I’m hearing a lot of complaints lately from 20-somethings that real life skills weren’t taught in school but they still remember something from trig or bio.
And I get it, we all hit a point when we realized we were an inactive participant in the dreaded real adult world and felt unprepared. It seems like so many other people are getting by and we feel one rung up from being a total fuck up. Claiming though that the school system favoured useless higher education and neglected pragmatism misses two crucial points: Higher education is never useless – ignorance never helps, and It wasn’t supposed to be their job.
I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s heard the phrase “It takes a village.” The public education system has always been A) a day prison for children B) a place where knowledge that required some expertise was taught to augment the general knowledge taught in the home.
Yeah, the idea that your family would teach you life skills didn’t seem stupid until about the 1980s. Either single parents or dual-income, no matter how many adults we had in our lives they put us in front of the TV and went to work. It was the dawn of parents too awkward to try teaching their kids anything and kids who can’t tell fiction from reality.
If you really wanted to change it for the next generation (and you don’t you selfish little millennials you) you’d vote and/or be active in community-level education programs. But you don’t want to help anybody else, you just want to not feel helpless yourself.
So here’s the thing you’re forgetting. You feel like you’re an unprepared youth in a grown-up world? Well you’re actually a grown-up. That same freedom you love of buying candy whenever you want comes with the freedom to continue your own growth. If you think you should have been taught car repair then teach yourself car repair now. We live in an age with access to information that would be mythical to any other time. And you use it to complain about how no one has taught you anything. Why would you rather complain about circumstances from twenty years ago than do something as simple as google?
And if you’re not too busy to complain then you’re not too busy to start learning.
At the end of the day, yeah, the system fucked us all and public education is worse than a cruel joke, but that doesn’t mean you accept being a loser for the remaining sixty-odd possible years of your life. Take control, you are not helpless.