Life before, during, and after college is often confusing for students and would-be citizens because it is subject to misleading information. Prior to joining college, most students are led to believe that college is the missing link between them and successful life. Therefore, most students end up persevering college life in the hope that when it is all over, they will be paid back in kind. These two articles are written by individuals who have realized that they were probably misled when they were in college.
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Consequently, they are offering their opinions on the reality that college students should expect after they graduate. One article is titled “It’s Not About You” by David Brooks and it advises students that their goals in life should not be ideally centered on themselves. On the other hand, Scott Adams’ article “How to Get a Real Education at College” claims that average students are being taught the wrong things in life. While Adams’ essay points out inconsistencies in the learning process and Brooks’ article is centered on the fallacies of post-college career advice, both pieces represent the lack of faith in the modern college education and the politics that surround this phenomenon.
The two essays address the misinformation that accompanies college education. On his part, Brooks addresses the common rhetoric that students are fed when they graduate from college. According to him, most commencement ceremonies “many graduates are told to; follow your passion, chart your own course, march to the beat of your own drummer, follow your dreams and find yourself” (Brooks 1). However, there is a possibility that this advice no longer applies to the dynamics of modern society whereby exploring oneself is more important than conquering the world.
On his part, Adams says that it would be more fruitful to teach B students other relevant skills such as entrepreneurship. His main argument is that it is unfair to group all college students in one category and then proceed to teach them in a similar manner. This approach offers an immense advantage to the bright kids while disregarding the actual skills of the rest of the students. Although the views of the two authors are not identical, they both touch on the burdens that a modern student is expected to shoulder due to a lack of accurate advice.
The author of “It’s Not About You” highlights how parents and other mentors push students to “find their passion and pursue their dreams” (Brooks 1). Brooks finds an issue with this hypothesis because he claims that there is no plan involved in this method and all success is left to chance. According to him, people should form a ‘self’ first, and then proceed to lead their lives.
This sentiment bears similarities to Adams’ call for students to be taught actual skills. Some of the skills that Adams proposes to resonate with Brooks’ claims on finding oneself. For instance, Adams proposes that students should learn how to fail, combine their skills, conquer fear, and attract luck (Adams 1). Not all the above skills are commensurate with an education curriculum, but they involve a great deal of self-discovery.
The two authors punch holes into the current system of transitioning learners from school to the actual world. However, the approach that is utilized by the two articles is different. One author suggests that self-discovery is quite important, while the other suggests that individuals can be pushed to discover themselves.
Adams, Scott. “How to Get a Real Education.” The Wall Street Journal, 2011.
Brooks, David. “It’s not About You.” The New York Times, 2011.