In grade school we were taught one way: we would sit for 45 minutes and the teacher would write her/his lesson on the board. You'd copy it down and then she/he would tell you what to study for the test. At the time, you thought it was extremely difficult, but you had no idea what was coming.
Graduating from high school is a major milestone and I'm not diminishing that. But, as soon as you enter college, you are expected to know most of it on your own. Most professors stand up and talk for whatever timeslot they have, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes, maybe three hours. That depends on how many times a week you have the class. Their talking though, mostly, is not teaching you the information straight on. They teach you the CONCEPT. The facts and details, you are suddenly expected to study on your own.
"Do the reading"doesn't actually mean to just read it. It means to take notes, memorize what you can, and be able to use that knowledge and implement it in a situation, such as on a test. Tests were terrible for me. I finally passed a science class last semester out of pure requirement, but it was my FIFTH science attempt. I took FIVE different science classes and only passed ONE. And that seems a bit odd. How is it that I was barely able to pass science?
For one thing, it was one of those classes you had to understand through studying on your own. I did the readings every week for the class that I passed, as well as did flashcards, yet I still got around the same failing score on all three tests. The only reason I passed is that we had a paper and a presentation- that kind of learning I could do. I did really well on that, which put me in the passing section. My main issue with science is that I don't understand the concepts unless I can put it into my own words. It is like another language to me.
Enough about me though, but in general that is where I'm getting to my point. If that's the case, that you basically teach yourself everything, what are we really paying for? Honestly, I think about it all the time. But then I realized one thing that I didn't address- the real world. College is actually mimicking the real world. A lot of times you are going to be thrown into a situation at work you may have no prior knowledge to, but in order to not get fired you are going to have to figure it out on your own. That's where the training from college kicks in. Instead of resorting to stressing about it, you'll probably be able to find a solution.
The problem with paying for school is that we feel ripped off most of the time. Besides the professors that don't seem to teach anything, we have textbooks sometimes that we need to get for a couple hundred dollars and we don't even use it. There is no doubt that the higher education system is flawed. There is a way to get around its flaws though. For example, go to Rate My Professors before choosing a class, so that you can make sure you get a good professor. As for the books, you can always sell them, even though it's an extra hassle. Also, if certain study methods aren't working for you, keep trying new ones and get advice from peers and even your professor. The system is flawed, but not unchangeable.