You Are A Product Of A Textbook

You Are A Product Of A Textbook
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You can’t compare apples to oranges, but you can compare people to people – especially generations to generations. The generational gap between X and Y is the largest chasm in the history of mankind. Our parents will never understand what the hell YOLO is or why Diplo makes their daughters twerk.

When you look at the success of the previous generation and the success of the current, you will see that you can’t even compare the two. The previous generation was innovative, they worked their asses off and they created everything for us now that we have at our disposal — like the internet, touchscreen cellphones and durable condoms. They did so by using their street smarts, their hustle and taking opportunities and turning them into reality.

Our world today has a huge issue. It has turned youth and society into robots, and essentially products of textbooks. Sure book smarts are necessary, and basic knowledge is needed for life: how to read, write and do math — but our school system has taken it to extreme levels. Judging students on how well they can memorize, cram and take Adderall isn’t a rubric for success.

When we were younger, we were all promised a lie that if we stay married to our textbooks, learn what is inside of them, get good grades, go to a good college, we will end up living a easy life: the American dream. Throughout the process, we have our creativity stripped away from us — and this is why we all hated school, and still do now. Because we don’t study what we find interest in, but are rather told what to study and forcefully implement in our brains for just a few hours.

This has left us all screwed. We’ve all become book smart, or temporarily so, because we just didn’t give a f*ck and kept cramming and cheating on every test. It has left us with no creativity, no mind to think for ourselves and has made us stupidly believe that we should always refer to textbooks for answers. It has left us inexperienced and, worst of all, it has left us completely clueless to the real world.

It is truly sad to see college graduates who spent a lot of money and took out a lot of loans who can’t get jobs because they are unqualified, they don’t know how to answer résumé questions and don’t have anything special about them to edge them over someone else — because they are a product of a textbook. They are robots, they do as they are told and that has left many in this generation unable to think for themselves.

Essentially the schooling system that we all grew up in has f*cked us over in the worst way possible. Being book smart doesn’t get you too far in life and your 3.0 GPA, that you needed Adderall to achieve, will not make you stand out from the crowd, because being someone with no experience and a degree (being able to pass a bullshit exam drunk) is nothing special in the world today.

I think many people are unaware of how competitive the real world really is outside of the bubbles they have constructed around their minds. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and at the end of the day, all that people care about is themselves.

No one is going to help you or extend their hands out for you just because they feel bad. You’re just like everyone else. You have nothing special to offer this world, you have no creativity, you’re not innovative, you aren’t that smart and being an office bitch for one summer at a firm doesn’t make you experienced.

The world has shaped us to be book smart and has taken away our street smarts. What they don’t understand is that you need both of these kinds of knowledge for today’s modern business world; you need to have the hustle as well as some sort of foundational aptitude in your respective industry.

If you look at some of the most successful people from around the world, you will see that they didn’t get there because they were smart, but because they hustled and perfected their skill to get there.

That is the issue with our school system. It tries to make us products of something we are not. It makes us take bullshit classes and calls them prerequisites, like dance or African studies. Throughout the course of my college career, there were only two classes that I found interesting: one was a leadership course, the other was a entrepreneurship course. If I were allowed to take more of these types of classes, I would have actually paid attention, but because I was forced to take classes that have no impact on me – I just cheated my way through.

What we need to realize is that school is not the answer — it never was and it will never be. It is a business, and it is simply looking to make money: from tuition, to housing, to being forced to buy 400 dollar text books that we don’t even open once throughout the course of the semester. The system is flawed, it has pigeonholed a whole generation into believing it is the right thing to do for a secure life, but it actually f*cks you over more than anything else.

I hate to break it to you: your degree means nothing. You are just like every other college student in the world, and just because you feel entitled to a job, doesn’t mean you are going to get one. You have to find a way to stand out in this world, having a degree like everyone else won’t do it, being a product of a textbook won’t do it either.

School has managed to neglect teaching us the most important lesson of life, and that is experience, because without that — we are essentially nothing. We were raised in a bubble only to be left to figure it out on our own, which is why so many people leave college feeling more lost than when they walked in.

Preston Waters | Elite. 

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Preston Waters

Preston Waters is a thinker. He's not your traditional philosophical persona, however, as he leaves no topic untouched. Covering all the bases, from business to women, Preston Waters is the ultimate man's man for Gen-Y.

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