When you’re a kid that shows promise really young in a place where college isn’t the norm, you’re put in the honors classes and gifted programs. If you come from a low-income family, you might get into a college outreach program. All of this was my reality and because I knew Cabazon was not a place I wanted to be, I believed college was the way to get out of there and that’s as far as I planned when it came to my future.
I was ecstatic the day of my high school graduation and of course was nervous to go to college, but those four years were a blast. I met amazing people in lines at concerts, found life in an alley and became a staple in the audience during the seventh season of American Idol; big deal – I swear. Then came the spring of ‘09. There’s a big difference between having your life ahead of you and not exactly knowing your next step at 18 when you graduate, and feeling the exact same way at 22 when you have that college diploma in hand. There were not internships under my belt, no job experience whatsoever to build a resume. Nothing but a degree in Humanities which may as well be a degree in coloring book science. Crap, even that may be more impressive because it has “science” in the title.
A first generation in college, I didn’t know what I was doing there. It was a place to move after high school and they were going to grant me enough money to go for free (minus that last year, damn summer session) because single-parent households relying on a liquor store cashier’s wages, yeah…that’s not paying for any sort of higher education out of pocket. Sorry to the kid who could’ve went instead of me. If I could and CSUN would allow it, I’d gladly give back my degree if they’d clear that pesky debt in Navient’s system. It’s not like I’m using it and the physical copy? It’s somewhere at my mom’s. I’m sure she wouldn’t miss it. She has my high school diploma to hold her over. Really though, how many of you would seriously trade that piece of paper in to be free of that debt? It’s a discussion I’d like to have with Bernie Sanders one day soon because I fear that in a decade’s time, he may not be able to hear me all too well.
Sadly though, as much as I’d love to be able to just give that degree back – it won’t happen and I wouldn’t expect them to give me anything because I dropped the ball on the whole college thing. Today I try and argue with companies to let me be their Robert De Niro (an old ass intern). I have yet to win any of those arguments when applying, but I will continue to do so. I often think about doing it all over again. I’m torn between actually even going to college in the first place, and going but taking sociology and just braving those damn math classes. Today I blog and you don’t need a high education for that. You could probably be a successful blogger by the time you were 13-years-old, younger if you were a smarty pants. Then I think, would blogging even be my life if I’d done school the right way? We’ll never know because time machines aren’t available yet, at least that’s what the government let’s us continue to believe.
College, it works if you’re willing to go the extra mile and take advantage of it but if you’re like me – you’re going to spend four years away from home and in the end your biggest accomplishment will be attending almost every taping of American Idol during season seven. So if you’re going to college, take your time with it and kind of know what the hell you want to take away from it because a degree can only take you so far.