College Is Not One Size Fits All

November 29, 2017
By , Columbia Falls, MT

We all aware of the common ideology of college being the only road to a life worth any meaning. Nowadays it seems many employers will scratch your name off the list at the simple mention of the absence of a college degree. How  has the American Educational system decayed into this one idea of the perfect road that they expect fits all no matter one’s needs. The way our educational system works now could be summed up in one simple analogy. Say you have a store only offering shoes in size nine, and although this is the average size of an American woman, you can not expect those with larger feet, smaller feet and even wider feet to fit into this one size of shoe. Now because there is only one size shoe many people would be discouraged to buy shoes when they desperately need shoes. With all this stress around shoes many will be forced to go barefoot for the rest of their life. This shoe tale may sound illogical and wacky, but it is the story of people around the nation sacred and intimidated at the very idea of college. College is a one-side option aimed and meant for only a small percentage of people, with it’s one way learning systems and unfair, one minded expectations of students. We all aware of the common ideology of college being the only road to a life worth any meaning. Nowadays it seems many employers will scratch your name off the list at the simple mention of the absence of a college degree. How  has the American Educational system decayed into this one idea of the perfect road that they expect fits all no matter one’s needs. The way our educational system works now could be summed up in one simple analogy. Say you have a store only offering shoes in size nine, and although this is the average size of an American woman, you can not expect those with larger feet, smaller feet and even wider feet to fit into this one size of shoe. Now because there is only one size shoe many people would be discouraged to buy shoes when they desperately need shoes. With all this stress around shoes many will be forced to go barefoot for the rest of their life. This shoe tale may sound illogical and wacky, but it is the story of people around the nation sacred and intimidated at the very idea of college. College is a one-side option aimed and meant for only a small percentage of people, with it’s one way learning systems and unfair, one minded expectations of students. Many flaws can be found in our educational system, some include the college courses are only aimed at the average intelligence level of college students,many high school graduates don’t feel ready for college and college can have negative results on a student's mental health. Although college is great for many, the education system can not continue this “one size fits all” mindset and the US must begin to work out the flaws in the system .


Colleges’ watered down version of challenging topics causes students with higher IQ’s to feel bored unstimulated in class. According to a past article by “The Daily Press”, a whopping 46 percent of college freshmen do not feel challenged  in their current courses (Castro).


These finding clearly demonstrate the lack of challenge college students face. If 46% of students don’t feel challenged, why is it not a priority to ensure students receive even a small amount of difficulty in college courses that they themselves pay for? Having 46% percent of students not feeling challenged is simply ridiculous and a waste of both the student’s and the professor’s time.  The Washington Post quoted findings from the NSSE. These findings found, “...The lack of challenge in many college courses may stunt learning in a significant way. Students who said they were highly challenged by their courses “were more likely to engage in a variety of effective educational practices” (Mathews). This evidence displays factual proof of the risks of not challenging students. When not challenged students run the risk of losing academic growth and halting future learning. The second part of the provided evidence clearly tells of how students who felt challenged were more likely to participate in extra activities, whether this evidence is qualitative or causative we can all agree having more students participate in extra curricula activities would be a positive result of challenging more students in addition to helping the minds of students grow.  
The majority of high school students do not feel prepared to pursue a secondary form of education. An article by the Market Watch  was home to these findings, “ A majority of first-year college students in the U.S. (60%) feel emotionally unprepared for college, and these students are more likely to report poor academic performance, regularly consume drugs or alcohol and rate their overall college experience as terrible” (Fottrell).  This shocking statistic is a true look at why college may not be the best for all. If over half of high school students do not feel ready for college, why does society still push college as the perfect utopia for all? American students must be seen as individuals with basic mental needs, pushing college will only cause further emotional damage and harm. One may be able to realize from this quote, maybe teenage years, a time of emotional instability and general unease, is not the best time to make a life altering decision. Recent findings from U.S News found students are not ready for college level math and reading. These studies found only 37% of students were academically ready for college reading and math (Camera). Displayed in this evidence one can witness the US education status  letting many students fall and fail. High schools are not holding high enough standards for students thus resulting in lower test scores and overall poor performance in life. We can not expect these lacking high school students to suddenly be able to read and understand shakespeare all while completing the hydraulic equation. Many college students are not ready for the higher level thinking college requires. A recent statistic published on Slate brought  to light, “only 8 percent of recent graduates have taken a “foundational set of courses they’d need to be both college- and career-ready” (Moser). The presented fact clearly brings light to the fact not all high school students are ready for college. Many high schools offer college prep courses, however many students do not take these courses because they are “Too Hard”. By not taking these courses students are shooting themselves in the foot and are regressing to a state of laziness with little motivation. We must look at the fact many high school students are not academically ready because of choices they make based on their squirrely emotions and lack of motivation.  In conclusion, many high school students are not ready emotionally for the heartships of college and living on their own. As well the majority of students are not ready for college academically.


