Misleading title alert! This post is inspired by Plantifulsoul,or Claire Michelle, a Youtube and Instagram personality who upon graduating high school, instead of taking up one of her university acceptances, chose to follow her heart to Hawaii and simply live supported by the income from her Youtube videos and digital products, such as Adobe Lightroom presets.
Here’s her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/plantifulsoul/
She is a good storyteller and a good videographer, but I feel that at 20 she is going in the wrong path in some ways. And I wanted to write about this.
Firstly, she seemed convinced that having not learned much from school in the 12 previous years, it would be useless to go to university. This is a terrible assumption but one I cannot blame her for making. I can’t deny elementary and secondary school are often lacklustre uninteresting experiences that amount to not much more than counting time and waiting for the hours to pass until “the end.”
But university, if chosen mindfully, IS NOT THAT WAY. The program of choice should not merely be of interest, but also related to a specific career path the person wants to follow. Does the student plan on being a veterinarian? A teacher? An accountant? Etc. The best way to decide, in my opinion, is to look at what careers our society needs most, and then see which of those meld best with personal interests.
If the student would like to start an entrepreneurial endeavour, then a specialized business degree would serve them well.
The point is, the things you learn in university can lead to you achieving your dreams. Imagine, you could be a plant or animal or marine biologist; you could be a conservationist with impact, a dietetics researcher helping to advance nutrition science in a direction that further expands the knowledge on plant-based foods for humans. The possibilities are endless, the potential for impact is INFINITE. And when done with purpose, an education does not have to include withering away in meaningless (to our purpose) classes.
I speak as someone who has struggled (and not given up) more than anybody I know with the university system. But I still see so much value in it. Value that truly cannot be obtained anyplace else.
I am writing this post at this time because just as other fans of Claire’s have noticed, she doesn’t seem to be as happy. She took a year off after school and discovered herself. That’s absolutely wonderful. She travelled for a little more after that, and wow, that’s amazing too. But I don’t see the point of FOREVER abandoning the education system simply because it is imperfect. It is true tried and tested hypotheses (science!) and logic/analytical skills and good thinking that we can help the societies we are in.
I am not at all trying to say that university is the only path to an education, but that there is value in what’s conventional.
Following the “conventional” life path is not at all about languishing away at a desk job. There are people all over the world working very, very hard at desks to increase animal welfare, to come up with solutions to abolish animal enslavement and murder, to educate people in developing countries who through centuries of outside abuse have been left with nearly nothing, etc. There are people taking their skills and education to do very good things every day, and at a desk. A desk job is not self-safe failure. It’s where you work that determines that! A university education can be invigorating, enriching to you and the whole world depending on what you do with those skills after.