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Afta College:I’ve Been Bamboozled

May 10 2008 was the date of my graduation from the prestigious Shaw Univeristy of Raleigh, North Carolina. For four years I thrusted myself headfirst into my studies and completed them, by obtaining my bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts. I began as a Mass Communications major but decided I wanted a more diverse curriculum, so I switched. Now the only proplem I find myself running into is I’m out in the world with a degree that, according to my well-meaning family, wasn’t the right degree to get. For making money, that is. Sure there’s things I can do with the one I have but, I could’ve studied English so I can teach or Law so I can be a Lawyer. If I would’ve studied these subjects maybe I would be making more than my current O’Charley’s salary but, I didn’t want to. I studied philosophy and journalism because my passions were aroused, but I’ve learned the lesson that upper escaholon five figure salaries trump earnest learning anyday.

Maybe my post college funk has got me a little delusional but I find the thought of a suit and tie, average nine to five, dissapointing at best. Not saying that landing an occupation like that isn’t respectable or imppressive, it’s just what I envisioned for myself. It’s hard explaining to your mother that creatively inspiring work matters more than a fat pay check, but then again it’s hard rationalizing that sentiment when bills are due. The child in me feels lied to, like the adults in my life hyped up a college education as the skeleton key to all doors of oppurtunity. That’s only partly true. The truth as I’m beggining to see it now is all degrees aren’t created equal and the only ones that truly matter are the ones that snag you an above average salary. Now they tell me that If I really want to make it, I need to get my masters. Really, I would love to further my education but I’m just not feeling it too much this time around. I would go for the enviroment, for the mental stimulation and the transferrence of  theories and point-of- views. I would go for the  comraderie and knowledge that can be found on a campus, but what will be the cost? I just about had a nervous breakdown trying to work full time, fight the inevitable social and emotional battles of young adulthood, keep enough money in my account for rent, groceries and gas, all while racing toward commencement. Uncle Sam already has his hands deep in my pockets to get back that loan for my previous education so, the idea of taking on more debt at this stage in the game isn’t too appealing to me.

I don’t know about the bulk of my peers, but I feel had and strangely understanding all at the same time. When I look in the mirror and see these old tired eyes of mine, when my mom and I fight about the car payments, when I had to move back in with my grandma, I realized the meaning of death and taxes being the only things we will never escape. Creating a life for yourself  is not cheap nor is it as great as you think it’s going to be at 16. Not to sound morbid, life can be a fun ride, it’s just the pressure of the dog eat dog, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, captalist, rat race mentality that get’s me down. We shouldn’t have to feel we must make enourmous amounts of money or attain a certain title just to be percieved as making it. In our present reality we have vivid depictions of the good life all around us, taunting us from VH1 speicals, commercials, and music videos.We shouldn’t have to choose between what we really want and what someone else tells us we need. I believe that we all have a calling  that will lead us to all the things in this life we desire, we just have to be brave enough to follow it. The problem I find is most people will make you feel foolish for  listening to the subtle voice from within instead of the blaring cat call of the almighty dollar. Do any of you other post- collegiates or twenty- somethings feel the same way ?

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