5%

For six decades, Harvard was the only college to exist in America. Hardly anyone finished high school in the 1800’s, let alone applied to an elite university, and they were quick to get to work and start a family, as the life expectancy was only 40 years. With such a short life, it makes sense as to why the people of old were always in a great hurry.

The average lifespan of a person living in America now is 78.7 years (a number that would be higher if we had less people dying of obesity and heart disease), and the age that we begin to make choices that will lay the foundations of our future is 17. The year we begin to leave the safety net of high school and apply to those big, overpriced buildings with thousands of people. Rounding 78.7 to 80, we are expected to make such a decision only 21% of the way through our lives. And that includes the first five years of our lives when we don’t even know how to fully comprehend anything: subtract those years and we are at only 15%.

But who fully comprehends anything from Kindergarten to seventh grade? Life is filled with toys and friends and being happy. Most kids only start to think about college at age 13, at the end of middle school. Subtract those grades, and we’re left with four years of basic logic and understanding of what our future educational career entails.

That’s four out of eighty years of actually knowing what we’re doing. 5%. Brains at full function, our priorities fully set. 5% of the way through our Conscious Being. And we’re expected to make such a decision.

It should be no surprise as to why the children of today go a bit crazy during this time of year. Good luck to all my fellow 5%, for it will only get worse as each generation goes on.

(Unless we somehow cycle back to how lax school life was in the 1800’s. The effort to mold more STEM students makes that pretty unlikely, however.)           

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