Day 9: The importance of a fulfilling college experience
February 9, 2017
It is simple. We live in a world where a college degree directly correlates to success. When employers see Northwestern, or Duke or Harvard on your resume, they salivate and hire inexperienced 20-something year-olds based off the prestige of the institutions they paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to attend. And, who is to blame them? Why would they choose someone just as qualified who graduated from a less academically rigorous “party school?”
You see, it may be reassuring and to some truth that college is what you make of it and where you go does not matter as much as what you accomplish. At the end of the day, though, attending non-world class schools puts you at a disadvantage to begin with and even if your GPA is a perfect 4.0, it may not matter. That disheartening notion is because of this: A 2010 survey found that 43 percent of college grades are averaged out to A’s, a 28 percent increase from 1960. That means that A’s may be the new average. So, if you are excelling at a second-tier university and find yourself in love with the major you are undertaking, what more can you do: communicate.
Communication is the basis for human interaction and with college as our vessel when we find our footing as our most ambitious selves, journeying to the top of the jungle that is Corporate America, who we know will ultimately be more substantial than what we know. Now, this fact should be treated by the vast majority of American teenagers–who do not get into or cannot afford to attend a top 20 university–as a reminder that there is always a chance of achieving your most unadulterated dreams.
Still, many over-accentuate the importance of having job connections, and those people are often the same ones who make the wrong connections. What does that mean? Do not join a fraternity or sorority, or you will get someone pregnant and die. Just kidding but, do not get carried away by the presence of alcohol and drugs wherever you study, and most definitely do not get carried away by sexual urges that can ultimately tear your life apart in numerous ways of which I do not need to discuss, given you should know the severity of these thought-deprived actions.
Yet this is no way meant to minimize the importance of exploring different aspects of life in the route to finding your self. College is, most importantly, our years of intellectual, philosophical and intimate discovery. Just be careful.
It cannot be stressed enough, so let me tell you what you already know: More than 50 percent of the 20 million STDs diagnosed each year are among those aged between 15–24 years. The college experience coincides with physical peaks for many of us, therefore this fact should be of no surprise. College is where you test your limits. Just be careful.
And, if you are careful, develop a fortified work ethic, put it to use in a field you feel ready to contribute to and make connections. Confidence will build and opportunities will arise if you are persistent enough. You may not secure a stable job a year or even five years removed from your days of college, and that is fine. You will be rewarded eventually if you truly exhibit passion.
Wherever you go, find your people; find your calling. If not, you will never adapt. And if you don’t adapt, you will die and so will your dreams. Harsh, right? It is that simple, in the workforce and the rigorous competition of maintaining a sustainable livelihood.
So don’t waste time and energy worrying. Make friends, make memories and fearlessly step out of your comfort zone because you may never be as daring and cunning as during these four years. Do not stress if you are not accepted into your dream school. If all you do is complain after not getting into your top choice, a liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest, and are forced to attend an in-state party school, you will inevitably feel miserable. Success isn’t just correlated with a college degree, but with what you do with that degree.