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Accepted into college? How to stay at home in spirit even if you go to college

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 by: Michael A. Bedar, MA
Tags: college, career, higher education

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(NaturalNews) April is the time of year when aspiring college and university students receive their acceptance letters from admissions departments all across the United States. For most teens who have been accepted into a college, their "Letters of Intent to Enroll" at their chosen school are due at the end of this month.

For some teens, this time is a "rite of passage," as they evaluate, based on where they have been accepted, where they will spend the next 2-4 years of their life, or longer, which can impact their direction for life.

But this rite of passage isn't what it used to be. Economists now openly debate the value of an increasingly expensive college education in a fragile economy, in a way that didn't occur in public a generation ago. Add in some healthy skepticism and a bit of wisdom that is starting to permeate parts of society, and suddenly, for an even moderately "in the know" teen today, the decision to go to college looks very different from how it looked in the past. Adolescents, more than ever, are seeking support in determining which direction at this time is right for them.

The "complex" wants you!

The biotech-military-prison-finance-pharma-industrial complex uses colleges as they use the political system - to achieve their monetarily gainful ends. The goal of "the complex" is the same in politics and academics: to shift opinions in an advantageous direction for them. What "the complex" needs is people to take in, and their ambitions to re-direct. Therefore, it may be advisable:
To know that studying at a college or university is only one type of education, among several (self-education, mentorships, etc).

If you choose to study at a college or university, do so for reasons that make you really want to be there.

The cart does not drive the horse

I personally made the mistake, 17 years ago (which means I have doubled my age since applying to colleges) of thinking that the discoveries being made by academics about nature were unbiased, and that the really good discoveries about nature, made by scientists, actually inform world decisions.

Crushing as it was to my young self (a dedicated science student), I found out that world decisions are largely made by forces all on their own. In other words, influential institutions are not built with factual information about the universe as their cornerstones. Instead, the goals of such influential parties more often see to it that "the right discovery" is made to serve a certain commercial or political purpose, at the right time. And yet...

Students who want to advance the impact of truth in the world should know what they're dealing with

What's the problem with being a little naive about how scientific knowledge affects the actions of influential people and organizations?

At the start of college, I thought that knowing the universe bottom to top, from the smallest atom, would help me be more effective in life. I believed that that knowledge would open up both professional opportunities and ways to improve the world. Therefore, I started as a major in chemistry, hoping to understand the smallest parts of matter, and build up my working knowledge from there. Even when my interests shifted markedly from chemical reactions to human interactions, I still had the same idea that grasping the smallest working parts of the system would benefit me in working with the whole. Thus, I took classes on the neuron and the brain in order to, I thought, understand human interactions. This turned out to be naive and mistaken thinking.

Unfortunately, if you are an expert in atoms or neurons, you basically have influence only in talking with other academics about atoms or neurons. Although there are atom-smashers who have a small influence on society, and neuropsychologists who can start a small movement, to the most powerful forces that move civilization, these scientific experts are mainly just curiosities "who may one day give us something useful."

If it is direct relevance or influence you wish for, there is an alternative approach, and that is to study a subject that will make you conversant in the language of moving money around, and buying out local businesses to advance global corporatist agendas.

As you can see, in considering college options, there is inherently a dilemma about influence and about the ethics. Realizations about this dilemma are personal, and are better made sooner than later, for several reasons to come below.

The passion, integrity, and practicality of using college to get where you want to be

Rather than seeing this as a "Don't study science" or "Don't go to college" message, see it as advice to know what is in store for the vast majority of graduates. Many who continue on from their major into related careers find that if the major was the alluring advertisement, then the career is the product, which as we all know, often is less shiny than the advertisement. Most science and social science career opportunities serve the state or a corporation that you didn't imagine yourself selling out to when you started college.

Thus, become an academic scientist...if you love the subject matter enough to research and teach it for the rest of your life. Never let me cause you to doubt the possibility that, with real intellectual passion and integrity, you can inspire people and make a genuine contribution to humanity and the planet through the angle of research and teaching.

That being said, to do so, you must very much be your own man or woman.

Learning how to learn

There is something about "learning how to learn" in college that makes it worthwhile to look at more closely. There are several different pathways of learning, such as analysis, subject fluency, interdisciplinary thinking, rote memorization, and others. The thought patterns you engage in for many an hour during college will reinforce certain types of learning. Be forewarned that there are many book-learner and test-taker types out there not doing much, and not having much critical or creative input to say about almost anything.

Notably, learning about timeless philosophy, growing food, earth building, human energetics, and holistic, natural healing methods gives an adult the power to confidently maintain oneself and to trust their common sense (which is also a very important way to learn). This type of learning and knowledge is important at a time when the career "rat-race" is increasingly oriented toward obtaining a position "with a competitive healthcare plan." What that really means is the pharmaceutical companies, the HMOs, and the government are competing with each other for your vital life-force and money. This rut is actually proven avoidable through being an attentive student of natural health throughout your life, whether or not you go to college.

Learning to observe and naturally treat your own health

A happier, less-stressed future lays ahead for people who learn to observe their bodies, minds, and overall state of health, and apply their own preventive and holistic know-how toward staying and getting healthy.

If you do go to college, take time to learn of natural and holistic matters from sources outside of colleges - the richness of non-academic opinions and expertise on these subjects will "blow your mind."

Let college, if you go, be a place for you to truly learn to think very sharply and penetratingly without becoming fixated, and to think very broadly and integratively without mixing everything up. In the meantime, whether in college or not, attending to planning for a career is best done with a sober and grounded attitude.

Freshmen say, "why am I here?" Seniors say, "why am I still here?

One of the most dangerous things to do is to go into college without knowing why. There are at least two ways to decide why you may want to go to college:

One reason to go into a college or university is if you truly have an interest in a subject.

You will need to see yourself enjoying the subject for the four to 12 years it takes to rise to the highest level of education in the subject, and still have the enthusiasm for a career as a researcher or professor in that field afterward. And you may want to make absolutely sure there is no other way to gain the support, knowledge, and tutelage other than formal schooling.

It's really okay to take the academic path, if you truly have a love and a calling for a subject. In such a case, the title "Professor" need not be considered a bad word, in and of itself.

But "Professor" does get a bad rap when professors teach only for the money, suffocating the minds around them and dampening the thrill of exploring new concepts. To be a professor and stay true to yourself, you have to honestly love the subject. For real. If you don't, and you still proceed down the long academic track, it will probably come back to bite you in some form.

Also, in the professor or investigator track, it is essential that you be open-minded to what the evidence shows - even evidence that has been conventionally ignored or suppressed.

If what you secretly want to do, but aren't telling anyone because it feels icky, is to teach a subject so that you can convince people of an ideology, through the use of slanted arguments and highlighting selective evidence, right now is your chance to do something big at a young age. That would be to check your ego and check your inner alignment with your truth. If you wait until later on to check your alignment with your inner truth, you will likely become too invested in time and money to care enough for your own integrity to reverse course.

So, if you are going into college for the wrong reason, by staying out until you are clear and aligned with yourself, you will be actually staying more true to you.

The second important consideration in considering why go to college is the financial level you actually want in life.

People who have made a lot of money but live empty lives are falling into depression, drugs, dysfunctional relationships, and even suicidal and murderous thoughts. It's natural to want money, especially if you have grown up without enough of it to be comfortable. Yet if you choose to go to college, consider setting real, grounded financial goals rather than declaring "the sky is the limit!" for yourself.

Why? Because nothing under the sun actually is limitless, including your own energy, which can burn out. Overexertion without the replenishing fuel of a heartfelt, nourishing purpose can lead to systemic depletion.

Based on who you are inside and what you want for your life, decide on a level of income, and income growth, that you would like to live on in your career. This might seem to be shocking and - how dare I! - limiting advice against a youth's "sky's the limit" attitude, but I beg you to take it from me, a former "sky's the limit" guy myself. Having no income goal in mind, except for maybe "a whole lot" was, in a sense, like having no rudder. That is why I was able to muster very little follow-through on applying what I studied, which naturally led to no serious job, and no "college-educated income." Only afterwards did I realize how having an income goal to chart my course toward would have been a beacon in a wide-open ocean.

An income goal at whatever level you conclude will be right for you actually grounds your aspirations into what you really want, deep down, as a lifestyle. This is a very beneficial support, because more than likely, in college you will be exposed to and tempted by some wonderful-sounding, and some wild-sounding, options that will make your head spin with possibility, awe, and ambition. You are strengthened by being grounded to help you navigate between the "rich-but-empty blues" and the "lost-in-the-ocean" swimming in circles.

How to live your values, ambition, and peace in any career

What this article is saying is to root your ambition, which can be a healthy part of you, to your true self - your own heart within - and to no one else. Your ambition can grow and your values may evolve in college, but let the maturation of your values keep pace with the development of your ambition. This way, your ambition does not get unmoored from your values. An unexamined ambition, tethered only to "the sky's the limit!" can cause you, unwittingly, to become a glaringly vulnerable target to outside influences that can seem alluring with their impressive offers, but will eventually regard you just as they see everyone else: as an impersonal number, an economic unit, a consumed consumer.

Furthermore, for health, economic, spiritual, and ecological reasons, develop a mastery in the important things in life outside of college, such as natural healing, growing food, earth building, self-inquiry, etc. The peace and balanced outlook on life that you will be able to take with you, into any and all career moves, college or no college, is unrivaled in any field.

Sources for this article include:

http://bizlex.com

http://www.newsobserver.com

http://www.bizjournals.com

http://www.washington.edu/doit/TeamN/types.html

http://www.psychologytoday.com

About the author:
Michael Bedar MA, BS, is a researcher, writer, and holistic wellness counselor. He is the associate producer with a founding role in the documentary, "Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days" and is the writer-director of "EcoParque." He now distributes approximately 50 film, ebook, and audio titles through YoelMedia.com. He manages a holistic health practice, facilitates local and online natural wellness and spiritual growth programs, and juices regularly. He helps people live in healthy homes, support their natural fertility, encourage their optimal nutrition, and come into their full presence. He is the Co-Director of Tree of Life - Bay Area, and he has an MA in Live-Food and Spiritual Nutrition from the Cousens School of Holistic Wellness. Bedar's BS from UCSD is an interdisciplinary concentration of Environmental Chemistry, Law and Society, and Design Anthropology.

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