Go to School for Over a Quarter of a Life not Guaranteed to be Fully Lived.
It’s like this joke that keeps coming up in some comedy sketches:
A guy has a dangerous job. He gets fatally injured. Before he dies he goes: Dang, just two days from retirement. (A more straight to the point version – watch the Family Guy Star Wars Special for the whole setup, I think there was one on Robot Chicken too, but I’m not sure)
Or haven’t you heard about people who worked so hard and then die shortly after retirement? What about those folks who work until they’re 75, because they don’t know what else to do besides work? The common theme here is that people like that wasted their entire lives waiting to get so some sort of resting period in an ever-changing universe. They used up their time trying to get somewhere, rather than actively living along the way. I made this connection to school after attending a DeVry propaganda visit to my school. The speaker was so wrapped up in school and getting a degree quickly in order to start a career. I couldn’t say that it was because it was about DeVry – many colleges regardless of type are obsessed with the possible economical benefits of going in to higher education.
The woman asked us many things she wouldn’t otherwise care to know like what we’d want to do after college or whatnot. Most answers were the typical doctor-cop-lawyer routine (no shots to these professions by the way) and then she got to me. I told her that I want to be and astronomer, activist, psychologist, artist and more. She stuck with the one that makes the most money and is most talked of – psychologist. She tried later on to remember the other things I said, but failed. At some point she got into talk about how much education it would take to be “successful” in these fields. She mentioned law school and medical school and other levels of schooling and she uttered something ridiculous, “Then when you get out of school when you’re about 30, you can get into the career you want, whereas some of you only want a B.A. so you can just get out there in the world and that’s okay too.”
I was horrified. I was aware of the training it “takes” to be in the medical or law field, but in that moment she was talking about increasing school time just for the degree aspect, the PhD. I believe that such a mindset can cost you your life, as in living day to day and exploring the world rather than hurrying to meet scheduled checkpoints and move on. “I want to be a so-n-so when I’m this age,” time passes and the goal probably not as exciting once achieved, then on to the next scheduled stop…
I’m annoyed with adults saying, “out in the world,” as if the world isn’t right here right now, no matter what you are experiencing. I’m really sick of chasing after pre-packaged ideals and goals.
There was more that I wanted to say, but I’ve forgotten it in the weeks that I left this post postponed; short film on the matter: