Thanks to Facebook, I re-entered the lives of some of the members of Seton Hill, Greensburg, Pennsylvania's Class of '67. Among them have been Lee Harrison, Charlotte Toal, and Irene Nunn. Even before "education bubble talk" dominated the national conversation about college, I asked them what they got out of the four years. Most felt they had had a safe place to mature, away from the family nest. At the time, as Americans adopted the value that the more education the better, I felt it was necessary. I couldn't have gone on to be a full-time employee in communications departments at the Fortune 100 without the degree.
Now, of course, it's a different story as more youth decide to be entrepreneurs. Their parents might be shocked when they toss off the idea of getting a college degree. But parents were also shocked when the best and brightest re-considered the long and winding road of getting a law degree and studying to pass the state bar.
What did I get out of college? Probably the most useful experience was being introduced to diversity. At the time the college, now a university, was all-female. Some of the women were relatively well off. They were going to marry lawyers, doctors, and dentists. Some were a mess, including me, and would need years of experimenting with healing programs before they became whole. Then there were those traditional women who had no trouble conforming. They were the amazing ones. Before second semester senior year they had an engagement ring and, as a backup, a teaching certificate. To this day I wonder how they could so easily buy into what was expected of our generation, pre-feminism.