Tuesday, July 05, 2005

College Part II

What to major in? Here's where people's arrogance shows. You will find a lot of elitism when people answer this question. But what I say goes against a lot of them. I say go to college in something you want to learn. Don't go in thinking about how much money you'll make. Go in with the intention of learning.

If you really want to make a lot of money, go to a trade school. Some of these trade schools have job placement programs and most of the teachers know people and if they like you, they'll hook you up.

If you decide to go to college, take at least one speech class. I took three. Take speech because it forces you to confront public speaking. I've had several situations where I had to do roundtable interviews and a good speech teacher will teach you how to relax and look cool in a situation like that.

Take at least one creative writing course. See if you could find out in advance which are good teachers and which are bad. I've had both. I've had one creative writing teacher who was so out of touch with modern styles that she held it against you if you used profanity in your writing. Imagine what she would have done for Quentin Tarantino's scripts.

Learn the scientific method. You should know how a scientist thinks. It's actually quite simple. You make a statement and try to prove it, basing it on previous studies and the work you do to show it's repeatable.

Learn basic economics or accounting. This is one big regret I had is I took neither. You might find yourself suddenly making huge globs of money and if you don't have an economic plan, you'd do what I did and go through it all.

That said, study what you want to study. I've always found a well-rounded education will be better off than a specialized one because you don't want to be specialized. If you're too specialized, you risk becoming obsolete.


Blogger tshsmom said...

GREAT advice ZS!! These days you can start college in a field begging for workers, but by the time you graduate, everthing has changed.

7/05/2005 12:34 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Absolutely. I don't know how many times I've run across student surveys where business students (for example) complain about how they had to take philosophy.

My mom even gave me crap for minoring in religious studies. "why don't you do something useful, like business"... uh, cuz it sucks?

Also, if you enjoy your classes, you do better. Knowledge of any kind is something nobody can take away from you.

7/05/2005 1:48 PM  
Blogger Notta Wallflower said...

I totally agree. I also thought that my stats class was helpful because I use them frequently. I failed economics, but I had a piss poor professor. I wish I'd learned about it though because I'm horrid with finances. I think that the basic 2 year degree makes sense because you are required to take classes that help you build a base and be basically "well rounded". Anyway, I don't think college is for everyone and I'm glad that there are other vocational programs and such.

7/05/2005 2:10 PM  
Blogger Kunaxa said...

College was stressful as it is.

Other than my (required) courses and required electives, I found myself having to just get by to avoid ending up in the nutty-house. I slept for a total of 6 hours in 4 years, so I'm not ashamed to admit that I took "Personal Health". (A class that is FULL of football players and other athletes raising their GPAs).

I did learn that it is indeed important to brush your teeth twice a day.


7/06/2005 10:10 PM  
Blogger Kunaxa said...

Oh and also how to correctly put on a condom.

They had props and stuff.

7/06/2005 10:11 PM  
Blogger savage said...

"you risk becoming obsolete" ... like us, huh, ZS?
For scientific method, and philosophy in general, read Persig's 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' ... it is a popularizing work, a la Hawking's 'Brief History of Time' ... readable, that is.
Ernst Cassierer; Ayn Rand (I'm not talking about her fiction -- avoid it too, though, Anthem is at least readable); Susanne Langer ... I don't know if it's must me, but I couldn't read these people. It was like I'd read a paragraph and go: "eh?" or "what the fuck?" then I'd have to re-read it. I'd have to read each sentence and write in the margin (or in a notebook) what it meant. Maybe I'm just a moron, but I don't think people should be allowed to publish books as inaccessable as those.

7/10/2005 1:03 PM  

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