School’s not for everyone. So why do some people still feel like they have to go back?
Year after year the ritual, routine and recurring nerves happens. Buying supplies, getting new outfits. If in college – thinking about decor, bedding and how well you will get along with a roommate are top concerns. As each year passes, the realization that one day this will no longer be an annual tradition starts to sink in.
Before you know it, September rolls around and so do the new backpacks, commercials advertising all things back-to-school, and for the post-grad the strange feeling of displacement.
Maybe you are utterly relieved to be done with school and overjoyed at the prospect of not picking classes, meeting new teachers and managing your time around studying and homework. This may be the case for some time – but whether those graduated like to admit it or not, the time will likely come when the nostalgia hits hard and so do the feelings of finality.
Societal pressure to be apart of annual events like going back to school is present for all. Unfortunately, it does not end after graduating high school or getting your first degree. Now, unless you are a shining star at work and making “bank” as they say, you will be nudged, guilted and possibly persuaded to consider higher education by family and friends alike.
While it may not be purposeful, the guilt or displeasure of accepting where you are life is very real. For instance, my mother thinks the “best jobs” and a Masters Degree are intertwined. People are more apt to suggest simply “go back to school” than to ask you what your passion in life is, and how you can make that into your job.
Successful entrepreneurs are seen as impressive persons – but that is partially due to them simply doing what they enjoy and by default making money from it. We see these people taking alternative routes in life and get jealous of their decision to simply do what makes them happy. Following the seasons in terms of what and when we should be worried about in terms of school is easier than saying “school is not for me.” This results in years and thousands upon thousands of dollars often being spent somewhat in vain.
So whether it is those entering their first year of undergraduate or second year of graduate school, do not let the societal pressures bombarding your senses overcome what you value in life.
Whether it makes money or not, four or more years of your life is a commitment. If you are incredibly passionate about something, just think of where you could be in terms of a four year commitment to your dreams. Though cliche, the reality is that we truly are all on different paths, we cannot possibly succeed at the same rate but seasonal expectations of pursuing education, getting a job, getting a raise etc. will leave us feeling like we are underachieving.
There will always be someone who is doing more or earning more in different areas/jobs. Choose to live life with purpose versus paycheck. – AM