Thursday, January 08, 2015

Why My Best Days are Ahead of Me

My son wrote this essay for his High School English class. I am so proud of him!

Why My Best Days are Ahead of Me 
by Josh Elenburg

I was asked to write a paper on this topic for a college scholarship contest when I have a military career in mind. I took 3 years of AFJ ROTC to further my military plans, and I do not plan to go to college. My favorite class in school is construction. I know math and English are important. I do my best in those classes, but I have no desire to sit in a classroom for four more years and go into debt for a college degree like 2/3 of the kids in this school. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 65.9 percent of 2013 high school graduates enrolled in college. This means the other 1/3 of the kids are like me. We are the kids that aren't going to college.

While I really do believe that my best days are ahead of me, I have concerns about Wylie High School helping a large minority of our students find their best days. I’m talking about the 1/3 of us that aren’t going to college. We are not going to college, and we feel like second class citizens because it seems all Wylie High School cares about are the kids who go to college. I have nothing against college. My dad went to college. He has a degree in physics. Education is great, but the idea that everyone should go to college for an education is dumb. I think that all the students in Wylie High School should all spend one class period and have someone from a technical school or military branch educate the students on options other than college. This only happens for us kids in the construction and welding classes like those options are only good for kids who are not in the majority.

The world is full of college educated fools who are in debt and can't find a decent paying job because their college degree is worthless in the real world. I am going into the military to make a difference in this world, and I don't need college to do that. My mom didn't go to college and she is smarter than most people I know who did go to college. She takes care of my 86 year old great-grandfather, and she is making a difference in his world. She also went to a beauty school which gave her a real skill that she used to make real money without being in debt forever.

We need firemen and policemen and soldiers and welders and car mechanics and all sorts of people in this world who do not need a college education to make a difference. Making someone feel inferior because they are not going to college is wrong, and that is what happens a lot at Wylie High School. I resent the fact that teachers and principals in the school cater to the majority while preaching diversity and tolerance for minorities. It's hypocrisy. Having separate assignments for kids that are planning to go to college and those who aren’t is segregation. I thought that was outlawed a long time ago. Why can’t we just be taught how to read and write as a useful skill in English and do this in unity rather than creating a division between kids who are making different life choices? Why make a big deal about a college scholarship and then make me feel bad by having an “alternative” writing assignment later for the non-college kids? I really want to know.

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