COMMENTARY: One way in, one way out

Daymond Walton

After elementary it’s middle school, then high school and … college. Is this the only road or are there alternatives? How many students feel as if they are slowly moving up a line they don’t want to be in?

From biased standardized testing implemented as a benchmark for diverse groups of individuals to public universities with never-ending prerequisites, there’s constant pressure to choose a path of life shortly after high school graduation. What should you do? What should you think?

I suspect many students share my mindset of the urgent decision-making this world expects you to make at such a young age about life before you’re of legal age to live it.

How about traveling or experiencing different regions of the country to broaden your horizons and gain tolerance of things you have little knowledge of?

Does this growth have to take place in a classroom with a book in your hand and at a price that will either put you in debt or put a financial strain on your entire family? Is one student better than another because their lessons originated from a four-year institution and not a vocational school, technical school, military branch, or even in the work force where you can learn from someone in the field you aspire to reach?

If most had their choice they would live their life doing what they want to do. Since this is the real world, we cannot always do that, but how far from our wants should we stray? How much control do everyday students have over their destiny?

Adults tell us constantly that we are young and should live to the fullest and take advantage of all we can. Yet we are pressured and passed from one institution to another that sinks their teeth into us with financial aid, admission deadlines and more testing requirements with every day that passes.

Should you be frowned upon for taking a semester off and doing what you want? Or are we all so wired into this system of robotic progression that our own wants are written off as foolish, irresponsible and pointless?

Are we living life while listening to our wants and desires? Or slowly dying as students against our will, moving too fast to realize what path we want to take in what we consider due time?

These are just a few questions to assess where we are as students everywhere in the country.

This commentary doesn’t necessarily represent the views of the Herald or the university.