I'm applying to go to college. I'm also supposed to be applying for a job. Well, more correctly, I was supposed to send off my resume to a potential employer two days ago. I'm really weighing my options right now. The job pays somewhere between double and triple what I was making in the Army, it involves a lot of travel (a plus), great health benefits, and a great northern Virginia location. It's a small business, with a very informal management structure. Everything I've heard about the job has been a positive.
So why do I get the feeling that I'm about to email the owner of this company, attach my resume, and tell him that I'm not interested in the job right now?
College. But why go to college?
Honestly, it has a little bit to do with the American habit of tying personal worth to documented accomplishments. This sort of feeds into the pseudo-rockstar aspirations of my generation. The youth segment of our culture operates under the assumption that we can grow up to be what we want to be, regardless of how devoid of talent, skill or prowess we are. If you dream it, you can be it.
That's a lie. Not everyone grows up to be President, only 43 people have ever done that. The odds are far from good. You have a better chance of winning the first time you play the lotto. I know people who've never won a game of bingo. I think shooting for McDonald's manager is a more tangible goal for most Americans. We should tell our kids that they can be anything they want to be... within reason.
"You could grow up to manage a McDonald's."
There is nothing wrong with managing a McDonald's. I'm just saying, it's a reasonable destination for the child of a working class American family. We cut the Santa Claus crap before things get too out of hand, but we let children enter into adulthood thinking some pretty fantastic bullshit. If we exposed children to reasonable goals, then wouldn't they be more satisfied when they surpass those goals? Instead of managing a McDonald's, they become a regional manager, or an owner/operator, or the owner of a chain. Owning a chain of McDonald's, by any reasonable measure, should be considered a success. Still, it can't help but feel a whole lot like a let down for someone who once dreamed of managing the whole country.
I guess what I'm saying is, instead of telling our children they can grow up to be anything they "want to be" we should be telling them that they will grow up to be anything they "are capable of being", which for most Americans is actually quite a lot of things.
Being capable of being something, and wanting to be something are two different things. I want to be the guy with a ten inch cock, but barring a medical miracle I don't see it happening. I realize my limitations. NOTE: I will probably have a ten inch cock before anyone cures cancer, or ends the AIDS epidemic Africa. Why? Because the size of my cock is a bigger cultural issue in this country. Let's be honest, there's more money in large virile cocks than in sick children and old people. And frankly, it's more fun to talk about.
So, tangent much?
What's this have to do with the choice between college and employment? I guess I never really saw myself having a good paying job. I'm just not sure I need it. I know my limitations, and I also know that I'm a commercially viable writer. I want to make that money on my own terms. Taking this job wouldn't interfere with my publication at all, it wouldn't stop me from becoming what I've always dreamed of being.
So what's all the fuss about?
So why go to college?
Probably to meet girls. Seriously. I think that might be it. The degree itself isn't necessarily appealing in its own right, I just have this money that the Army promised me for college and I kind of want to use it. The problem is that I have too many choices, and my options aren't bad. So if work is clearly the more profitable and, by most measures, the best option available to me... then why go to college?
I want to be judged on my dreams, not on my skills. I want to be around people who haven't failed at achieving their goals yet. I want to be in an environment where I can focus on being the person I want to be, not just the man I am capable of being. That and maybe I can pick up a pretty grad student who will get a good job and support me while I work on my "craft".
So, to all the adults out there who lied to me. Thanks for helping me make what could turn out to be the worst decision of my life.
Sunday, January 20, 2008
Posted by Ryan Placchetti at 4:30 PM