OT Thread Part VII : Tips and Tricks Edition
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12-12-2012, 08:28 PM
After 5 years...
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: New York
Originally Posted by
Michael Del Ziti
Since you're around Jason (and other "older" guys), how do you feel about taking a year off between high school and college?
EDIT: Caution, mad man ranting below
Do it. There's no rush to get a college degree these days. They're worthless now anyways. You might as well know EXACTLY what you want to do, where you want to go, what you're going to study and what your game plan is long before you enroll or even think about spending a dime these days. And the expectation that, when you graduate from high school, you should know these things and be ready to make decisions that are going to impact the rest of your life and which are costly (not tremendously, but changing majors or schools, for example, isn't exactly like skipping songs on your ipod either)if they don't turn out to be what you really wanted when you were an ~18 year old is ridiculous.
Gain some experience in the world. Do anything you want. Travel. Work. Volunteer. Discover yourself and take your time. Seriously. I think it should be MANDATORY to take time off before college, having done it all myself. Honestly, travel. Work a job you'd never expect to or apprentice for someone. Or go backpacking. Hell, go do drugs even. Change your perspective and explore your mind. Know who you are and what YOU really believe before you make decisions about education and career paths. Learn how to think 100% for yourself and not according to what parents and teachers want you to think or based upon the patterns and habits that your social indoctrination (school up until high school graduation) has ingrained in you. Get an idea of how things REALLY work. Not the way you're told they work. Not the way the news/media/school says they work. Form as many original opinions as you can, even if they contradict what you've been taught and told. Make decisions about school later, when you're a complete person. No insult meant, it's just about youth and experience. The notion that we're equipped to make these kinds of decisions fresh out of high school is a problem that most people aren't even aware of because it's simply a societal norm (turns out those aren't always good, in and of themselves).
Go out and figure out what kind of person you are and what kind of mind you have and what kind of world you're really living in, all outside of the influence of the education system and high school social clicks and everything else you've known to this point. Then you'll be equipped to figure out where you REALLY want to go in life. Kids who are a mere 18 years old who go to college and declare themselves finance majors and study to become accountants are doing it wrong. Sure, they can turn out okay, via some other influences (strong people in their life providing guidance, an alternative experience, strong drive to learn and discover outside of the classroom on their own), but that path is a ridiculous one and it's driven by thoughts like "accountants make good livings". Making a living is important, because you have to exist in this world, but make a difference first. Not necessarily in the world. Just A difference. Some kind. To do that, you have to learn so much more than high school and societies standards can teach you. I simply don't believe kids are equipped to make use of the college experience immediately upon graduating from high school. My little brother is a far more intellectual, outside the box, personal discovery type of person than most of his peers and he's a senior in college, about to graduate and he's still a baby with no world experience and a half-formed world view because of it. It blows my mind that in 6-7 months he'll be considered a college graduate, expected to look for a career and start living his adult life of self sufficiency and societal contribution. He's not equipped. It's unreasonable to expect him to be. Our society, with all of it's helpful "norms" and standards IS unreasonable. I think the smartest people are the ones who don't follow the standard path and don't do what's expected of them. I didn't graduate college until I was 25 because I simply had other things to do that were important to me. I wanted to live according to my own standards and priorities, not society's.
Sorry for the rant, but I truly think there is nothing more valuable than going outside of the lines and flying in the face of the status quo. You'd never expect it from talking to me or looking at me, because I don't think that means you have to dress different or act different or try to show off that you ARE different. It just means thinking for yourself. I value my own opinion more than anything in this world. We're taught that there's something wrong with that and that we're supposed to accept what other's say and what we're taught, but I accept nothing that I can't first think about, apply logic to, apply my moral code to and then agree with. I don't care who said it or who taught it to me. Just because an 'authority' says it, doesn't make it right or true. Just because society says we should do something or society values something, doesn't mean it's right. Just like going to college at 18 years old. Just my $.02.
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