I think the fundamental change I would like to make to higher education is to let people know that there are other options. And to make those other options viable as careers. If students genuinely want to learn a topic, then they should go to college to get more knowledge.
I’m not saying that college should go back to being the class-based, elitist system of the past, where only the wealthy could afford the time and money to attend. College shouldn’t be yet another part of the rat race. Parents fight to send their kids to the “best” preschools, then elementary schools, middle schools, high schools…all this pressure builds and builds over time and instead of worrying about actually knowing things, we worry about getting gold stars and maintaining a grade point average. And I hate that.
The moments where school is actually fun, when I lose myself in contributing in class and interacting with my peers and professors…that’s what higher education should be ABOUT. I don’t know how to get there. I don’t think that any of us do. But I would love to try, as a student and as a future faculty member, to remember higher education should be striving for those golden moments.