Just in time for graduation season, Robert Greene, the author behind such famous titles as The 48 Laws of Power and The 33 Strategies of War, has provided insightful advice for newly decorated alumni on where exactly all their years of schooling can best be put to use: the garbage.
In an exclusive interview with Elite Daily, the man who famously collaborated with 50 cent to write The 50th Law, a New York Times hit, offered a raw and candid perspective on the significance of the collegiate education, as he explained why, in his opinion, it isn't the be-all, end-all for the majority of students.
“You're not going to become a robotics engineer, for instance, unless you've gone through a university,” Greene said. “That's the only path available. But for most of us, that's not how it works out.
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The suggestion that the university experience isn't necessary may make his opinions on the educational system seem modest, but Greene was merely heating up on his way to launching fiery criticisms towards learning institutions everywhere.
The Los Angeles native didn't spare high schools either, by the way, as he pointed out the problems with all levels of education before going on to say what many students may already feel: a good amount of what they learn is useless.
For those people, Greene offers his sympathy.
“They could be naturally good at something, whatever that might be, but they're not getting it at their schools,” said the best-selling author. “…They're having to learn all these other things that don't mesh with who they are, so they come to hate learning itself, which is a great tragedy.”
“I think the education system is mostly a negative, in that sense”
Despite his generalization of (presumably the U.S.') education system and the fact that he may just flipped some people's worlds upside down, Greene's opinions about schooling aren't all negative.
He does, after all, concede that the fact that students have gotten to learn about “history, novels… and stuff,” is a good thing.
The author's main gripe, though, is simply what he perceives to be a lack of preparation with which graduates are thrown out into the “real world,” which he makes very clear as he points out everything they haven't learned.
“It's a completely different environment out there,” Greene said. “You didn't learn how to deal with people, you didn't learn how to deal with political situations, you didn't learn how to practice a real life skill.”
Consider the fact that the author, who released his fifth book in November, holds a B.A. in classical studies and that he has worked approximately 80 jobs, and you may begin to see why Greene believes there's little correlation between what you've been taught and what you actually end up doing.
But Greene's interview wasn't just full of criticism, however, as he left one piece of advice for the proud graduates who just completed the best years of their lives.
“Take everything that you've learned in the university, and I say this very nicely, throw it in the garbage can and start your real education, which happens when you go out in the real world.”
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