Do you ever wonder why new applicants, fresh from college, all have the same cookie cutter mediocrity? So often people fresh out of college lack insight, passion and creativity. I’ve sat in many an interview, and when dealing with someone from college, they all seem the same. Like clones of each other, they give you the bare minimum of knowledge you expect them to know. When hired they struggle to work with the team in coming up with fresh ideas. Rigid in their learning, they often lack the ability to do things differently then they were taught.

A friend of mine was recently talking to me about their experiences going back to college. It was equally fascinating as it was disheartening. It became abundantly clear why colleges fail to produce good candidates today.

Time and time again, different professors had graded my friend’s work. Whenever he put passion into his writing they came back with rude or odd comments. He showed me the work of his peers and it was shocking. Almost every student sounded the same. The professor had drilled them into specifics, to the point of no longer being individuals. Every essay had to be no more and no less than 4 pages. Each essay could only reference specific authors… on and on it went until it was soul crushing to see the end results.

When I was in college, it wasn’t this way, uniqueness and passion counted. Why would college professors want their students to be cookie cutter copies of each other?

The only answer I can come up with, is laziness. If everyone is a copy of each other, than grading the work is simple. There’s less effort on the part of the staff to read and grade a research paper, as they should all be similar.

Sad as it is, this is what college is producing, and college today is considerably more expensive than it was when I was a student (in the 90’s). Even with adjusting for inflation, the price of college today is 3x more expensive than it was in the 90’s.

In the end, if you go to college, you’ll pay more for far less. If you follow and obey the restrictions put upon you as a student, you’ll end up a copy of a copy of a copy. Originality will be squashed and what’s produced is a good office worker.

You can retain your individuality, but it will be a struggle. You’ll have to put on the mask of conformity, and secretly be clever enough to prepare for the real world.

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