Would Our Children Grow Up More at College or at McDonald’s?

imagesI think that for many of us, college was a growth experience. We had to choose a schedule. Manage our lives to get to class on time. Get along with roommates and classmates. Work at jobs and internships. Pay our bills.

College was a necessary transition point into the “real” world in which all of this and more would be expected of us. It was also something larger: a place to broaden our minds and get the big picture on society. To learn how to judge what was working and what was not. To ask where improvement was needed, and how could we ourselves become part of the solution and not part of the problem?

Wouldn’t it be great to have college graduates across the country who are ready, willing and able to change society for the better? Who have a good sense of themselves as individuals, but who also have the skills needed to lead, and to work as a team? Who are able to tackle issues, and not attack people? Who have the maturity to deal with peoples’ guff and grief, and not make a big deal out of everything? Who have perspective?

Yes, indeed. Men and women like this make good citizens, good employees, and good employers. Good business people. And happy people. And happily married people.

Unfortunately, sometimes the college experience falls short of providing this training. When it does, other institutions can often pick up the slack in the maturation process. Here is a report from one college freshman about how working at McDonald’s helped her grow in ways her college cannot.

Please take a look and tell me what you think.

Feel free to comment, or to contact me directly with a specific question.

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