Tuesday, May 10, 2011

#0-Graduate without Distinction

Go to class, do your homework, study for the test, and get good grades. This may have been fine in high school, but few of us did this in college. You skipped that 8AM class like you would catch the plague if you went. You waited until the week of(or the day before) to start that 15 page research paper. Studying for the test meant you looked over your notes when you got to class the day of the test. Most of your grades were fine, but there were a few classes you let slip. That's how most of us make it graduation working somewhat hard, but partying harder.

However, there are some people that actually do this...GASP! These people never missed a class, they did all the homework, got A's on every test and graduated summa cum laude (they know what that means because they speak Latin) with a 4.0 GPA. Oh not to mention they started their own non-profit for sick children, were the best distance runner on the track team, and the president of student government. Our parents tell us we would be doing so much better if we had just been like them. Employers salivate over these candidates and every graduate school clamors for them.

These kids get jobs easily, but lurking beneath the surface they have some major problems. They have no social life and they are afraid to fail. Oh sure they have friends in class, on the track team, and in student government, but they never have time to just hang/chill doing nothing in particular with friends that they don't do an activity with, but are just friends with. As a result these kids are stressed out of their minds and are more likely to die young as a result. What drives them to do this is their fear of failure.

They never have before they don't know what it is like. When it happens they don't what to do they get depressed and it can get very ugly if they don't get help, which they won't ask for because they feel ashamed. Of course no one likes to fail, but their standards are so high that not getting into the best school in the country, not being the best intern is failing, or not getting the job at 20 most people don't get when they are 40 is failing.

Don't get me wrong I don't mean to say not to try hard and to be successful. I had a 3.9 GPA in high school and was the captain of the cross country team, but I did those things because I enjoyed them and wanted to do them. Just don't do it solely to be successful and avoid failure. Try to enjoy your life. What are your opinions on School/Work/Social life balancing act that is college? Comment below.

#-1 - Graduate Early

College is the best years of your life enjoy them while you can. I've heard this countless times and always wondered how true that is. If these were the best years of everyone's life wouldn't there be a spike in suicides in freshly-graduated 20-25 year-olds. Or at least by age 30 when according to what I've heard is when partying and enjoying life stops. Yet this isn't the case maybe people just drudge on through life because they want to live above anything else or maybe they enjoy juggling a job and kids while having no life outside of that or maybe they make a lot of money and all their cool cars, gigantic houses, and trophies wives/husbands keep them happy. I'd rather enjoy my life and do what I want, but what do I know I'm only 21 years old.

My friends constantly tell me I should stay in college with them for another year or two. They believe that the ability to go to 10 different bars on the weekend, drink so much your only hungover or drunk, and avoid the responsibilities of the real world is the perfect life. Admittedly this is fun for awhile, but when it costs $12,000 every 5 months it loses its appeal. Even my more intellectually capable friends think I should take this class with them about early political thought from Plato to Machiavelli, that graduate class on Russian history, or the class on game theory with the incredibly smart professor. While potentially interesting is it something I couldn't research on my own if I was so inclined...no.

So I graduated in 3 years which was plenty of time. I changed my major just like everyone else, I had time to study abroad in Spain which changed my life, and I took all the classes I wanted to. If you do this ask yourself two questions: Did you enjoy your time? Did you learn something important about yourself? Answering yes to both means your most likely ready to move on and seek the next challenge. Don't be afraid see what amazing thing you can do next! Let me know your experience. What are your thoughts on the cost of College? Please Comment Below.