Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Things I learned in college...

Yesterday, the subject of "college" came up (or "university" if you are Canadian or British or like to try too hard to be fancy). Actually, the subject of student loans came up and how many people we know who spent time and money on college (or university) for what seems like nothing. My friend thought she had a good argument (and ally in me) since, she said, at least I was working in my field and using my degree.

I laughed.

I laughed a lot.

I laughed long and loud and clear. But I didn't float up to the ceiling for a tea party...which is always a huge disappointment to me.

I am currently a Human Resources Manager. Before that, I was a Marketing Director. Before that, I worked in the Report Production department of an Archeology firm. And, before that, I got the only job a person with a liberal arts degree can get with no other experience or connections...I was a receptionist.

None of these jobs had anything to do with my Government/Criminal Justice/English degree.

That degree was intended to take me to law school and was really good for nothing else, except maybe going on to get a Masters degree.

But, despite the lack of marketability and the inauspicious entry into the workforce...and the 10s of thousands of dollars I had to borrow...I really don't regret my college career or degree choice(s). I loved my years in college. I liked the classes I took (with one or two exceptions). I learned tons. I left a different person.

In college...

1. I became a Christian. I enrolled an atheist/occultist. Don't ask me how these co-existed rationally in my head, but they did. Then, in the summer of 1994, God met me in my dorm room as I mindlessly read the Book of Ruth. My world was rocked. My heart was changed. My life would never be the same.

2. I learned to properly fold a letter so it will neatly fit into a standard envelope. It's a skill I use to this day, and think about hours spent stuffing envelopes with friends every time I fold a letter today.

3. I learned that friends don't have to be from the same neighborhood, look the same, think the same, or act the same...they're just people you love because you love them...and vice versa.

4. I learned that Mythology teachers are unimaginative and boring. When asked to write about a bacchanal in modern times, I made it truly modern and turned the woods into a club and raw meat into taco bell at 2am (which was then ritually vomited out a car window, while all of my classmates wrote about modern day kids running naked in the woods and eating fresh, raw venison. I got a C. I should have gotten an A.

5. I learned to not make everything about me. After months of living with a roommate that generally ignored me and slept the semester away, I assumed she just hated me or was on drugs. In truth, she was hiding a pregnancy and in serious denial about it all.

6. I learned that sometimes it takes other people believing in your to help you believe in yourself. I've always enjoyed singing and even had the option to go to school on a music scholarship, but opted to pursue a line of study that would be more "practical" (hahaha). However, I enrolled in the choir. I was the only non-music major in the group and felt very out of place. One fellow choir member encouraged me to take voice lessons. Finally, in my senior year, I did. The teacher encouraged me to sing in the recital. After months of prodding, I agreed. I remember walking out. I remember hitting the high A I was worried about. I remember walking off the stage. I also remember being a bit of a celebrity when I walked through the music department the following week...and for the first time, feeling like singing was something I could really do and pursue without apology.

7. I learned to be ok with being me ...or to be more ok with it, anyway. In college, I came out of my shell. I went after things I wanted. I tried new things. I walked in the rain. I danced in public. I spoke in front of groups. I set goals for myself...and I achieved them.

8. On top of all of that, I learned to rely on myself, to be responsible for myself, to make decisions, to express my thoughts, to fight for what I wanted, to have confidence in myself, to take in information and discard what was useless, mere opinion or untrue, and that God is absolutely sovereign over all..

9. I also learned that me and Estee Lauder perfumes are not friends...never will be friends...but that me and Math could be.

10. ...and that, sometimes, women grow hair on their chin.

The End.

1 comment: