I had a stroke last month, and I spent three weeks at a rehab center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. During my time there, I was treated by several gifted occupational therapists, physical therapists, and speech therapists.
All my therapists were young women in their twenties. Every day I was inspired by these therapists’ competence, energy, and optimistic spirit.
Why did these women choose therapy as their occupation instead of gender studies or sociology? Why were they spending their days teaching elderly people how to walk and feed themselves instead of working as a government bureaucrat?
This is what I learned. The women who choose to become physical therapists and occupational therapists selected their vocation early, and they planned their college studies to reach a specific goal.
One young woman, I’ll call her Laura, told me she was awarded a state scholarship for her undergraduate studies, which she received based on her high school GPA and her score on the ACT exam. This scholarship award was good for four years, but she managed to graduate in three years, which allowed her to use her scholarship money for the first year of her graduate studies. she finished college with no debt.
Laura had to take out loans to finance her master's degree program in physical therapy, but she lived frugally and only borrowed $22,000. When the COVID crisis hit, the Department of Education put a hold on student debt collection. Unlike most student debtors, Laura kept on making monthly payments during the whole time of the COVID moratorium. She told me she reduced the amount of her debt from $22,000 to $17,000 during this time.
Unfortunately, I might say tragically, millions of college students do not pursue their vocational goals with the same discipline and clear-mindedness that Laura displayed. They see college as a time to party, to drink, and to engage in casual sex. They see student loans as a way to live a lifestyle they could not afford with their parents’ limited financial resources. They choose their academic majors carelessly. Perhaps they major in sociology because they heard it is an easy major. Maybe they choose a major like gender studies or ethnic studies in order to nurture a sense of victimhood.
When these hapless fools graduate from college, they learn that there are no jobs for people who graduated in the humanities or the social sciences. They realize they have no job skills at all. They can’t solve problems, they can’t write coherently, and they lack the people skills to be successful in the workplace.
Thank God there are still young people like Laura, who understand they have a responsibility to become productive citizens, and they have a desire to do something useful with their lives, even even if the job involves the unglamorous work of teaching an old man to walk, talk, and feed himself.