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Monday, February 11, 2008

Lessons learned out the window

Spring is in the air, and it's only February!

I know, I know, it isn't prudent to get too excited. The Weather Troll is bound to send us another snow storm or two before the season is out. But in the meantime, I'm enjoying the sunshine! Even if only through my office window... sigh...

You know what's the time of life in which you have the most freedom? It's the college years. No, seriously, that is the time of your life where you really get to take hold of the reins and make your own decisions. You answer only to yourself. It may seem as if you are a slave to your classes, and that you can't really get your life started until you finish college, but that isn't true. First off, you get to take as much time as you want to get your degree, and after you get the first one, you can consider staying on to get another. You can do it all as fast or as slow as you want, and you get to savor it all, day by day -- the fact that you are making your own decisions. You can decide when you want to sleep in, or take a day off to play or be sick, and you don't have to answer to anyone about it. Obviously there are better days to take off than others, but the point is, you are the boss of your life in college. It is the ultimate time of freedom.

When you get a real job in the real world, that is when your freedom is taken away from you, and you have to answer to someone else, just like it was when you were under your parents' roof. You can't have as many days off as you want to get over being sick or to rest your mind or to simply play (in other words, to live your life). And you have to spend the best hours of your day staring out the window and wishing you were playing in the sun.

Being an adult sucks.

Ok, being an adult doesn't really suck; I'm not very fond of kids, after all, and I wouldn't want to revert to being one. But I just wish as an adult we wouldn't be so beholden to other people. I wish we were the bosses of our own lives.

Maybe I'll go to law school, and then work in the public sector to pay off my loans, and then return to school as a law professor! Wouldn't that be the life? Yes, academics: that is the life.


Alright, so this post was really supposed to be about how excited I am about the warm weather, but then I got depressed when I looked out the window and remembered that I can't do with my day whatever I want to do with it, because I have to WORK! BAH!!!

You know, I worked hard in college, but my hard work was rewarded with plenty of rest time. What with summer vacation, fall break, winter break, spring break, and the random national holidays, semesters at school were totally manageable on a mental level. But when it got down to midterms and finals, you put your nose to the grindstone and got the job done, even if it meant pulling all nighters. But these midterms and finals were milestones that kept you going, and you got to feel proud of yourself when you were finished with them. The completion of each semester brought you one step closer to achieving your goals and to bettering yourself as an educated person.

There is no such structure at work. Sure, there are deadlines, but completing them doesn't bring you any closer to grander achievement. And you never get to celebrate your success. People don't tell you if you do a good job, but they don't hesitate to let you know when you do things wrong.

I never understood why people would want to get Ph.D.s. Why be in school for so long? But I get it now, and maybe that's why I want to go back and get my law degree. Deep down, I just want to be a student forever.



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3 comments:

Scott Barnes said...

I hear you. At least you have a window - I have to work at a desk with no view of the outside world.

When you're an attorney you'll have more control over your schedule, right?

I've been thinking about this a lot lately... especially since I'm not going to medical school next year. I've realized that being able to set my own schedule is much more important to me than the amount of money I can make. Money can be saved - time cannot.

Sra said...

I was thinking about this too. I was remembering that when I was in college, I didn't need a lot of money to survive. At one point, I only made $300 a month, which was too low, but I still felt happy and free.

Maybe the key is to live like a pauper even when you aren't, and save and invest the rest. That's how a lot of people become millionaires.

And then of course, they can use the millionaire dating site, which is a worthy goal in life, right?

It's difficult to break out of the scheduling crisis, though. Our society doesn't want people to rest. We are slaves.

Sra said...

I was thinking about this too. I was remembering that when I was in college, I didn't need a lot of money to survive. At one point, I only made $300 a month, which was too low, but I still felt happy and free.

Maybe the key is to live like a pauper even when you aren't, and save and invest the rest. That's how a lot of people become millionaires.

And then of course, they can use the millionaire dating site, which is a worthy goal in life, right?

It's difficult to break out of the scheduling crisis, though. Our society doesn't want people to rest. We are slaves.

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