The Game of Academia

30 Topic Challenge: Day 16- Academics

I think of the word ‘Academics’ and immediately roll my eyes. In my mind, it means the battle to get the ranking and be the best student. I recently started reading this new book about a girl, like me, who has been prepping for college her entire life. Then she meets this “mysterious” guy and blah blah blah, you know the end. Point is, I’m reading these chapters and it’s as if my own life has been put in a book. (Want more? After by Anna Todd.)

Go to school. Get the grades. Go to college. Get better grades. Get a job. Make a certain amount of money. It’s stupid. The intense battle between best friends over that single digit difference in ranking is stupid. I’d rather prep for my field than an extra 4+ years of random classes.

While researching, I came across an interesting definition for ‘Academics’ as an adjective; “learned or scholarly but lacking in worldliness, common sense, or practicality.” Of course this is a lower definition in a long list, but I enjoyed it much more than the first one. That’s all that matters, right?  This definition goes along with my first education post, too.

I’ve always felt the pressure to make the better grades. Coming from a studious family, I would expect nothing less. Even though I was in the top 25% at my high school, and got into the school of my dreams, I still didn’t feel adequate enough. Many mental breakdowns occurred because of the strain to be someone I was not. I won’t get a 4.0 by the time I graduate college, and that’s ok. No, I am not aiming small. I know my strengths and weaknesses, and my overall goal in college is to gain experience for my career afterwards. The 4.0 competition won’t kill me anymore!

It’s as if whoever is in charge deludes students into thinking they will have endless possibilities as long as they get the perfect grade. No, guys. You want the job? You have to network, meet people, explore the field, and gain experience. Yeah, a high GPA looks fantastic on a resume, and it definitely will help you, but what you need most of all is something to show them how valuable you are. Half your GPA is probably unneeded basics anyway, depending on your major/field.

I don’t feel like shaking the Dean’s hand and going to cocktail parties for scholarly achievement. Just give me my education and let me go live my life, please.

Straight Up Education

30 Topic Challenge: Day 8- How important you think education is.

It’s been ingrained in me all my life that I have to attend public school until I’m 18, and then I have to go to college to get a degree. I thought that was the only way to do it, and if you didn’t, you were lazy and stupid. My friends began to talk about enlisting in the military and I turned up my nose like a snob, because they chose combat over knowledge.

FYI: a piece of paper should NEVER tell you how smart you are.

FYI: if you think so, I’m sorry friend. I’m here to tell you your intelligence goes farther than words on a page with pretty borders.

We live in a day and age where information is readily available at the tips of our fingers. Thousands of colleges and universities live within the internet. Youtube is full of legitimate instruction. Blogs, articles, websites, it’s all there. I can learn more browsing the internet in a few hours than I can sitting in a class all year.

With this in mind, I think education is still extremely important. I wish the whole world could be properly educated, and I hope one day it will be. But “properly educated” doesn’t necessarily mean going through the motions like I currently am. I’m stuck in the system, but I applaud those who make something of themselves without wasting money and time learning useless equations and advanced sciences that they probably won’t need.

It is still very possible for a PhD graduate to leave college without a career. They might end up working at McDonalds, and become socially shunned. But they have a PhD! They worked for 8+ years for that piece of paper! According to the glossy words, they are highly educated, and they’re not getting a job? Shocker.

My point: education does not mean degree. Education means knowledge obtained. The latter is the most important thing you can do for yourself. The former is only important by social standards. There is a difference. 

Dear Military people and friends: I love you all. You are smart beyond measure. I was a stupid child. Thank you for your bravery and service.

Next week I explore the murky waters of the topic: how comfortable I am with my body. Which I have turned into the social disaster that is body image.