Pressure brought on by college courses, can cause severe mental illnesses that can last a lifetime in students. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness,  “75% of all mental health conditions begin by age 24...That’s why the college years are so critical ” (“Starting the Conversation”). Here we can see Mental illness is considered  taboo in modern day culture, negative stereotypes swarm the vary word. With all the shame surrounding Mental illness, many college students allow their feelings and emotions bury and fester inside their soul turning into depression and anxiety. Stated in the presented quote young adulthood  is a difficult time and is critical time, and for some the flawed college system may be the wrong choice. Stated in a U.S.A Today article from 2016, “One in every 12 U.S. college students makes a suicide plan, according to National Data on Campus Suicide and Depression” (Sabatke).Here it can be seen young adulthood is already a stressful time, however when you add the due date of this literature paper, Kevin’s party on Friday night the fact you’re out of ramen, on top of the constant pressure your parents place on you, a stressful situation is placed in the making, leading to further consequences.The constant pressure and strain leads many emotionally unstable college students to the brink of ending it all. This once again proves college is not for all, for some it could be the end.In an interview with the American Psychological Association, Nicole Stearman shared her personal experience of having a panic attack on campus. She had this to say about the lack of counselors on her campus, "I can't really time my panic attacks to hit only on weekdays during the center's 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. counselor walk-in hours"  (Novotney). Spearman's quote raise a good point, many students would not have access to counseling faculties and would not be able to receive much needed treatment. This would lead to further digressions to one’s mental health and could create deadly issues and thoughts. To conclude college is a possible source of mental distress and could lead to suicidal thought or at worst actions.


Some may argue college is a life enriching experience that offers students memories and skills to last a lifetime overweighing the flaws in educational systems. However when we look closer at the college system today we can see the inefficiency of today's college system. Many college students reported not feeling college was worth the money. A survey done by Pew Research center found, “..Only 40 percent of Americans felt that colleges provided an "excellent" or "good" value for the money” (Rotherham). The evidence clearly displays less than half of students felt college was worth the investment, this leaves sixty percent, the majority, feeling unsatisfied by the education system. Forced by the societal idea of college is necessary for everyone, these individuals flushed money down the drain for a mediocre version of education. Some go as far to claim a college degree will ensure a perfect well paying job, however evidence  found in the past article entitled “Why college Isn’t (And Shouldn’t Be ) For Everyone” by the Huffington Post stated , “Last year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 46 percent of recent college graduates were in jobs that don’t even require a college degree” (Reich). This evidence proves this claim to be absurd. Many college graduates are not using their degree in  their occupation, once again proving this claim wrong. Many argue a college degree in the only answer to avoid a life time of flipping burgers for minimal pay. However in a Time article, author Rotherham brought up this point,” These days, it's Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Microsoft's Bill Gates, or Apple's Steve Jobs — all college dropouts — who are held up as evidence of why all that time sitting in class is better spent elsewhere” (Rotherham). This statement brings a clear extravagant exception to this belief, giving examples of creators of billion dollar companies all of whom have dropped out of college. This statement clearly brings the common misconception of college being the only road to success to shame.


In conclusion, college is wasting the time of gifted minded individuals with dumb downed concepts and ideas.  Many high school students do not feel ready for college due to lack of guidance and support from American high schools.Finally, college can be a devastating factor to a student’s mental health. All in all, college may be great for some, however for the majority the broken flawed system is only causing great harm to the potential of American Youth.






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