Why Am I In College Anyway?

Why Am I In College Anyway?

Who really made my life choices for me?
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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?

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer Doehler Photography

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College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
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The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

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Things I Miss Now That I'm Home From College Again

There are so many reasons to be glad that the school year is over, but if you've done it right... there are a lot of reasons to miss it too.

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So, school is over now and I've come home. As expected I was so relieved at first. No more showering with flip-flops, no more listening to screaming girls running up and down the hall, and a space that is mine and mine alone. But after a week or so of being back, there are a few things I've already started to miss.

I know that not every single person has the ideal roommate but I got really lucky with mine. Coming home I was excited to have my own space, but now when I'm doing my midnight scrolling, I'm realizing that I miss being able to talk to her about the funny things I see in that very moment. Tagging, DMing, and texting her doesn't feel the same as a long night of giggles spent together.

Also, while seeing old friends when you get home is amazing, and there is always a lot to catch up on, you do start to miss your other friends too. Being in college means that your friends are going through similar things as you are all the time. You have tests together, clubs together, and sometimes you spend way too much time procrastinating together. The bond you begin to form is one you definitely begin to miss - especially when you guys don't live close off of campus.

Coming home also means you don't have a set schedule or at least not immediately. You may come back to a previous job and that puts something on your calendar, but the free time you still have during the week can be a little too much. I know I've spent way too much time obsessing over the Tati/James drama than I ever would have at school. The routine I had at school kept me busy and entertained, and I'm honestly missing it a lot right now.

There are a lot of other things to miss too - even things you thought you wouldn't. You miss the classes, the teachers, and sometimes the food. I know I miss the environment. It isn't a perfect one, but it's full of people just trying to find their way. We are all working through the roller coaster of life and we are all stuck on one beautiful campus together while we figure it all out. I miss meeting new people at the bus stops or running into old classmates and catching up.

I guess the bonus for me is that I just finished sophomore year which means I have more time to spend at school. Come senior year, I guess I'll have to learn quickly how to deal without the things I miss - and also create a schedule so I can travel to see all of my friends, but those are all problems for future me.

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