College…is a place where students go to almost directly after high-school, to better their education in a field or practice that would make them certified for a job, or career, and eventually earn enough of an income that would cushion them for the rest of their lives. That’s a simple definition that I, and other high-scholars, college students, teachers, and parents, have. They all make college the number-one priority; the biggest achievement that any person must look forward to and complete, so that they can even stand a chance in this crumbling economy or, even, in this world. There is, however, a complication with this ideal. It may be defined for the general people, but not for the individual person.
Let us say that the world—every important person, influences, world-happenings, et-cetera—are a pair of strong, ambidextrous hands (though, in this image, it may purposefully prefer its right-hand). The hands are not identified as female nor male, and have grey as a skin-color—or, it could be a thin, grey glove covering the hands. The hands begin with the freshly-prepared dough—created with flour, some sugar, some milk, eggs, all the good stuff—including a special, secret ingredient that makes this treat mouth-watering, and kneads all its love and encouragement into that dough. Taking out the Rolling Pin of Sharing is Caring, not one big blob of dough is going to get all the benefit of the flour, sugar, eggs, milk, a secret ingredient, encouragement, and love—there must be discipline, too.
So, now renamed the Rolling Pin of Discipline, the hands push the pin into the dough, and so rolls, and rolls, making it even and circular, but not too thin. After taking out the baking sheet, the oven already preheated to a nice Learning-Degree, out come the cookie-cutters—wait, the cookie cutters? Yes, the cookie-cutters—the dough isn’t good enough with its delicious taste after baking in the oven for twenty minutes or so, but it needs to be shaped so it could appear sweet-tooth good too. Using the Cookie Cutter of Society, the dough is carefully shaped with the cutter into whatever the hands imagine—a ginger-bread man, a pine-tree, a star, maybe a hand—and places the now-neatly cut-out pieces of dough onto the baking sheet. The Hands put the baking sheet, along with the dough, into the Oven of School, with that toasty-warm Learning Degree, and after twenty minutes or so of being baked into the shape the Hands desire, they come out with just enough crispiness, golden-brown, and smelling absolutely divine, but can only be eaten by the Consumers and Companies if they are shaped the way they are. The individual cookie may be smiling with frosting the Hands gave them, or look fabulously appealing with green, or yellow, or red icing, but the truth is, the individual cookie isn’t happy—only the Customers, the Companies, and the Hands make them appear to be happy, and more importantly, gets the job done in appealing and satisfying the Sweet-Tooth of Economical Harmony.
Well, until those nicely-prepared, expensive cookies are bitten into, and truthfully taste horrible, even dangerous, making the Customers and Companies gag with fury. It turns out, otherwise, that the less-expensive, uneven, maybe slightly burnt cookies across the street are really the ones that have that home-made, satisfying taste that everyone has been looking for. Tried by few, but word is slowly spreading around of how delightful these Cookies are, the Cookies shaped themselves in the Oven of Life, each individual cookie being baked in their own Learning-Degree. Moreover, each cookie is happy—and not shaped by the Hands of Society into what they think is the best for them, what might be the fast-road into money and success.
Don’t be a cookie-cutter cookie—be a misshapen cookie. Be your own cookie. Be a smart cookie. If college isn’t right for you, don’t follow the common footsteps of what the rest of the world tells you to do. College degrees lead to years of debt, especially for those who haven’t exactly been born and raised in a wealthy family. If you have a passion but isn’t necessarily college-related, don’t try to prove to the world, to the rest of society, that you can be just as good as a lawyer or a doctor that make pocketfuls of money—but work like dogs. Find your own way; find a smart way for the individual that you are. College is an option, not a choice.
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