With my pending graduation (approximately 240 hours from this very moment), I’ve been overcome with a sort of foggy nostalgia for the last 5 years of my life.
I didn’t spend my childhood dreaming of careers for myself. I spent it building jewelry boxes out of toothpicks and signing my name on any and every surface that would hold ink. Sometimes I even engraved it into things, too (my parents loved that). I told them I was practicing my autograph. Because, you know, I was going to be famous (I was pretty fond of myself even then).
I didn’t go to college for myself. In all actuality, I hadn’t planned on jumping in straight out of high school…or at all for that matter. I wanted to move to California with the “love of my life.” As it turned out, he really did love me. And every other girl within a 700 mile radius.
Unrequited love landed me in community college for a couple of years where I questioned the purpose and direction of said nonsense on a daily basis. I didn’t get it. I still don’t. College has always been, in my opinion, supremely overrated. Unless you plan on saving lives or curing diseases or flying to the moon. In these cases, and only in these cases, do I find throwing thousands of dollars to the wind justifiable.
But I don’t want to do any of those things. Honestly, germs freak me out and outer space is for things that orbit (I don’t orbit).
So, after “graduating” with my AA, I figured…perhaps I’ll be done. And then I met a different boy. And I stayed in college. Because, well, love makes you want to be better than what you are. And better than what I was, was a college graduate (and a strawberry blonde apparently…thankfully I got over that phase). So I declared myself a “Communications” major and continued on my academic journey.
I can think of probably 9 different times I almost quit. But I didn’t. I always climbed back up on the wagon. But it was never for me. I was purely motivated to finish by people I considered relevant to my future.
Do you know where all of those people are now?
Yeah, neither do I.
That’s odd, isn’t it? The way that works?
You set out on this path all because of a person. And then they just sort of…fall away. And then you’re at the end of it and you look around and you realize that whether you like it or not, this victory is yours. And then you wonder if that was the point all along.
So here I am. I don’t know that I ‘m any stronger academically, but I’ll tell you a few things that I’ve learned.
1. Being able to write persuasively is the most necessary skill to obtain and exercise regularly in college. You will receive extended deadlines, extra points, and be excused from classes on a regular basis. Even if you are bad at math, you will pass, because you will be capable of sounding pathetic and appreciative all at once.
2. Retention is unimportant and irrelevant. By the time you get out of college, everything they taught you will be outdated. You will then be forced to attend workshops by your new employer (that will hire you because you have a degree) on new methods. Or methods that they prefer. Drink a lot of coffee. Cram for the test. Go out and celebrate your passing grade (or utilize #1 to schmooze an EC project).
3. Procrastination is healthy for your creative process. I am now incapable of writing a paper unless there are 60 minutes between myself and the deadline. Not that this skill is relevant anymore (because in real life they don’t make you write papers).
4. Proving that you are more intelligent than men is easier to do when there’s a grading system being implemented.
To me, college wasn’t about learning. It was about testing my academic endurance and tolerance for authority figures (who were employed on my well-earned dollar).
Whatever. It’s over. And I couldn’t be happier.
Onward…to the next hurdle. Or maybe to a bar. For a drink. Or several.
What did you learn from college? Anything interesting?