Apparently I graduated from college the other day. After wiping away the last few scribbles from the whiteboard that was filled with every homework assignment I had to do over the last month, I can't help but think “oh, so that's it?” I know I'm not the only one with that feeling, so I'm sorry if I bore you with the thought pattern of a 23-year-old asshole with an overpriced degree and an empty jar labeled “excuses for being unemployed.” It's the only perspective I have. Sue me.
I certainly thought it would be a little longer before I was staring at a word document again, but the underachieving public college I barely got into tells me that it's what I'll be doing the rest of my life, so I may as well start now. It's odd to think about, my life is supposed to start right about now, I'm no longer in the “training” phase.
I can start using the phrase “back in my college days” and follow it with a half baked story about how I only ate pickles and animal crackers for a week so I could afford beer. I didn't do that, but I'm sure someone out there did, and they'll sound like a real douche when they talk about it.
So, what did I get out of this? This $60,000, 5-year-long, slow motion train wreck that I am now supposed to call an education. I know I'm supposed to be excited, I've gathered that from my classmate's Facebook updates. Which isn't to say that I'm not tickled by the idea of never doing homework again, because I am. It's venturing out into the great nothing we refer to as the “economy” that scares me. Let's be honest with each other, I'm a creative brain in a frat boy's body in a toddler's clothes with a Writing Studies degree. Rough financial waters lay ahead.
I wish I could sit here and honestly believe Johnny Depp in Blow when he says “money isn't real,” but I can't. Money is real. When the government comes calling for their financial aid money back, I won't be able to tell them that I thought all those loans were imaginary. I'm going to have to tell them that the check's in the mail. But the check isn't in the mail, because there is no check, because there is no job for someone that has an “Idea Board” that only contains the phrase “funeral home employees working on commission.”
Perhaps I'm being a bit glum, that usually happens on days spent entirely in a basement bedroom trying to write a blog post that will be read by seven people. I'm sure there's some idiot, or some group of idiots out there that will want to hire me to write things for them. And if they're reading this, disregard everything you've read so far, except for the bit in the beginning with the jar. I thought that was cute.
I'll be honest, in most classes I learned nothing. In some classes I learned something and then forgot it by the time I walked out of the classroom. And in a few classes, my tuition money contributed to me becoming a better writer, and more well-rounded individual. Taking this angle on my college career, and you'd think I'd be asking for a refund. But the path one takes to self discovery will always have it's tolls, mine just happens to have a dollar sign in front of it.
Life has a way of trying to make you hate the things that you love. Well, I love words. And if taking back-to-back linguistics classes wasn't enough to squash my passion for language, I'm not sure what could. Take a close look, folks. This is written documentation that I am experiencing youthful enthusiasm for life. I'll have to remind myself of this in a decade or two when I've become that jaded, bummer of a veteran comedian that I'll inevitably turn into. There is always value in learning about yourself on level that's deeper than what you have to look at in the mirror.
$60,000 of value? We'll see.