How to graduate college with a job you love & less debt.

How many of you are excited to go to college? I bet many of you are. Who wouldn’t be? That feeling you get as if your entire life, all that you have worked for, has built up to this one point. Now I’m going to try and answer some of the questions about this decision that many of you are about to make, such as why do you go to college? Is college worth it? And what one does at college.

In life there has always been a struggle between what most to focus on, the mind or the wits. I have noticed that the average student of today is mainly focused on the former, now what does this include? Well, as children we have always been told about the path to easy street. The path is simple:

1)      Be Good => Citizenship.

2)      Get good grades => G.P.A.

3)      Go to a good college => Rank and test scores

4)      Get a Good job => salary

I call them the four G’s or the 4.0 of life, and they have been told and retold to us time and again by our parents and elders. Why do they believe so firmly that this path will undoubtedly lead you to success? Because it worked for them; but that doesn’t necessarily guarantee that it will work for us as well. Nonetheless, thousands and even millions of students go down this same path, and frankly, it looks like the JFK freeway at 7:30 in the morning. Something like this…

Image

Each one of these cars represent a student and each one of them are of different make and model. They also carry some amount of wear and tear, some more than others. Everyone is promised something; that they will become either a doctor, lawyer, teacher or engineer. These are not the only career choices out there; in fact there are hundreds of others and most of these students going down this path don’t want to become any of those four aforementioned things. And because we don’t actually want to take those paths that the millennial generation have done, we are called the lost generation, defining a sense of existential angst in our general consciousness.

I like to think of us as generation WHY? Because we like to question everything, if something has to be done one way we ask why it can’t be done another way, why must it always be done this way. So students and teachers alike should be asking the question WHY? Students, you should be asking why should I go to college and teachers should be asking why should students go to college, because the old linear frame work of easy street isn’t working anymore. If your WHY is money then that’s a good guess, college graduate do make a lot more over the course of their lifetimes than people who just passed high school, so one can look at college as a ladder to a brighter future, but that future is changing as most students are choosing the wrong career path and thereby climbing up the wrong ladder, which will either make them end up climbing forever or falling off entirely.

Times are changing, a lot has changed since our parents went to school. For them, if you did better than the person to the left of you and the person to your right then you will turn out okay, for people who graduated in the nineties and early two thousands if you did better than most of the people in your state then you could get into a good college. In today’s day and age tho, that has completely changed. A school student applying to college now competes with every other student of his age group in the whole entire world. So what are you going to do to stand out? And just being American does not give you a competitive advantage. Thanks to globalization the world is now flat, and if you expect to do the same thing what your teachers and elders did, you’re not going to get the same results. Easy street is slowly fading in the background and it’s time to pave your own path.

Developing your street smarts is the key to doing that and it involves the 4.0 that really matters, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do the other 4.0 which you have already been doing, that is important as well. So how do you develop your street smarts? Well it comes in four parts.

  1. Personal Capital

How well do you know yourself? What are your strengths and weaknesses and passion, and what do other people see you as and what do you see when you look into a mirror. The world may see you as just another person but you may see yourself as something more.

  1. Intellectual Capital

Your intellectual capital is your expertise in one or more subjects or skills, most college students graduate college after four years of ‘’majoring’’ in something and if they were asked to give a one hour lecture on the spot on the subject of their major, they would feel unready to do so. Your intellectual capital may have nothing to do with the subjects that you’re studying but some subject or skill that you are passionate about.

  1. Social Capital

This includes who you know and who knows you. Your parent’s friends, peers, professors, community leaders etc. The best way to network is networking up, you have to network with people who are on the other side of the door that you are trying to get into. Your peers can take you to the door but it’s up to you to open it. (It doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends you have, they are not your social capital)

  1. Financial Capital.

Now this is a tricky one it’s ‘’who knows that you know, what you know’’ it is a combination of your intellectual capital ‘’what you know’’ with your social capital ‘’who you know’’ and when these things combine, financial opportunities start flowing.

