We Don’t Need No Liberal Studies!

I hear so many people complain about liberal studies. They act like someone came up with this list of required courses just to ruin two years of their lives. “Why do we have to learn this?” “What’s the point?” “I’m never going to use this in my career.” The litany of complaints could go on for pages, but I personally find it so annoying I think I’ll spare us all the pain. Come on people! The bottom line is actually pretty simple: you want a college degree, and this is what you have to do to get it. If you don’t want a college degree, you can skip the courses. Go get an associates degree at a community college. It’s a lot cheaper. Otherwise, suck it up and act like an adult. You wouldn’t complain to your future boss this way, would you? “Oh, but sir, I don’t WANT to work on this project! This is stupid busy work that someone WITHOUT a college degree should be doing!” If you really want to get fired, that attitude is one of the quickest ways to go about it. Learn to put up with the rules, even if you don’t agree with them, and you’ll be a step ahead of everyone else. Don’t get me wrong. I also think we could do without some of the more annoying liberal study courses. But I’m also humble enough to realize that I don’t know everything about everything, at least not yet. Yeah, I’m smart enough to get into college. Hey, I’m even smart enough to get into Western! But that doesn’t mean I know exactly what I need to be learning. Maybe I will end up using all of these courses at some point in my career after all. In fact, that’s actually pretty likely. Because despite my best efforts, I don’t think I’ll be perfectly happy with my first job. I’ll find out something about my chosen profession that I’ll really wish someone had told me before I spent four years dreaming and planning and preparing for it. But that’s the way life goes. You never get all the information you’d really like to have before you absolutely have to make a decision. Sometimes you luck out and make a good one, but usually you’ll regret missing that one little tiny factoid that would have made you go in another direction. And since I’ll probably have jobs in a number of fields over the course of my life (I think the average American is now up to 5 different fields), liberal studies probably will come in handy. Yeah, I won’t need to know English composition to design a new kind of car stereo, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a basic understanding of it when I have to write the instruction manual. For anyone who’s read stereo instructions, you know what I’m talking about. So do yourself a favor. Quit griping. It’s childish, it will get you fired, and you probably will find a use for all of these skills at some point. If you don’t see a use for them right now, so what? Do you really believe you know everything? Because if you do, I have to wonder why you’re even bothering with college. Go out into the world, get a job, do some open heart surgery. If you aren’t confident enough to do that without college behind you, then I don’t want to hear any more about what a waste of time the liberal studies requirements are.