Thursdays are now going to be serious post days where I talk about a topic that's current or just on my mind for that day.
This week I want to talk about college. In high school, I had great grades and I had known from a young age that I was going to college. But you know, now that I think about it, I didn't know there were any other options. And that's sad.
I've met so many people online recently that complain about school and see no purpose in it. They don't want to go to college, they just want to work. Something that bothers me is that kids these days don't feel like they have a choice. We're brainwashed to think that the only way to be successful is to go to college and get a degree and get a better job. Yeah, it's been proven that if you go to college, you generally will make more money. But what if that's not what you want to do? What if nothing "normal" interests you? What about photography? Baking? Art? Cooking? Even the President of the United States tells the country he wants to see more kids going to college and that supporting higher education is the best thing we can do for the next generation. I distinctly remember never being told that there are other forms of education and other paths to be taken after high school. It's just college, college, college.
I go to a public state university and am majoring in environmental engineering. Why? Because I want to help the planet and it's something that interests me. I chose a school with an amazing program that I'm really enjoying. To be honest, I'm not really good at anything besides school. I'm not good at cooking or playing music or anything cool like that. But I'm where I need to be, and I know that. There's been several times this year where I haven't wanted to go to class or do my homework. I think about if this is right for me and now I know for sure. I work in a research lab right now and I feel so at home there. So then why I do I have such strong opinions on the delivery of information to high school students?
Because not everyone is like me. Not everyone is good in school. Not everyone is interested in learning from textbooks. Not everyone has a passion that can be labeled with a major. But if you don't have a passion for school or like it, you're convinced by the public and schools that you're wrong. You're not given an option. A lack of passion for school or desire to continue to college does not mean that you won't be successful and no one freaking tells that to kids. I measure success in life in the amount of happiness you die with. If you go to college even though you don't like it and graduate in debt with a slip of paper, then wind up in a 9-5 desk job, chances are you won't be happy and therefore not successful. But if you go to culinary school or start a band or wait tables or fix cars or work retail or paint houses and you enjoy it, you've succeeded. You. Have. Succeeded.
One of my newer life goals has been to ensure that our generation and the ones after know that they have a choice and it's theirs to make. I have some ideas of creating a website and organization that caters to that goal by creating a database and set of resources to kids on the options other than traditional college, body modifications in the work place, and professional tips for getting jobs. I have the dream of one day landing my organization a spot on Warped Tour but one step at a time ;)