So these are the street smarts that you want to know, this is the 4.0 that matters and when you think about a college you want to go to you apply the same logic to it; you go somewhere where you can pursue what you are passionate about which has good facilities such as libraries and equipment.

You choose a college with a good alumni network, student groups, programs and events. Which also offers scholarships and grants because college is expensive, and you need to make sure that you have a sufficient return on your investment. You want to graduate more valuable than when you came in.

So I think the main question is how would you want to invest four years of your life, because at the end of the day you college degree is just a piece of paper with major debt and minor capital, and even if you get a fancy frame for it, it will remain a piece of paper and its value will be determined by what you do in between orientation and graduation, that’s it. So is college worth it? YES! It is, But your MAJOR may not matter, so get a MASTERS in self. Succeed in the classroom and get that other 4.0 but FAIL as much as you can outside of it. You are buying an experience, not just an education. And it is an investment in your dream, not a guarantee of a job.

So you can take easy street and hope that you get through, or in the words of Jack Frost, take the road less travelled by.

Post Election Thoughts

I think it is clear to everyone, just how outraged the internet is about Trump being elected. It has come to a great surprise to all of us that it played out this way. It is in my nature however to play the contrarian, that I will, and try and find some positive message in all of this; does that mean that I am for trump? no, I am for the people. It is the people of this country that created Trump, without them he wouldn’t have come so far, let us not forget that. The man Donald Trump is just a popular figure, some love him and most can’t stand him. But what I want to talk about here is the concept of a ‘Trump’. This country had someone like Trump coming to it for a long time, in-fact it created him, his brash and outspoken ways strike almost like a kind of protest towards the current stagnating establishment, it reflects a deep seated frustration that we all have against the system. Trump says he’s anti-establishment and indeed he is, he’s anti ‘their’ establishment,  not anti-establishment in general. It is these sentiments that people took to the ballot box.

The american middle class had been almost completely eroded during the great recession of 2008, millions of jobs were lost and thousands of homes were re possessed and it wasn’t just in america, the whole world felt its effects. All this because of the actions of a corrupt banking system and an equally corrupt government who would let it happen and even bail the banks out. How do you think all this would make people feel in the next election? They were mad, mad at the system and mad at how their lives had been destroyed. When a person like Trump comes along who so clearly articulates their frustrations, they had to vote for him, because his opponent is the very thing that destroyed them. Hillary Clinton is the very embodiment of the corrupt status quo, the press would have us believe that she is the paragon of liberal virtue, but this would not be further from the truth. The fact is, people wanted change, and voting for Hillary would not change anything. Things would stay the same as they have and whether or not Trump being elected would bring about good, it will being about change. There is no going back now, americans have already voted in their president and nothing can change that. We can only hope, hope is what we have that brings us together. Unwavering, unchanging hope for a brighter tomorrow.

On Growing Up.

What does it mean to be an adult? This question must linger in the back of every child’s mind. Once we were young; full of joy and imagination which now, is but a subject of fantasy. Like an evanescent dream, slowly fading away. We have become staunch towards what society dictates us to be, while transitioning into grownups, we change ourselves to fit in, so that we don’t feel left out. We work long tiring hours in hopes that it will all payoff someday and that we will find true happiness, we conform ourselves to rigid standards and lust over material wealth which give us short bursts of pleasure to fill some kind of void within us. When children look at adults they think they are truly odd indeed.

In truth we have lost ourselves, we have lost our appreciation for simplicity and our ability to imagine, but it is not our fault, the world we live in does not allow us the pleasures which we once had, everything moves at a fast pace and there is little time for such things as having fun or creativity, it is a world driven by competition and greed. Adults look at children and wonder how they can keep themselves occupied, for hours on end, doing the most mundane and pointless things, but in truth, they have merely forgotten. They have forgotten how to have fun, in their search for material wealth and money they have become almost mechanical. The message here is not to act immaturely but to think back and remember what made us happy before so that we can once again revive within ourselves our capacity for imagination so that we can grow up to be better adults and in essence, better people.

