watched videos, listened to a teacher. While I am thankful for some of the teachers I’ve had in my life; I, along with the vast majority of my generation, have been denied proper education. I learned theorems and how to read a chart, I even know how to interpret the meaning of a poem. But where will that take me? Unless someone chooses a career in a very specific field that deals with theorems, how to read a chart, or how to interpret the meaning of a poem, that information is useless.

I was not taught how to appreciate the literature, just that there will be a quiz on chapters one through four on Friday, first thing in the morning. I stressed all night about the tests and the formulas and the facts. The true value of education was lost on me.

I’ve never really been an A student, more like a C…or D….sometimes even a F student. I HATED going to class every day and it had nothing to do with my peers. The lessons bored me to death. Math went over my head, English was fun until I had to diagram the plot of Othello, Science was kind of cool because I got to dissect animals, History was interesting before I had to memorize dates and places. Throughout my sixteen, almost seventeen, years of education I have been TOLD what to read and what to learn and HOW to learn it. After I got the information down, I think the assumption was that the information was permanently branded into my brain. Not so.

To me education is not just about the memorization of facts and figures to get the A+. For me to truly learn and understand something I NEED to go deeper than a fact. I MUST enjoy what I am learning. If I don’t enjoy it, then I won’t pay attention and won’t retain any of the information.

Millennial College Graduates: Young, Educated and Jobless

 

I get to college bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and ready to start the next stage of my life…so I think. Come to find out college is just like high school, only I’m PAYING for it!! Thousands of dollars a year in loans and scholarships and grants being put into this degree. According to an article by Newsweek, millennials make up 40% of the unemployed in the US. An anonymous interviewee told Newsweek, “It’s hard, they don’t want to pay you extra for your master’s. There are enough people with master’s degrees that they can require them.” Fellow college attendees, this is our future.

The college classes still bore me. But I was raised in the era of Digital. I have more access and connectivity to the rest of the world than any generation before me. I can create a Twitter account and connect with fellow millennials that may be going through the same thing, or maybe watch a YouTube video about how to present myself in a job interview….OH WAIT!! There’s a new meme, I need to retweet it over and over. I just found a new cat video that’s just so darn cute!!…..this is MY generation, the people I have grown up with.

I rant and rave to say this: Formal education has done us, as a generation, a great disservice. We need to learn, really learn. We need to continue our education even after school. We should never want to stop learning new things. We’re up to date on what celebrities are getting divorced from who and who they cheated with, or where the Kardashians went on vacation. Wake up people!! We live in the greatest country in the world, at a time of fantastic opportunity. Instead of envying the Kardashians or everyone on the “Spraaang Breeeaaakkk” Snapchat story, go out and learn a skill that can take you to the beach, or Rome, or Argentina. We’re good at social media, and the world can learn from us as they adapt. Don’t be “lazy, entitled, or arrogant” like the Boomers think we are. Read more, get out and exercise, work hard, TALK……

Prove everyone wrong.

 

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