Education. What does it mean to be “well-educated?” Higher education exposes you to new ideas, complex theories, and pragmatic equations, but, most of all, teaches you to think about the world in a different way. This elevated perception and consciousness is the fundamental purpose of pursuing an education. Many people dive into academia with a voracious appetite for knowledge; furthering their ability to digest information and use it to their greatest possible benefit. However, the norm of undergraduate education has become a social rite of passage.
This rite is centered on an exposure to the adult social setting. Rather than focusing on learning as much as possible, the bare minimum is done in order to complete a degree in good standing, and free time is used to party, imbibe, relax, and generally immerse into wasteful habits. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this trend, given that most jobs require minimal effort, time, and progression. Show up, do your work, head home and unwind. Being a normal student in college, allows you to be a normal member of the workforce.
Reading has become a lost art, given the dwindling statistics over the past five years. (https://www.statisticbrain.com/reading-statistics/) This is not to say that STEM majors have to read anything outside of their field necessarily, but whatever happened to the importance of being well-rounded? Specialization has become emphasized due to its lucrative nature in STEM fields, which is not going to change in the near future. This niche, however, kills off the works of history, philosophy, fiction, and non-fiction that have molded some of the greatest minds in history. Maybe that is for the best, given the track record of our species.