College Preparedness Essay

1812 Words 8 Pages
People choose to go to college for a myriad of reasons. Some attend college because of the expectations of their parents or society. Others go to college because of the increased earning potential that a college education can provide. Still others decide to go to college to expand their knowledge in an area of particular interest. William Cory, a 19th Century English schoolmaster said, “You go to school not for knowledge so much as for arts and habits.” The arts and habits that Cory proposes that students are pursuing are certainly things that a student might learn in college. However, I don’t think that many people enter college with a goal of achieving the “mental courage and mental soberness” that Cory proposes. Colleges, on the …show more content…
Some people might not appreciate these requirements at the time, but may find an interest in a subject they never would have explored had it not been an educational requirement. College students are also required to take classes that teach them to write research papers. The process of researching and writing these papers can teach students new habits. Among these are what Cory calls, “assuming . . . a new intellectual posture” and “regarding minute points of accuracy.” However, it would be a mistake to believe that a college is the only place one could acquire these habits and “self-knowledge.”
If Cory is correct that students go to a great school to learn “the habit of working out what is possible in a given time, for taste, for discrimination,” then one could conclude that those who haven’t gone to college lack those traits. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, 39% of students enrolled in colleges in 1999 were twenty-five years or older. (NCES, 1) This would seem to indicate that many people are delaying their education for various reasons. Some go directly to the work force after high school for financial reasons. Others might join the military or choose to explore the world around them before going to college. There are also some students who may feel they are not cut out for college because of poor grades in high
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