From pre-school to high school every aspect of your day is listed out for you. You personally have little say so and little thought in what goes on in your day except for a few free hours after school until your mom comes home from work to make dinner. In those free hours you either did homework or you played video games or numbed your brain with some mindless television. This is all you know for the first decade of your life. It’s a scam.
I, like the majority of other kids today, was not at all prepared for the real world. Yes, our parents do their best to create a happy medium between preparing us for adulthood and still letting us enjoy the savory moments of childhood but the amount of time they truly have to be with us is a measly few hours before bed and maybe a day or two on the weekends. It’s a depressing reality.
In school we are taught so much but also not enough. Even the brightest of students are leaving high school and becoming average or below average college students. How does this make any sense? I was a pretty average student all through school. I made mostly A’s and B’s, in high school I got a few C’s. I had an honestly optimistic view on college and life. I thought I would go to college, get a degree, and find a wonderful suited job just perfect for me, and live life long and happy.
All four years of high school they harped and harped on us to find a career we wanted and then find the right college and go for that. There was never a moment in high school that the teachers nor my parents asked me “what do you enjoy doing?”. As a child I wanted to be a comedian or own my own hair salon. In middle school I wanted to be a counselor. Freshmen year I wanted to be a dentist. Junior year I wanted to be a photographer. Never in all of that time did I really find anything that fit me. So many of my fellow classmates knew for sure what they were going to college for. I swear 80% of the girls wanted to be nurses. I knew I wanted a laid back job and that was it.
I actually had applied for The Art Institute in Kansas for the photography program. It was the only college I had applied for. I thought this is exactly what I wanted. Senior year was coming to an end, I had all my ducks in a row, ready to be the adult I had aspired to be. In MAY of my senior year, yes MAY, just days before graduation, my friend called me sobbing. She had also planned on going to The Art Institute in Kansas for the same photography program. “I just got a letter in the mail, The Art Institute is closing down“. I almost didn’t believe her. But she was clearly crying on the other side of the phone. I did not have a single back up plan and neither did she. In the letter it said we had the option of going to one of their other locations that included; Colorado, St.Louis, and their fine arts school in Kansas City. I didn’t want to go to the fine arts program at all. I also didn’t want to leave home. I took my only school I had applied for,closing, as a huge sign that I should not be going to school for photography.
I quickly applied for the community college a town over from mine and was ready to start classes in the fall. The plan I had for myself was over as fast as I had decided it. On to the next idea. Back to counseling I thought, maybe even specifically marriage and family counseling? I had set up my first semester classes for some kind of degree that would get me into some counseling program. I was never ecstatic about the idea but it was the only back up idea I had. Classes started and I made the rookie mistake of scheduling 8 am classes Monday-Friday. I learned something very quickly, that is, college is not for students who have to work. Nothing about college was easy with work. This was not a university either. This was a basic community college. In one day I had class from 8 am-9 am, then another class from 11 am-12 pm, then I was almost always scheduled to work from 2 pm-7 pm. It doesn’t sound too bad but this was your entire week. Five days a week. You think you’ll have free time but you don’t. When you aren’t at school you’re working, when you aren’t working you’re studying or at school.
The thing that really burst my bubble about the entire experience was the pointless REQUIRED classes. I mentioned earlier that I was an average student. I was a good student who always did my homework and always came to class on time. My average “C” grade was always due to math because I hated the subject. I was told that average students in high school usually flourish in college because you get to take classes you are truly interested in. This just simply isn’t true for a number of reasons. The first two years of college you have to take almost all of your last two years of high school over again. I was taking the same math class I hated in high school in college. I was taking a class called “College 101” that was the most ridiculous class in the world. You had to spend your free time outside of class learning about your campus and going to events. The class was 30 minutes two days a week and it was supposed to “teach you how to be a good college student“. This was not a class just for dumb kids. This was a REQUIRED class for everyone to take their first semester. This class takes absolutely no consideration for college kids who are working and going to school. Oh, and if you didn’t do the outside activities asked for this College 101 class, you got a bad grade. For a middle class college student who is working a part time job AND going to school, this is absolute hell. I went to college for one semester and dropped out.