Is This Real Life?
A degree= smarter than everyone else?
Even if a college graduate doesn't know what they want to do with their lives, there still is an overwhelming feeling of empowerment and somewhat entitlement when you graduate college. Every college kid thinks a great job is headed their way or that a few years of grad school will make them an even better candidate for their chosen career. Nothing can bring them down until a few moments after graduation. Then the bubble bursts. Yet the feeling of entitlement lingers.
I admit to once being one of these 'snot- nosed kids.' And I am proud of my education. I worked hard for my degree in history. Yet as much as my liberal arts college said that their education would prepare me for the world, I'm not so sure anymore. Clarifying this issue I'll say that I'm capable of understanding an issue, but knowing for certain the practical applications to rectify problems of the world is still a work in progress. Simply put I don't believe anymore that it is the intellectuals who know everything. I'm starting to fully grasp how intelligent my grandparents and other members of their generation were. Less than 50% of their generation had college educations, yet they knew hard work and common sense would get them far.
Not to mention that so many of the millenial generation are in unchartered waters. We've been brought up to believe that if you have a degree from one of the Ivy League schools you're smarter than the average bear. But is this the truth? Intellectuals can ace tests but can they actually put one foot in front of the other? Meaning can we all forget the theories and just get back to some good old common sense to find our way out of this maze?
Lost in our own maze...
Finding our way through the quagmire
An example to demonstrate my dilemma: the world state of politics. Throughout my academic career all of my American history professors discussed the elections that changed the country and the leaders that made history. To state an obvious fact the election of 2008 changed history. There were overwhelming majorities of people who came out to vote in that election. Now I'll come clean. I did not vote for Obama because I come from the school that no politician can be trusted. President Obama is a gifted orator, but anyone who understands 'true' democracy knows that nothing can change overnight like he seemed to promise. Perhaps I'm too cynical but the world will never be perfect. How can two countries like the U.S. and Iran get along with two very different ideologies leading those nations?
Getting back on track I know it's time for Americans to remember that it's not the school education that makes you smart but the life experiences. It's not the degree that makes the man/woman, but what he or she does with it.
Putting aside political views I look at the American public and wonder how did we become so angry? Not only that, but the divide that separates this country. From a historical perspective I don't think the country has experienced this divide since the Civil War or War of Northern Aggression depending on where you come from. We are at a turning point and I don't think anyone can guess what lies ahead. Or how we will be when we're out of the tailspin. America was forever changed by the Civil War. Will that be our situation too? Some may think it's an exciting time to be young right now and to have a voice, but I don't see it that way. Those of us in our twenties only have a little over two decades to our life span. And what times do we remember? The 90s when everything fine and dandy. Then came 9-11. Suddenly our little bubble burst open. Many called 9-11, the millennials 'Pearl Harbor.' But it wasn't the country of Iran or Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan attacking America. It was a group of extremists who will do whatever it takes to destroy us. A scary thought? YEAH!!!
So what's to be done?
Expect the worse? Pray for the best?
Not that a 23 year-old is so equipped to answer this, but studying history at least prepares me to believe that we are not the first people to wonder what is coming our way. There is an eban flow to politics as with other movements. And one phrase I've come to love and hate is, 'the only thing constant in life IS change.'
I can say however that I hope Americans soon remember who they are. The only country to thus far show that a Federal Republic is a the best system in the world. Yes we're riddled with faults but what country has a perfect past? And I for one will always say I'm proud to be an American.
And I know this too shall past but I just wonder what shape we'll be in once we're out...I simply hope that everything our Founding Fathers worked for was not for nothing. Because this reality we know now cannot last.