Parties, stress, sex, classes, sports, and your four year friendship with mary jane (some of us redefined the term HIGHER Education). With my index finger resting on my temple, and thumb firmly planted under my chin; I can’t help but smile when recalling the days of meal plans, dollar drinks, and house parties.
But for many of us, college wasn’t just a four year fun-fest. It was also a time to carefully plan and prepare for life after the fun. To slowly mold our futures while sharpening our skills to compete in today’s fast paced economy.
Two and a half years ago I had dreams of taking over the world. With 120 credit hours completed I was primed and ready to cha-cha slide across that stage, give the president of my University some dap, pose for the picture, and throw the dueces to what I considered the best-worst years of my life.
I remember my mother and some of my loved ones crying after I received my diploma; but if I knew then what I know now, I would’ve been the one weeping.
With dreams of gold, and a manilla folder full of freshly printed resumes I left home for the big city. After a few months of part-time jobs and an inbox full of rejection emails, I felt like my long term relationship with this woman called education had been a lie. I mean afterall I remained faithful to her, put her first in my life, gave her all my money and employers treated me as if I got my diploma out of a cereal box.
While my relationship with education was looking grim, a new woman started pursuing me. This woman was relentless in her pursuit, she would write me letters and call me 3-4 times a day just to see how I was doing– her name was Sallie Mae. I know many of you know her as well–homegirl gets around.
Although the hater suit never quite fit me, I must admit post-graduate had to be the most bitter time of my life. To add salt to my joblessness wound, all of my friends were getting offers. I mean some of them had offers before we graduated, while others were scoring high paying gigs outside their major.
Upon hearing said news I turned to a source who knew my story well. Someone who was no stranger to emotion, and who had just the answers I was looking for, that person my friends was the Louis Vuitton Don himself– Mr. Kanye West. ln typical Kanye fashion, he had an album that embodied exactly what I was going through, insert College Dropout here. Although the album was roughly five years old at that point, that was the first time I felt like I truly appreciated it– Kanye’s much more tolerable when you’re going through something.
I don’t consider myself much of a conspiracy theorist, but during that time I was famous for telling people how higher education was a ploy by the government to get you into debt, and that your diploma was nothing more than a ticket to stand in line. I mean I had it bad, throwing shade and spewing hate to anyone who was willing to listen.
While I was doing my best mad rapper “tell em why you mad son” impersonation, I realized that I forgot to factor in a very important element, and that element was I graduated into one of the worst economies since the great depression. I mean at that point I would’ ve had a better chance at finding Bin Laden than finding a decent full time job. Once I took the pressure off myself, and the bitterness off my breath, I didn’t find a job, but the search became much more livable.
Eventually the stars aligned and my journey lead me exactly to where I needed to be. Within it though I learned valuable life lessons. I realized that a piece of paper didn’t entitle me to anything, and that if I wanted something to shake I had to make it happen. After I landed the “good” job I realized my criticism of higher education wasn’t exactly right, but it wasn’t exactly wrong either.
To all my bitter college grads out there, hold your head, unemployment rates are dropping. To all my communication majors working in restaurants, or finance majors working in the mall, nothing lasts forever. If you stand in line long enough your number will be called. However for the people out there who don’t feel like waiting on your opportunity, you may just have to create it.