This month, many young aspiring minds will collect their degrees from educational institutions, certifying their knowledge publicly for the world to recognize, appreciate, and reward. We're adorned with job titles, salaries, opportunities to continue our education further, and the personal feeling of accomplishment after years of studying, turning in work, and being criticized for wrong answers.
It's a little twisted but this is the sad reality of America's educational system. The "factory of knowledge", churns out young teachers, engineers, scholars, and doctors. The factory that continues to crank out minds through the assembly line, even if they're not ready or where they're supposed to be. The steady pace of nine months, one class at a time. 12', 13', 14', 15', then congratulations! You made it! Now what? That's usually the question on the minds of most graduates.
Truth is, the real "secret of success", is to enroll in the university of life: class of one, expected graduation is the year we die. Become a student for life and you no longer will be confined by the limitations of the educational factory. The world is more malleable than most people think, yet very few of us ever dare to test the possibilities, bend the corners, and make an impact.
Thanks to the Internet and its democratization of information (you can now wear the Internet on your face), factual knowledge is losing its prestige. How many friends' phone numbers can you rattle off the top of your head? Not many I'm guessing. They're all pre-programmed, only a touch of a name away. Now you don't even have to touch your phones; you can just casually speak, "Call home". Dialing numbers? Please, that was so 2003.
It's how you leverage this newfound ocean of knowledge that will determine your ability to make magic in this world. As an active member of the student body of the university of life, I'm committed to taking advantage of the extraordinary educational resources and opportunities that surround me. Whether its reading on the train or watching YouTube videos of my personal heroes, the ball has been cherry-bombed back on your side of the court. If you graduated this year congratulations. If you're still in school, even better! If you're out of school (despite your intentions of returning) that's ok too, it's not too late to fill out an application!
There are no test scores required for the university of life. The tuition is free and the acceptance rate is one hundred percent. All you need to do is apply. The classes can be what ever you love, the professors can be whoever inspires you, and the only way you fail is by not showing up (yes this rule still applies). But, hopefully you will never want to skip. It's a hell of a place, the university of life. The longer you're here, the better it gets. Sure it's a long commitment, life. But I know the degree I receive at the end will be infinitely more satisfying, remarkable, valuable, and prestigious than any piece of paper I could collect from a physical educational institution. See you at the reunion.