Mum and dad have always been absolutely adamant that I would be going to University. There have never been a point in time when they’ve said “let the lad go to trade school or take a job after his A-levels”. They have always insisted, to the point where I think they would disown me, that I should go.

But that doesn’t mean that everyone thinks so. Case in point, a character that I encountered on one of the forums that I frequent when I want to talk shop about writing. He was full of certainty that you didn’t need to go anywhere, and that people did just as well – if not better! – without seeing the inside of a higher learning institution.

This fellow even took pride in that, and took pride in the fact that he hadn’t studied ‘useless degrees that only gave you student debt and an arrogant mind’. I encounter this attitude now and then; that university only serves to bolster an ignorant academia that knows nothing of the real world. Is it a true state of affairs?

To me, it seem like a Don Quixote charge against the windmills of a state that only exist in people’s minds. A bit of cognitive dissonance that make them rationalise that they never went. Sort of like people who were beaten as children rationalise corporal punishment with “didn’t do me any harm did it?”. The same is true with people like this fellow who states that “I learned in the real world, not in some ivory tower”.

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