I continue to roll my eyes and argue with the t.v. when college is portrayed as a giant, fun, sexy, party. Everyone get’s along, your all super great friends, and those mean popular kids in H.S. no longer control anything. College is often labeled as your big brake. But, when basically your whole class goes straight from H.S. seniors to college freshmen, there isn’t much break.
Maybe things used to be different. Maybe when Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Texting, Instagram, Tumblr, and every other social media site didn’t exist, people were actually distanced from their H.S. days. Maybe then, but that, I’ll never know. Nevertheless, I want to talk about a common misconception that is present in today’s colleges.
‘Your four years at college will be the best years of your life’. This is a line, and I’m not sure where it came from but it’s just a marketing ploy to get to your wallet. It holds kids back and makes them scared to leave. They believe once they leave, it will just be downhill from there. The opposite is actually true. The faster you finish, the funner it is. If Coca Cola said drinking a coke will be the best taste of your life, would you believe them?
However, far too many believe the coke line, and won’t move on. The one’s who just stay seniors, are actually called super seniors. Through an added degree, a change in majors, or a slow paced schedule, they just won’t leave. When I talked to seniors, the most repeated thing I heard was how scared they were. That’s because the longer you stay, the more ‘awesome college’ talk you hear, and the more scared you are of the ‘real world’. It’s an unfortunate trap. Some do manage to leave, but then will just come running back for their grad degree.
I could see the process, but the fact that students believe it, still took me by surprise. Remember when you were a kid in elementary? Imagine if the bell rang for recess, or to go home, and you were bummed that class was over? I don’t know anyone who loved the monotonous task of learning how to write, or was stoked to sit through an hour of grammar. But it’s not just the tasks, it’s the lack of passion, the lack of control, the lack of choice. Yet, in some weird way, students think school’s better/safer/funner than reality. Tragic.
So, when your in college, work hard, and look forward to the years following your commencement. Look forward to the fact that someone is going to be paying you to turn in that report (you won’t be paying them). In the real world, when you work hard, you won’t just start all over again each semester. You’ll get promotions, bonuses, and freedom. The best part is having control over your own life.
Professors always lectured us on how much better school was than the ‘real world’. And oh how lucky we were to be there. But in the real world, you can quit your job if your boss is a perv. You can work somewhere else if you simply don’t like how things are being run. You can completely switch careers if you feel like doing so. You have mobility and flexibility to do as you please. There are no core classes you have to take, just you, and limitless opportunity.
Yes, it might be hard work, but you will actually have something (career, passion, money, relationships, fulfillment, self respect), to show for your efforts. With college, your lucky if the only thing you walk away with is a piece of paper. College is designed to be one of the hardest parts of your career, so don’t believe what they tell you and become a super senior. Don’t let a marketing ploy stop, or even slow you down. Work hard, have fun, and know life is going to get much, much better, after the bell rings.