TED Conversations

Jeff Vankooten

Senior Consultant, Mazeway


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Why do you think depression is on the rise in college students today?

I'm working on presentations engaging the issue of good mental health and resiliency in college and university students - focusing on depression. I'm curious as to what the collective TED community thinks.


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    Feb 19 2011: We are caught between generations. We walk into a world that requires 10 years experience to get into, and a Masters degree, and we have no way to get that experience.

    We have great ideas, great visions, but on a large scale, have no outlets.

    The quality of the local education is pathetic. I quit a masters program because it was a waste of time. It was not 'higher education.'

    College students also turn to substances to 'have a good time.' Its rampant. When half the 28k students are drunk 3-5 nights a week, it takes its toll. We've done a Pavolovian trick on ourselves and fun now = a substance.

    Honestly, I'm depressed because I know my potential, and I know that HS and College have done little to refine me, to guide me, direct me, and prepare me for the 'real world.' Now with a degree of applied physics I am not directly qualified to do much else than more school. And in the 'real world' working for a fortune 1000 and then a fortune 100 over the last 5 years, I'm treated with a massive resistance to change and pushed to the fringe, stuck in a dead end job working well above my pay grade.

    This world, on a large part, has forgotten the value in apprenticeship. Everyone has their own, and 20 years from now there is going to be a massive loss of knowledge due to a lack of intellectual transfer, and education creep. Requiring higher education, and constantly lowering standards will just shorten the working life, and extend the educational span. The problem is that its all filler. Why do we simplify the SAT over and over again? Mensa does not accept at 1600 SAT score as proof of intelligence anymore.

    Eh. Apparently your question pulled my string. Hopefully some of that made sense.

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