Something occurred to me, recently. I lack a lot of passion for things because, growing up, everyone around me was so supportive and told me that I could do anything I wanted to, which ends up being somewhat problematic because then you’re given the Paradox of Choice. I can do anything I want and no one can stop me, and that’s a great feeling. The only thing that’s limiting me is my own insecurities and self-loathing, both of which I have in spades. However, where this becomes an issue is that I still don’t know what I want to do for a living. I enjoy my job at a TV station, I enjoy my hobbies of writing, or drawing, or of making music, or playing video games and the panoply of other activities I partake in. And I can do all of these things because I’ve tried them, I was allowed to experiment.
I’ve had no one to argue against, nor to prove wrong, thus I don’t have these same passions that someone else might. I never had to tell someone “I will become a great author” or “I will become a celebrated painter” or “I’ll make a great album”. I was never externally limited in my ambitions, I just do stuff until I get bored with it and then stop abruptly and have one less thing to do. The only thing that people have ever really told me is a necessity or have been forcing me to do is to go back to college and get a degree.
This is my rebellion, as ridiculous as it is.
“But you’ll never get a good job if you don’t graduate.”
No, I’m gonna prove you all wrong. I’m going to gain experience in my field and get great jobs everywhere in the country, in the world, because I’ll be great at what I do, savvy in the business and gain connections and exposure to people who will see that I know my shit and I can lock it down with the best of them. I’m going to show these people that I matter, that I’m the important part of my education, that I don’t need a piece of expensive paper with ink all over it to prove to the world that I’m worth it.
And yes, I get that this is stupid, and childish, and altogether probably going to result in failure and sadness on my part due to the fact that corporate America, in all it’s glory and wisdom, doesn’t look for the results, it doesn’t look for who can do what and how well. It looks for the kids with their sheets of paper that show they’ve paid enough to get hired.
Or will they get hired?
Another thing that I’m apprehensive about when it comes to this discussion is that employers also look for experience in the field that you are trying to get hired for. And thus raises the issue of The Employer’s Absurdity. To get a job you need to have a degree, which to obtain one you will, under most circumstances, be forced to forgo any job experience while pursuing education for your career by taking a full schedule at college while at the same time the person with the experience in the job might not get employed because they did not get their college education and receive their diploma which proves that they are qualified enough for the job.
Look, assholes, you can’t have both. Choose one or the other. Hell, you can train an inexperienced person to do the job simply through the act of repetition, which is all schooling really is, pounding information into the heads of young minds ad infinitum until they can execute actions in a rote manner. And the guy with the degree can do just as well as someone who has been doing the work for years and will increase their adeptness in the job market quicker than someone who has not completed their secondary education.
I don’t really want to go back to college until these kinks in the system are worked out, and they will be sometime soon. More people will become savvy of this profoundly absurd hiring system and will rebel against it. We need to. There needs to be more than one path to success in this country, if there isn’t, then this isn’t a country where you can be happy in whichever career you choose. Where everyone is free to be amazing. Where you can do anything you want to.
And that means everyone’s been lying to me.