I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what college will look like when Lucy is ready to graduate high school. It fascinates me, because considering that she’s only fourteen months old as I write this, I only know it will look nothing like it does right now.
Degrees earned online used to be the domain of people looking for a promotion or a new career and already juggling a job and family. But now I’m seeing commercials of college-aged students talking about taking classes online. iTunes U is filled with audio downloads of educational courses from some of the most highly regarded institutions of higher learning. And increasingly, degrees from traditional universities are becoming worth less while costing more than ever.
When I was in college, email was just coming on the scene. Dial-up was the norm. And my walks to class were accompanied by a Walkman, because iPods hadn’t been invented yet.
This was only ten years ago.
Things are changing fast, and the rate of change is getting ever faster.
What will college look like in 18 years? The experts barely have a clue what next year will bring, let alone five years from now.
Eighteen years from now is completely up for grabs. It’s very possible that college as we know it — the kind with heavy textbooks, ivy-lined brick walls, and ginormous tuitions — will no longer exist. Seth Godin has effectively proven that the benefits of an MBA can be achieved –and exceeded — without going $100,000 into debt.
It seems to me that now, more than ever, we need to embrace a childlike spirit in order to navigate future that awaits us. You can succumb to Adultitis, get all curmudgeony, and resist the changes, wishing for things to stay the same, or worse yet, expecting that they will. Or you can tap into the open-minded spirit of childhood to curiously ask new questions, create new paths, and see the changes that are coming as an opportunity for a great adventure.
You’ve been warned: Stay shackled by Adultitis, and you’ll be left behind.
The future belongs to the childlike.
Like this article? Cool. Make sure you’re subscribing to our RSS feed so you won’t miss out on any future installments of similarly inspiring prose. And stuff.
Lisa Braithwaite says
Haha — I was just reading an article in my college magazine about how they’re going to stop automatically assigning room extensions to every student for the use of a landline, because the majority of them have cell phones. All I could think was “Extension? LUCKY!” When I was in college, there was one phone out in the hallway that we all had to share. Okay, I graduated from college 23 years ago, but still. Seems like the dark ages. I can’t imagine what it will be like when today’s little ones start.
I have a feeling they’ll wonder what in the heck a “dorm room” is…