I think 18 is way too young to properly understand how quickly 4 years of partying and studying can turn into decades of debt and how hard it is for a lot of smart and talented people to turn those 4 years of education into a degree that actually nourishes and financially provides for their needs and goals. It seems cruel and irresponsible that college offers no guarantee of employment, education, or advancement, but can absolutely guarantee SUBSTANTIAL and increasing debts. Why is there such an emphasis on money in education? Why are we encouraged to spend our first 2,4,8 years of young adulthood accruing debt for a so-called education that doesn’t always educate? Shouldn’t we be using our time and resources towards developing programs that enrich the world and are inclusive for all people? I’ve seen the youth! They have brilliant and passionate ideas! Why don’t we encourage and support those? Why not enrich the content of education at the k-12 level so that when people graduate they can already enter the “adult” world with sufficient education and skills that will allow them to serve and contribute to society? Instead the education system seems to be set up for each citizen to be contracted into perpetual debt starting in college and moving into credit, and mortgages, etcetera…
I think our generation is way more creative than this. WE can develop a system that works for the people and honors the imaginative promise of our youth.
I think it’s time to start envisioning what a more balanced system looks like. We need to create a better world for our kids and offer education that doesn’t enslave but enriches and empowers. If you’re obligated at a young age to invest your young enthusiasm and thousands of dollars into schooling in order to be competitive, schools, in turn, should be obligated to return on that investment.