I've been thinking a lot about this as around senior year of collage, I have felt that I've been wasting my time with every moment spent in class. What I don't understand is why people feel it is acceptable to say "If you don't finish X task, then you are not as good."
The trick was that when I started working in a lab or on startup ideas, I get the same dopamine rush that was spoken of in a previous. Working on classes that I could learn on my own time, destroying my happiness and health, when there is real good I could do in the world doesn't make sense from a utilitarian point of view; yet society functions on a credentialing system (as pg spoke of in one of his essays).
Many people give the same advice: work from within the system, if you pay your dues, more doors will be open. It is insanely frustrating, and pointlessly wasteful. What would make more sense is saying that if you want to work in a given area, you need to have X experience or a certification.
After a certain point, college (undergrad anyway) is just a grind that produces nothing useful. Lip service is paid to learning and then they grade you. Sometimes this makes sense and they are a fair representation of your knowledge, other times they are a random disconnected sampling. In certain classes, grading may make sense, but it reduces learning by encouraging certain kinds of depth first thinking.
What we need to do is break out of this acceptance of how things are done. For instance, if college is a credentialing process, then why are you required to take a class in order to gain a credential? If you get a C in a class, why should you be required to take it again (with all the work that entails) rather than just retesting? Some classes require attendance. Should not all the materials be provided so that you can learn on your own? This is not always the case.
If college is a holistic learning program, we should not be grading students or grade them in a way that does not expose them to hardship later ( e.g. by never revealing them to the outside world ). In my case, I know I would more thoroughly if I wasn't facing constant deadline pressure. Perhaps we could have a situation that is more you either present some results of your research or are given an oral examination that requires quick thinking.
College could be far more fun than it is, and far more educational. As it exists, it is a tedious compromise between an education and a certification. As a society, we need to figure out what we really want, because we are most certainly doing it wrong (whether my solutions are correct or not) at every level (I could recite what I learned about graduate school, but I have gone on long enough).
Can you remove the <pre> tag on your post, it's breaking the entire page.
It's not a <pre> tag, it's an automatic format that HN applies to indented text. That's why indenting is not the preferred way to show quoted text. I use quotation marks to show text quoted from a submitted article, and the HN convention of an asterisk immediately before and after a block of text quoted from the parent comment (as above, here) to show text quoted from a comment.