From Dropout To Graduate

My first day of my internship was yesterday. The day went well! The only annoyances were the school bell, which I’ll get used to, and the teacher next door who wouldn’t stop yelling at her class. Apparently, it’s a remedial class for students with behavioral problems. Not sure how yelling cures that, but that’s not my department!

Minus that, the day was perfect. Aside from the above, the whole day was peaceful and quiet. I had a partner to work with and, after we were told what we had to do, we were left to our own devices in an office-like space. We spent the day testing out hard drives and monitors, and installing Windows 7 images. Half the time was spent waiting for the installations to finish, so we played on our phones in the meantime. Got to have our lunches when we wanted and left at 2:30pm. I realize it was only the first day, but if that’s a glimpse of our day-to-day work, I could used to it! No customers, nothing hectic, no loudness (for the most part), no phones ringing every half hour, no standing for 6 to 8 hours. It was bliss. If only I got paid.

When I came home, I had an envelope from my school. Inside was the announcement for the graduation ceremony, and the form needed to RSVP. I immediately requested the day off work, and since it’s two months ahead, I’m not worried about the request being rejected. But if it is rejected, I’m calling out! The program may have been less than a year (including internship, nine months), but that’s my time and money I invested! I will not miss that ceremony!

It’s so hard to believe this is reality and happening to me. A few days ago, I had a post appear from a year ago in my Facebook memories where I said I just finished applying for school. It almost felt surreal.

Five years ago, I was a college dropout because I was not ready for college and only went to stop my family from complaining. I didn’t have my mind set on what I wanted to study, I was burned out from my previous thirteen years of mandatory schooling, and I essentially floated around until I found my job two years after dropping out. Yes, I’m late and it’s not traditional college, but I still did the work and earned it. I am still a graduate! I got to the end of it.

While I wish I could’ve graduated on time with my high school classmates, I’m not terribly unhappy to finish now. Like I said, I was burned out from thirteen years of school and wanted no more to do with it. Plus, I was much less independent at that time. Yes, I relied on my family somewhat to get through school, but I traveled alone and most of the expenses came from my paychecks. When I went to college right after high school, it was the local community college that was a 30-minute walk away because I didn’t know what else to do, and it was the cheapest and closest option. Picking a further college meant I would’ve relied on my family to drive me to and from there. Not to mention scheduling classes was a mess. I very much prefer my trade school’s way: the entire program being certain days and hours. I don’t really want to go to class at 10pm. Or travel between two different campuses for classes!

Yes, it feels much better to go to school at my pace, not my family’s. Wouldn’t you know? School’s not so bad when you aren’t forced.

MU Provides A Life Lesson

Yesterday, my summer group saw the movie Monsters University. We were supposed to see Despicable Me 2, but we would’ve had to wait a half-hour until it started and a large group can’t exactly stand around in a cinema.

To sum the plot up, Mike goes to the titular school to join the scare program and become a true scarer. However, thanks to Sully’s antics, he gets kicked out of the program by the dean because she thinks he’s not scary. Mike ends up assembling a team and participating in the Scare Games to prove he is scary. His team wins, but the victory turns out to be a false one because Sully tampered with the final game when it was Mike’s turn. Sully confesses and is expelled. Meanwhile, Mike has entered a door to the human world without permission to once again prove he is scary. Doesn’t work, as the kids find him to more cute than scary. Sully goes after him and together, the two pull off a scare that opens the door from the inside and also basically causes an explosion. As punishment, they’re both expelled, but Mike’s team from the Scare Games is allowed in the scare program. After Mike boards the bus to go home, Sully stops it to tell Mike that while he may not be scary, he is fearless. The dean flies in to basically agree and wish them luck. Mike and Sully become a team and work together at the Monsters Company, first starting in the mailroom, but eventually working their way up to becoming scarers. The movie ends with Mike and Sully about to begin their first day of scaring children. Thus, Mike has finally reached his dream of being a scarer.

Now, I love just about any movie that has a happy ending, but what I loved in particular about this one is that Mike still got what he wanted in the end, despite having so many people against him and being expelled from the university he’d had his heart set on. He’d been teased since childhood about not being scary and that didn’t change when he grew up. He was still mocked and ridiculed, even by the dean. While there was a point where he did give up, it wasn’t because of all the teasing. It was failure to scare the kids. Even then, Sully talked him out of it by revealing that he wasn’t as perfect as his arrogance made him out to be. Basically, what I loved about this movie is that Mike’s determination and ambition, as well as Sully’s encouragement, is what ultimately led to him reaching his goal.

While I realize it’s merely a movie and reality is hugely different, it doesn’t change that there is a little bit of reality in the movie. The lesson is you don’t have to walk on a “perfect” path to achieve what you want and the road to success isn’t always straight.

Back in high school, the teachers, guidance counselors, and even the vice principal preached about how college was so important and there was no excuse not to go. If you didn’t attend college, you had no chance of having a successful life. A little curiosity found me some different ideas. Sometimes, that plan doesn’t always work out. There are many people with college degrees, even masters, who are stuck in dead-end jobs either due to the economy or their chosen field not being high in demand. At the same time, there are people who never attended college who work government-related jobs.

I think I’ve said before that I genuinely want to attend college. However, it’s very nice to know that there is no one “right” path in life and instead, there are many paths that can lead to success, whatever the definition of that word is for each person. That’s also another great thing. “Success” has a different meaning for everyone. If my life doesn’t match someone else’s, it doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It means my life is different. I hope I don’t seem idealistic typing this because I don’t believe I am. I just think college needs to stop being pushed so much on young adults and the notion that college automatically leads to success needs to die. Not only is it ludicrous, it’s dangerous.