“Is being an intelligent thinker better than being physically laborious?”

I have been told (on more than one occasion) that I’m a quick learner and if I put as much work into studying as I do working, I would do very well in college. Problem is, I have no desire to. I like the physical labor I do and the immediate products of my work. So, is being an intelligent thinker better than being physically laborious? I think it’s equal and dependent upon the opinion of the individual, however I can’t argue nor articulately state my position as well as my college-educated friends’ arguments. Please provide me a good, intelligent, logical one-liner to keep them off my case!

You are right — there’s a lot of emphasis in America on a college education. But as many alumni can tell you, sometimes it’s just not worth it. It’s terribly expensive, for one, and those debts can last decades. Secondly, I am among a large group of college-educated people whose wages are significantly below many blue-collar workers: Mechanics (auto and airplane), plumbers, electricians. carpenters and many other jobs pay significantly more 10 years into their careers than journalists, for example.

Craftsman is a noble class of worker. There’s no shame in it. Consciously or unconsciously, your friends are displaying a cultural bias.

You have already articulated the best reason of all: You are not unhappy or dissatisfied. I understand your enjoyment at having solid evidence of your work… I like being able to put my hands on a newspaper every day and say “I helped make this.”

There is no reason or need for you to argue with your friends. The only answer you need to give them is “I enjoy working with my hands and I’m happy with what I do. I appreciate your concern, but I’m not interested in going to college.” If they push you, stonewall them with a smile and say — repeatedly if you have to — “I’m really not interested.”

To stave off any concern that you are intellectually bereft, feed you brain: read a newspaper or news website once a day when you can, read books (or listen to audiobooks) of fiction and nonfiction whenever available. Think about the current political/social issues and decide your positions so you can discuss them if the subject comes up. Do all this and you’ll be beautifully well-rounded and a lot of fun at parties. 😉

I know lots of college-educated dummies who have drone jobs. You don’t want any part of that. 😀

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About amywinns

Semi-snarky, semi-sincere, occasionally ranting, always paying attention. Feminist who can work a skirt and crack a joke. Grammar nerd who is also fun at parties. Mid-career writer/editor with 15 years’ experience in newspapers & magazines who now helps developers at a major media corporation communicate with the suits who write the checks. Pro-women, pro-family, pro-choice, pro-workingclass, pro-entrepreneur, pro-farmer. Like every other bourgeois Brooklynite, I choose local/organic/raw food — mostly vegetables — whenever possible/reasonable/affordable but I’m not a smug asshole about it. Hometown: Atlanta. Weird hobby: lindy hop. No pets, no kids, no thanks.
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