So, though I respected their obvious intelligence and valued the insights they shared with me, my own admiration for them prevented me from asking them the questions I knew they could answer. My fear of looking foolish caused me to choose ignorance.
Again, most people who go to college wind up not using anything they learned in their degrees, and employers have to train them from scratch.
Well, yes, this has nearly always been true. That's why they're called "liberal arts" colleges. It's not like back in the past all those Art History majors were gettin' jobs, and now they're not.
If society were declining as quickly as old people have been insisting (for the last bazillion years) that it is, we'd all be running around in a post-apocalyptic wasteland drinking . . . some kid of ludicrously branded energy drink that we also use to irrigate crops.
In 1950, 34.3% of the population had a high school diploma and 6.2% had a college degree. In 2000, those figures were 84.1% and 26.7% respectively. So high school graduates are a bit less than three times as common, but college graduates are about four times as common. Even if were were to take that 6.2% figure and double it to account for women graduates, we'd still be at less than half the number of graduates we've got now.
Meeting new kinds of people, being exposed to a more diverse/tolerant culture, living for a time in a relatively communal arrangement, having a framework to approach adulthood while choosing elements of your own identity
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