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Intelligence vs. Education

In being persistently rebellious and possessing an indefatigable impulse to question everything and go against the grain, I decided at the age of 16 that I would drop out of high school. I’ve always liked learning, but I’ve never felt institutional education was necessary. Learning is based on two crucial abilities – comprehension and retention. Whether you’re reading a textbook, watching an instructional video, or listening to an instructor give a lecture – you can only learn if you comprehend the context of the information you’re receiving, and retain that information to memory. Furthermore, institutions of education are not a requisite for learning. There’s virtually nothing a person can’t learn outside a classroom in a modern society. I believe there are fundamental distinctions between being educated and being intelligent that most people don’t innately apprehend. I couldn’t find an adequate definition for the word “education”, so I’ll take the liberty of explaining its meaning in my own words. I’d say that education is the process for the acquisition of knowledge or skills, customarily attained at a school, college, or university. When anyone speaks of an “educated” person, most people generally assume they’re referring to a person with a degree from a college or university. But, technically, anytime you learn something new (be it on your own or from an educator) you’re being educated! Essentially, from a broad perspective, an education is just an accumulation of information. Intelligence, on the other hand, is something absolutely different. Intelligence is the faculty for learning, comprehending, and implementing knowledge and skills in a rational manner (in my own words). Intelligence can’t be taught or learned through instruction, observation, or experience. Intellect is a trait that’s derivative of a person’s natural mental capacity.

I have many theories on life, the world, and all their facets and aspects. I’ve always believed that people are born the person they’re going to be, eternally. For instance, homosexuality is not just a sexual orientation, it’s a lifestyle. People who identify with the opposite sex are born with compulsions to behave like the sex they identify with, and this happens years before they even begin to feel sexual urges. So, anyone who believes sexual orientation is exclusively a choice must not have the mental capacity to fathom the concept of instinctive human behavior. And, in so, that person likely lacks the faculty to be adjudged intelligent. Moreover, a person can be educated on innumerable subjects, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to take heed or effectuate the knowledge they receive through education into making smart decisions on everyday practical matters. Again, you can’t teach or coach someone to be intelligent, the mind wants what it wants. I’ve always been mature, some would say I have an “old soul”. I don’t ever remember not attempting to rationalize every important decision I’ve made in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made some mistakes, but contemplation has always been an integral component in my personal decision-making process. I’d account my habits, tendencies, and disposition to my intelligence. I try to learn something new quotidianly. Intelligence is a state of mind, something that can’t be measured or graded on a scale. Educations are meant for learning particular things. Would you consult a mathematician on matters of psychology? A mastery in one skill doesn’t beget a proficiency in all others! However, intelligence is an eclectic characteristic of individuals with a comprehensive understanding of most things.

A college is an institution of higher learning. A person typically attends college after they complete high school or a high school equivalency education. The highest degree attainable at a college is usually a bachelor’s degree. To obtain a master’s degree or higher, you must attend a graduate school. A university accommodates both undergraduate and graduate students by providing a college and a graduate school in the same place. Of course, a university is also an institution of higher learning. As I mentioned, educational institutions are not a requisite for learning. People can educate themselves! Public libraries offer books to read free of charge. The world wide web is a boundless resource with infinite opportunities for gaining knowledge and information. A degree is just a document, a piece of paper that will cost you years of your life and tens of thousands of dollars. Most people pursue a higher education to procure a degree, with the presumption that the degree will produce the possibility of landing an advantageous career with a high-paying salary. Notwithstanding, the pursuit of financial freedom through the acquirement of a college degree traditionally places people in a tremendous amount of debt. Studies show that the average student loan debt for bachelor’s degree recipients is well over $30k. And, anyone who watches the news has witnessed reports demonstrating how America’s unemployment rate fluctuates dramatically from year to year. Inclusively, stress is the primary cause of depression, and depression influences the abuse of medication and other substances. Substance abuse is one of the leading causes of death in America. It goes without saying that an insufficiency in finances is the predominate cause of stress for majority of Americans. Society would lead us to believe that attending college is the most effective and efficient path to success and living a fulfilling life. I call bullshit, because knowing what I know, the notion of college being beneficial to my well-being is an insult to my intelligence!

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