What We Didn’t Learn

If you ever care to watch the morning news,

Or to read up on those studies scientists like to do,

You’ll see that more people than in the past,

Are getting their college degrees in mass.

You’ll hear the benefits of such a degree,

From those smiling, educated faces on TV.

But of the turmoil of that degree, the public is left in the dark

And on that journey, many ignorantly embark.

College is meant to make us better people,

With campuses full of buildings, beauty, and captivating steeples.

But the sacrifices for a degree are not found in any pamphlet

They are far darker than any I have met.

You have to get a degree, they say

So that you can have your life your way.

Well, if panic attacks and lack of sleep were what I wished for,

 Perhaps I would have gone through a cheaper door.

We sell our identities to become one tiny letter

Which define our skills and classify us as “better.”

One letter becomes a number from one to four.

We all fight for that one hundredth of a point more.

Yes, we gain more knowledge of subjects and skills,

But what are we willing to sacrifice to pay that bill?

We fill our minds with textual information

Then sacrifice any other type of inspiration.

We live in debt for the rest of our lives

To pay for a paper that saves us from financial demise.

 We learn of the ways of social interaction

As we hide away in a library contraption.

We learn business skills to interact with others

Then savagely steal a table to study when there are no others.

We are told to take arts to make us rounded,

But we spend too much time studying to see anything astounding.  

During test week, everything becomes a free for all.

“It’s not addiction,” she says as she pops her seventh Adderall.

We turn to coffee to fight off much needed sleep

Wasting time to sleep makes us weak.

Schooling was once used to feed our families with a better vocation,

But now we sacrifice family time and meals in the name of education.

“Procrastination” is doing anything that isn’t school work,

When we try to have fun, the homework starts to lurk.

We look online to find the summary of a book,

Because with our 5 page paper and test, we didn’t have time to look.

School is no longer about seeking out knowledge

 It’s just about saying we made it through college.

Four years, maybe more, of suffering, torment, and pain,

All for a job from which we one day hope to gain.

A shiny paper and smiling face are the results people see,

But how do I show the stress and anxiety?

No one ever said college would be easy,

No one ever made it seem breezy.

But college is no longer about learning skills to thrive.

It’s about how much you can go without and still survive.

We sacrifice our happiness, our compassion, and our care for our self,

To gain a paper that we frame and put on our shelf.

We sacrifice free time, sleep, and food,

Even if we end up in a delirious mood.

College was intended to teach us more than how to get an occupation.

It was to teach us how to be humans seeking global participation.

I would hate to see what the world would come to,

If no one could help because they had homework to do.

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