You Have No ‘Right’ To A College Education
You have no right to a college education.
That’s the take of young conservative blogger Matt Walsh, who frequently contributes to The Blaze. He proudly wears on his sleeve the fact that he never attended college, and that it is a bad idea for anyone without purpose. Recently, he was assailed by a detractor on social media, who had this to say.
“Dear Matt, man to man I think you should stop writing. You aren’t very good at it and all you do is bring negativity to the world. Of all the right wing bloggers on the internet you’re easily the most bigoted and the biggest assh*le but the least talented or intelligent. You’re writing is sophomoric and bigoted. I saw some of your anti-college Tweets today and I know that you’ve always been very anti-education (your lack of education shows in your writing.) You laugh at kids who believe college is a need and a human right but that’s because you have a simplistic uneducated view. These are two facts: *You need college to be successful. *College is unaffordable for most people. Something has to change… Its not fair that I have to go into debt to go to college but I have to go to college to earn a living. This is my freshman year and I’m hoping that by the time I graduate the government will have addressed this problem… Sure we could all be bloggers but some of us want to have a real job and make real money with real careers not “blogging.” I don’t know what career I want but I know I have to go to college first if I want any. Yes I believe college should be free because it is a right. People have a right to an education without right wing f**ks like you standing in the way.”
Walsh responded in his typically snarky but well-thought-out way, avoiding the low-hanging fruit of correcting his attacker’s poor spelling, grammar, and syntax, and opting instead for a discussion on the purpose of college.
He pointed out that only 40 percent of working-age Americans even have a degree, thus negating the argument that a college education is some kind of inherent right. He also made the bold assertion that has everyone either clapping their hands or up in arms: You don’t have the right to a college education.
“Are we talking just undergrad?” Walsh sarcastically asked. “If you have a ‘right’ to four years of additional formal education after 12 years of grade school education, why not six years? Why not eight? Why not 20 total years plus 18 months in the NASA candidate program? Why not a PhD and 10 years apprenticing under an acclaimed botanist in South America? Why sell yourself so short?”
He continued, stating that the “right” to something “just because you really, really want it and it would be super convenient if you had it” was “not how it [a human right] works.”
“A human right is something which is inherent to you by your very nature. A human right is something you can, in some sense, claim ownership of or dominion over. A human right is something that is essential to your dignity as a man.
“You have a right to be secure in your home, as guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment, because your home is your dominion.
“You have a right to express your beliefs and observe your faith (First Amendment) because that is inherent to your humanity.
“You have a right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment (Eighth) because such injustices would violate your human dignity.
“However, spending 48 months partying and occasionally studying at Boozy University is not a privilege inherent to your humanity, nor is it something you own, nor can you rationally claim that your dignity has been defiled if you’re forced to get a job at Home Depot and live in a studio apartment for a few years right out of high school, like the rest of us had to do. It might not be glamorous, but it’s far more dignified than half of what happens on college campuses these days.”
While one can agree or disagree with Matt Walsh on his personal views, he makes a good, clear point with the ongoing struggle that students face with skyrocketing tuition fees and anemic job opportunities. Going to college just because that is what everyone is doing is probably the worst possible idea you can come up with.
Enrolling in college before you have taken the time to explore your passions and interests and the possibilities of just what is out there that might speak to those two things, is an equally inept thing to do. College does not define what it is that makes you, you. That is something you are supposed to figure out long before you begin.
You don’t have to have everything figured out before going to college, but you do need a clear idea of the pathways you wish to pursue, and, more importantly, a justifiable reason for pursuing them.
As Walsh states, there are two basic degrees from a college or university — the kind that is essential to the function of a job (engineers, doctors, lawyers, etc.) and the kind that is artificially required (basically any career path based on your ability to actually do the job).
In the latter instance, computer science comes to mind as a primary example. While you may be able to learn some cool stuff at a college or university, there is often no better teacher than to roll up your sleeves and actually do the work, spending time learning the intricacies of computers and coding and programming languages, etc. If you can prove your viability in this area, then your skills are worth equal to or more than someone who has a formal degree in it.
That doesn’t make the skill set a weak one. In fact, it’s one of the most marketable career fields that there currently is. It just means that you don’t really need college to master or find employment in it. So why take on bloated tuition fees?
You should really give the full piece a read-through if you are a high school student contemplating college. Again, Matt Walsh may not come across as likable to you, and you may disagree with most of his views the more you get to looking around at his past columns, but in this case, he’s absolutely correct. You have to research your life to know if college is even necessary for you.