All around us it seems as if the world is moving at a rapid pace. People are doing more and more with their time and there is evidence of this through how many advances we’ve made in the past decade. Yet it seems with all the change, we are actually doing less. We spent our time working for others or consuming their content instead of creating our own. But in order to feel satisfied with our lives, we need to create tangible products. Why aren’t we?
It seems to all start in our school education system. Nowadays, we are not taught to learn, but to compete against our peers. We are told to pick up volunteer activities and many extracurricular activities in order to get into a good college and in college it is more of the same. We are told to pick a degree that is viewed highly in society (engineering comes to mind, pre-med, pre-law, business) yet it seems more and more we are simply competing for the highest GPA within a degree instead of learning anything of the topic. The case is worsened when colleges only teach theory and fail to prepare students for practical application of what they learn (if they even learn with all the competing). The result is a student who hasn’t learned to create, but to only consume and compete.
But competition is not the way to innovation. The very word innovation and creation beg uniqueness. To create and to make something different. In order to continue advancing society and the technologies we have, we’ll have to continue to innovate, so what is the solution? What can we tell the newer generation as they go through schooling (especially college) so we’ll have more creators in the future?
1. Meet cool people
It’s easy to overlook meeting people when you’re studying for midterms and finals. But more than ever for the large scale projects of the future, people need to work in teams to accomplish them. Meeting people should never be underestimated and is a skill that must be learned.
2. Create cool stuff
College is not only about academics and should be a time to explore interests and passions. The best way to do this is to learn and apply a skill towards creating something. This could be anything from posting youtube videos, writing, making software, etc. So long as you are learning a skill outside of school and creating value for other people you’re on the right track. Creating value for people will always be of use and is a great way to prepare for life outside of college where practical skills will be needed.
3. Meet cool people and create cool stuff with them
The best of both worlds. A person can accomplish a lot on their own. A group can change the world. Let’s encourage the newer generations to work together on creative projects outside of class and work towards building skills that will be of use in a team setting.
With the right nudge forward, we can begin to innovate and create for the future instead of passively waiting for a future to come to us. Students don’t need to let a degree and their extracurricular activities define who they are and what they are competent at. Let’s create a society of doers: people who will solve the problems of today.