You attended four to six years of college with the hope of bettering the world in some way. You received accolades, first place in a number of scholarly competitions, and The Dean’s List. Every college program offered you a scholarship to join their school. Your “state” scholarship awards program gave you a chunk of money to use towards tuition.
You are set and ready for the real world!
Or so you thought.
These trophies, medals, and certificates were proof that you are going to succeed and do BIG things in the real world. In fact, your guidance counselors were salivating at the opportunity to send a copy of your transcript to a prestigious university or college.
Once you crossed that stage, received that diploma, and moved onto the next chapter of your life; a secular career. You started to recognize a change in the “air” of the real world which is way different from academia.
Your new employer questions your experience, work ethic, and skill set, but didn’t inquire about your GPA. You may have the work ethic part down, but as far as skill sets and experience, that comes over time, and your senior volunteer project may not be what your employer was looking for. But, they give you a chance, thankfully, you’ve got student loan debt to worry about. Scholarship money can only go so far.
At your new gig, your co-workers chit-chat about everything but the degree hanging from your cubicle’s wall. And, when there’s an issue with an irate customer your intelligence is tested even more, and sometimes the name on your birth certificate.
Once you return home, to the safety of your parents’ sofa, you sit back and reflect on the years of education you pursued.
Was it worth it?
You discover something that everyone else knew the moment you entered your alma mater:
NO ONE CARES!
You’re a great employee, an intelligent individual, and you had big goals for your future. Remember, you were told that it’s up to you to change the world. But, changing the world isn’t easy even with a college degree.
Nothing comes easy anymore.
Getting accolades isn’t required. Your boss doesn’t have to pat your back and give you a gold star. When it’s time to pay bills, excuses don’t work anymore, you have to negotiate or pay up!
No one wants to escape the dream world built by preppy student ambassadors, guidance counselors, and upbeat professors. But, graduation introduces you to a new world that doesn’t care if you were in the National Honor’s Society.
That realization that nobody cares can make or break you. It’s a lesson that’s not taught in college because if you discovered the truth they won’t have a business.
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing knowledge. Learning practical skills that can help you move on in life matters more than memorizing the Pythagorean theorem.
Learning and pursuing education should be about finding practical and creative ways to solve problems. The method of finding an answer to a question should matter as much as solving that problem.
Don’t allow the “college dream” to cloud reality. When you entered college, you made a commitment to complete a degree not learn how to strive in the real world. Until you experience it for yourself there’s nothing a degree, a college major, or an alma mater can do for you.
Degrees can burn. But, nothing can take away your knowledge as long as you absorb as much as you can from where ever you can. Be a student of life. Learn from experience, and pursue knowledge in all of its various formats; books, online videos, and so on.