On our obsession with pointlessness

Every afternoon whenever I get back from class my first thought will always be, how can I kill time for the rest of the afternoon?. And everyday, I find myself engaged in a new  activity while I put off all my pressing responsibilities. See, I am a do-work-at-the-last-minute kind of guy and I don’t see myself changing anytime soon. Wether it be watching a video or any other minor thing, I like to keep myself involved in it and it brings me a strange sense of satisfaction. 

The entire world in fact, indulges in this feeling as they watch countless cat videos and “vines” as they call it. It’s the reason websites like 4chan and 9gag have gotten so popular and also a major factor contributing to things going “viral”. One of the most pointless examples of my point is “The Dress”, if you don’t know what I’m talking about you probably don’t know what the Internet is or you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last couple of years. I for one never understood what the big deal was, it’s just a dress, it doesn’t matter what it’s color is… Apparently it does matter, a lot, as the Internet went crazy in just a couple of hours and the virality grew; leading to ACTUAL fights between people.

I may portray this phenomenon to be a bad thing, maybe it is, considering the amount of time we all loose collectively. The fact is, the world is a harsh harsh place, and sometimes it gets too much for us to handle. Call it escapism if you want, but we are not machines, we are loving, caring creatures and we need to interact with ourselves to have peace and harmony whithin our communities and I think the Internet is beautiful in the way it facilitates that. 

Even as we procrastinate, we still cannot forget our commitments and responsibilities for those things are still more important. Also, while we dawdle away our time, there are two ways we can do it. We can continue our obsession with pointlessness, or we can engages in things that actually mean something, whether that be for the betterment of ourselves or others. We have to learn to use our time better, because there’s only so much of it, and in the long-run we are all dead.

On death

You stand there, with your Scythe held high
Eyes empty and heart void

Through devious means you work your ways
And we know not how it sways

For it is all encompassing and full of dread
As you choose to chop off another head

You are never satisfied and emotionless
What then can stir your wrath?

He who uses my power in spite
Shall feel the wrath of my might
I will bear down on him and cloud his mind
But I will not take him, oh no.
I will let him live his mortal curse
Until he craves my touch like a lover would.

Cursed be he who shall bear this fate
Forever tortured against hells gate.

Never allowed to pass the void
Forever banished from the realm of God.

Alone but not lonely

IMG_0370.JPG

 

Man in all his ways is a social animal, he cannot view himself objectively hence he relies on the thoughts and views of society in order evaluate and improve himself. A simple exercise would be to simply to take a look around you while sitting in a crowded place; how do you perceive the people around you? Some people you consider ”hot” or good-looking, some overly extroverted or ”crazy” and some who you never notice at all, they are the unseen, the watchers who are never watched, like that guy in the corner of the library quietly tapping away on his laptop while all the world moves around him in commotion. I am that guy.

I am part of the relatively unnoticed populous, and if you can relate to this then you are one of us too, society calls us ”loners”. But once again, rather sinfully, society seems to have attributed being different to a negative term. That’s just how we are.. I have come to realize this to be an absolute truth just like a scientific law. There is a darkness within the collective masses and it aches to find an outlet through some way.

There is a stark difference between being lonely and being alone. Loneliness is a dark void that you can sometimes physically feel, it’s like a darkness hanging above you, consuming you from within. We have all been lonely at some point; it stems from our inability to fit in, or conform to standards that have been set so high that at this point I fear for the souls of the lonely ones, their numbers are growing and their sadness will soon engulf the world. This seems very grim but the answer lies within us. Yes, I know that sounds overly clichéd but the fact is you should stop caring. Stop caring about what people think and embrace your emptiness, let it wash over you and you will feel a new sense of freedom in the world. Of course that isn’t easy and the world doesn’t make it easier for anyone; that’s why you must find the courage within yourself to try. Most of the time you will discover yourself more, maybe even find your purpose in life. So here’s to trying and not giving a shit.