Cultivating Mediocrity

All throughout High School I saw people scrambling to get into a good college; inside I laughed at them. I could get through High School reasonably well without ever cracking open a book and just picking up certain points from the lecture and the class discussion. I never wanted to think about college, I knew I could get into one easily so I just picked one nearby and decided that I would go to it. I never shopped around, I didn't even apply to any other colleges, I just didn't want to think about it at all.

Because if you don't go to college, and that is in your future is grease, burgers, and despair.

So I went and I began studying to become what I had wanted to be for a few years, and I continued to treat it like High School. I picked up a few things from the teachers, I never studied, and I expected to do reasonably well. My first semester I failed one class, received two Cs, a B, and an A. I figured it was due to being ill prepared, so I smiled and went to my next semester.

An F, a C, a B, an A, and one class withdrawn.

After that semester I was burnt out. I re-registered for World of Warcraft and played that as much as I could for the first month of the vacation. After I had distracted myself for a month, I sat down and thought about where I was. I had tried to avoid worrying or thinking for so long that I had become a fat, lazy, useless internet addict who didn't even have a driver's license at eighteen. I had been cultivated mediocrity for so long that I could no longer be anything other than mediocre. I would like to think that my mind was still sharp (or rather, that I realized how dull it was becoming and managed to turn it around), but my life as a whole was dripping with dullness. Another semester came.

Two Fs, a C, a B.

One of my professors pulled me aside and talked to me, I said that this was a transition period since I had changed majors. I had known since the beginning of that semester, though, that it wasn't true. I had no desire to be there; I hated academia, structured learning, exams, deadlines, homework, the whole institution. Yet, I was kept there for three reasons: I didn't know what else I would do, I wanted to learn more and I couldn't deny that I really was learning, and I still wanted the magical paper.

I am in my fourth semester and I have made it perfectly clear that this is my last semester at that school. Now I have to make a decision, though. There's a part of me that doesn't want this to be the end, part of me wants to leave, cultivate some ambition, and return. There's another part of me that thinks all I need is a different structure: online classes? Either way, I'm staring down a seven-thousand dollar debt which I now need to make efforts toward paying.

I have nothing but disdain for college, though. I believe we need a new system. We need to divide learning and examination, why should the people who teach us also be the ones who examine us and give us our diploma? Is there something inherently better about learning in a class room as opposed to learning in a library? That's the beginning of another rant entirely, however.

After acquiring debt by spending two years doing something I cared nothing about, it's time to make some decisions with a little more rationality. Then come the questions of life without college. Some say it's impossible to lead any sort of decent life without college, others say you can get along just fine without it (career-wise, of course, learning-wise all you need is a library so far as I can tell), and some would say you're better off getting started at a career than going to college.

So what's the rational thing to do here? I've begun the research; I won't make this decision out of laziness and apathy.

Curtains Curtains
3 Responses Mar 8, 2009

Indeed, it does. I've heard a lot of people online say that college isn't the necessity that people make it out to be, but there's still the uncertainty that comes along with big life decisions like this. <br />
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Thank you for your post, Dramaqueen.

Hey- I understand your annoyance and frustration. I recently graduated from college, and believe me, it's not all it's cracked up to be. I ended up absolutely despising my major and everything that went along with it, so I vowed never to work in that industry, for fear I would kill myself because I would hate my life. Anyway, I have a group of friends, none of whom graduated from college, who are doing much better than I am. I actually started working for one of my friends, who owns his own online company. The other two friends are married, one works as the manager of a retail store, and the other works for a software developing company. They own a house and two cars. I guess I'm trying to say that college does not guarantee a career, and it is entirely possible to have a good life without it. Hope this helps.

oh man i'm in the same boat...almost the exact same boat actually...throughout high school people hated how i never seemed to try yet i'd always come out on top...i got to college with the ambition to study and what not but as soon as it became clear that college was nothing more than an extension of high school i went back to my mediocre ways as well...<br />
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i'm nearing the end of the second semester of my third year and i only have half the credits i'd need to graduate...not to mention i haven't consistently gone to class since my very first semester here...i'm in a world of debt and to be frank i'm mad as hell about it all...<br />
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i was feeling like my life was descending into a black hole...i'm transferring to a local community college so i can still hangout with the friends that i made here and i'm going to do the plumbing or welding program...i'll do that as a job for a few years before doing something else...i don't think i can do the career thing...where you do the same thing everyday for 30 years or whatever...i want to learn a bunch of useful skills that not only put some money in my pockets but also that can help me out in my personal life<br />
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i don't regret the time that i've spent (wasted) here...i've met a lot of interesting people...i've had some life-changing (literally) conversations and realizations...but one of the most important realizations that i've had while in college is that college is not for me...<br />
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my parents are going to act like it's literally the end of the world...i'm about to fail all my classes this semester and its not because i can't do the work but (like someone else here said) it's like my mind and body are resisting conscious self has little control over it, or at least it feels that way...but even if it did i'd probably be in the same boat because my conscious self doesn't give a s*** either...