I believe that college is practice.
Many students believe college is going to prepare them for the career of their choice. They feel like they can attend college, get the best grades in their major, find the perfect internship and then everything will fall into place from there. I believe that is a big mistake. I believe that college is another stage of practice for us as we grow into young adults. Just as high school courses prepare us for college, college prepares us for the real world. College as a whole package serves as a great way to get us “into shape” and ready for the competitive workforce, but it is important to get more than just an education out of college.
One evening as my father and I were returning to the cape from Boston we were discussing how fast college was going by. I am going to be a junior next year, and we always talk about how the real world is right around the corner. My father always made it clear that what ever you do in life, “how you practice, is how you perform”. He enforces this same philosophy whenever we speak about school. We always talk about grades and my and success in the classroom, but what is most important to me and my parents is that I grow from college as a young adult. My father told me, “College is obviously about getting the best grades and an education, but you have to realize that it is practice for the next level. Take college very serious, even dress the part”. My father even wants me to practice dressing for the real world while I am in college. “Seriously Desso, get your khakis and a collared shirt, and practice dressing the part of a person hungry for success.” As I watch a 2008 fully loaded BMW drive passed us, I nod my head and agree. I know that I probably will not “dress the part”, but I hold on to the meaning behind my father’s suggestion because to me it makes perfect sense. While at college I need to get myself ready for the next step. I have to get ready for the challenges and responsibilities that wait for me outside of school.
College can teach you a lot in four years. It teaches you everything that you need to know so you can approach any job with a confidence, and a degree. It is going to be a great feeling when I apply for jobs and I have a bachelor’s degree, and eventually a master’s degree, but that is years away. School work in college expands your knowledge, but the entire college environment expands your character.
Gaining an education according to college standards is beneficial, but growing as a person from all the elements of college is something that must be done on your own. My father explained himself very clear,” Imaging if you went to basketball practice everyday and you only worked on your offense. You will do great in the game, but only on offense. If your defense sucks, your offense doesn’t matter” It may sound extreme, but I truly believe in this. I believe that a person, who may have the degree and the best grades, is not always the best person for the job if they do not have all the elements of a well rounded and personable individual, or an individual who has practiced all the elements of college.
In college we get practice in living on our own, making our own decisions, allocating our time to different tasks, and plenty of other things. If we do not take everything we can from this practice, we will not be ready the real world.
For many of us the “real world” entails living on your own, having a job, and bills. Those are only three basic responsibilities, but those three alone are, in my opinion, much more than most full time college students are prepared for. In college we have professors who are devoted to helping us grow academically and as a person, but after school there is none of that. The chances of your co-workers trying to help you reach the promotion are very slim. The chances of anyone helping you with most takes out of school are very slim.
I know that college doesn’t teach you everything you need to know for the future after school. Some things will always be learned through experience only, but because of the practice I am getting now I will have the skills to find an answer to any challenge I face in life.