Why Am I In College Anyway?

Get up, get dressed, scarf down a coffee, and walk out the door. This is my daily morning routine... seven days a week, every week. Between working nearly forty hours a week, and attending school as a full-time student, I hardly have time to even think about the things I do... let alone analyze why I do them. Every day is just a mere repeat of the day before. Same agenda, same routine, just a different date on the calendar.

What kind of a life is that? Is that really living at all? Have I just become a robot in what is supposed to be my most lively years? Recently I have been wondering a lot about why I do everything I do. Why do I work so much? Why am I even in college? The answer, for me and I’m sure many others, is because that is what's expected of me.

In my twenty two years, I have realized that society has paved the way toward an average, “good” life and if you dare to be that person who does not follow in this path, to the world, you are going the wrong way. We are all expected to do certain things, and achieve certain degrees. This makes me believe that the choices I make aren’t my choices at all. However, I am also convinced that since I did not bring it upon myself to question if what I am doing is right for me and not just what is “normal” in the eyes of most, I am responsible for the way I am living.

It is burned in so many minds that in order to be successful, you must finish high school, get your degree, buy a house, raise a family, and work until you are physically incapable to do so anymore. Although I don’t feel as if I am living a bad life, I still believe that my way of living would be fairly different if I hadn’t had any voices but my own telling me what is right for me. Between getting caught up in the ‘should do’s’ and ‘need to’s’ in life, I feel like I have skipped over the years where I could be reckless and irresponsible. As a twenty-two -year-old, I should be going out with friends, staying up late, and being crazy and spontaneous. Instead, I am going to sleep around ten o’clock at night, or not sleeping at all to find time for a social life because I have school and work early in the morning and by the time I arrive back home at night, it is time for me to clean and head off to bed-- only to do it all over again when I wake back up in the morning... what a life. I mean, if you were to ask my parents, I am sure they would say that they are proud of me for carrying out all of these responsibilities. So, why do I feel like such a failure sometimes?

As I am sure you could tell by now, I am a person that struggles with time. No matter what, it seems as if there just isn’t enough. There are so many things that I see others getting to do, like adventure around the world or vacation somewhere tropical. There are hobbies that I enjoy, that other people get to carry out like reading or playing music. But for me, I just can hardly find the time. So, I began to question if some of the aspects of my daily routine are wasting my time. While in math class, I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘why in the world am I learning any of this?’ For one, I am an English major. I understand that math is important to know but I also understand that I will never use anything more complicated than the basics. The only time I would ever use any of the math that I have taken time to learn, is in another math class. Great. I mean, even if I needed to use it outside of class, I wouldn’t even know how to apply it. Teachers groan at hearing the question, “when am I ever even going to use this?” Well, maybe instead of just telling students that Y= mx+b, why don’t teachers start explaining how it even pertains to a real life situation. I don’t believe that asking why something matters is a bad question. In fact, I think that it is bad if you don’t wonder why because you may just be wasting your time. Maybe knowing information that you will never use pretty much equivalent to not even knowing it at all? Who cares if I know how to do logarithms if I will never use them? It doesn’t make me any smarter than the person that doesn’t know how to do it. So, why did I have to take 3 math classes in college that I will never retain? Honestly, I have asked myself this question many times and the only answer I have is simply because it is required to get my degree. Why is it required? That is a question I am still trying to figure out.

After spending so much time wondering what I am doing in math class, I couldn’t help but question why I am in college at all. Honestly, going to college wasn’t even something that I questioned until now. It was just the ‘normal’ thing to do-- graduate high school, go to college. It was just as simple as 2+2; I didn’t even have to think about it. Now, I am realizing that maybe I should have.

I just never wanted to disappoint anyone with not attending college. Sure years ago it was not necessary to attend college and now if you want to be successful at all you have to go. I wasn’t given a choice in going to college in the eyes of my generation. If I hadn’t attended college and worked for a degree, I would be going nowhere in life. We live in a generation where if you stop your schooling at just a mere high school diploma, people will turn their noses to you and look down on you as if you are less intelligent than them. I don’t believe it should be like this at all. I have come to realize that college truly isn’t right for everyone. Now that I have finally come to this realization, I had struggled to decide if it was right for me.

Every day I sacrifice spending time with friends or just relaxing for work and every night I still feel as if I have accomplished nothing. No matter how much I do, there is still many things to be done. I spend so much time and effort trying to win at a losing game. I now know that it is impossible to please everyone and with focusing on everyone else, I forgot to please myself. It is time that I begin to focus on choices that are good for me, and not what everyone else expects from me. I will finish my degree because I WANT to finish my degree and have a career. I will work every last day of my life if I have to, to obtain the career I want rather than work towards a career that is going to make me money, but not make me happy. What kind of life is that?

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