#4 Its Who You Know

college diploma
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THROUGHOUT 2018 AND MOST OF 2019 I WAS VERY CONCERNED WITH MY OWN HEALTH, and I took an hour or so out of each and every day to exercise and work out so that I might offset my diet of junk food and carbohydrates with some kind of physical activity. Working out is good for you, after all – and I thought that if I can do good and be fulfilled then I am living a life that is both good and fulfilling.

I started 2020 much the same and quickly set aside my regular routine, for many reasons.

I’m losing motivation, for one; for two, it’s a time investment, and I am running exceptionally low on time nowadays; third, and perhaps this is the one that has been the determining factor (and I suppose this goes hand-in-hand with the time investment bit), is that it’s become less of a priority to be healthy and more of a priority to exist.

The prospect reads like a contradiction, but I assure you that anybody who has lived a day in this life knows what I mean when I say that I am focusing on getting by.

I am no longer investing into long-term goals and my own presence-beyond-now. I am only investing into what is immediate and certain: I need to work, and to pay rent, and to find someplace to live, etc. etc.

It is the privilege of those who are well-adjusted and certain of their life’s trajectory that can invest in their future. I belong to the caste of people whose existence is the day-to-day.

Being a college graduate is not all what I thought it was cracked up to be. I’m beginning to realize that college is, and has always been, a waste bunker meant for burnouts and people who don’t know what they want to do after high school, of which I belong to both categories.

I could have spent the last four years working for money. Instead, I spent the last four years paying an institution so that I might access a much more prestigious version of my high school, and so that I might boast the accolade of having a Bachelor’s degree on my job resume (also, for those curious, I doubt it makes any kind of difference – nobody has actually offered me an interview for any kind of career in my field; if you’re thinking of attending college because it’ll land you a “good job”, save your money).

It is more accurate to say that college is a full-time job that you pay for. If you go into a college or university without already having a clear plan for your future, you’ve already set yourself up for failure, and I don’t mean to come off as condescending or to say “Failure to plan is planning for failure,” but if you don’t gear yourself towards a career during college, you will not reap the full benefits from your experience there. I say this as someone who has graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in communications and, as I’m sure you’re probably wondering, dear reader, “What exactly is communications?”

The joke is that, even in the communications department, communications is very vague and ill-defined. If you asked me to describe it, I would say it’s a little bit of marketing, a little bit of public relations, and a little bit of sociology for good measure, but without any real strong focus on any. I picked communications as a major only because Portland State University didn’t offer any majors in writing, so I chose a writing minor instead. I wanted communications to really “open up” any opportunities in terms of career choice. I’m not someone who wants to limit myself to any one career path, and being flexible job-wise has always been something I’ve really wanted.

The mistake I made was treating college as another “high school”.

So, if you’ve yet to attend college or university, and your main goal is to “get a good job”… in spite of my recent warning to “save your money,” my only advice would be this: college is not high school, and the work you put in will come secondary to the time you invest in networking. Colleges have many resources dedicated to helping students and alumni find post-graduate work, and I recommend you use those resources while they’re available to you, or risk squandering your work in mediocrity for a piece of paper that really amounts to a glorified gold star for participation.

College is a disgusting hybrid of high school and a full-time job. Treat it as such.

JD-Jurado © all rights reserved 2020

Part 4 of 9 
From Grim to Dire, A Testimonial for Being-to-be


#transformationTuesday #Poetry #creativewriting

5 thoughts on “#4 Its Who You Know”

  1. I thought college was supposed to expose your mind to many different subjects. To enlarge your brain power. Store information in your amazing brain for future retrieval to help one solve problems or find a direction to help solve problems. No information is wasted.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. College absolutely exposed me to many different subjects. I was lucky to have attended such an institution and to have made friends in Portland during the time I spent there. It is not so much that I am condemnatory of the entire idea of college/university but of college/university as a business model. My pessimism towards college/university and criticism of it is founded on the fact that I would have loved to continue my studies but financially it is also a well of acrruing debt that has not seen any kind of return. In addition to writing and my degree in communications, my time at PSU allowed me to earn credits in philosophy and psychology classes and further reinforced my interest in those fields of study. However, there is only so much material covered in one or several classes of the same subject.

      In addition to philosophy and psychology which I have only scratched the surface of, I would have also loved to learn more about architecture, physics, history, and theology. There are many other subjects I would have jumped at the chance to explore — it is not because I did not want to fully explore them, but that I don’t have the means to. If I could stay a student and continue learning, that would have been an ideal situation, but there comes a point where university becomes a privilege for upper class education and not a vector for any kind of meaningful path in life, career or otherwise.


  2. Hi Jared,

    I feel your pain, and I totally agree with you that college is a waste of time and money, unless you are going to a trade school. I think your major was an excellent choice, and you have a great many options to choose from in that field. Your Great Uncle Bill can give you a lot of advice in that area, as he has written and published a few books, plus he has a business in plain language where he helps companies and institutions re-write their manuals, and pamphlets in a a plain language anyone can understand.

    The best advice I got from a friend when I started looking for a job was to apply for a civil service job. The pay is not super, but the benefits are super. And I found within my civil service jobs very rewarding opportunities.

    Your mother is a blessing, too. You’re lucky to have her. She gives great advice. I wish she was my mother, too. 😄

    The important thing to remember is to enjoy the process along the way. It’s true what they say. “Life is too short.” I can’t believe I’m 73 years old all ready. Where did those years go.

    Thanks for sharing your struggles, and wisdom.


    Love you. Great Aunt Mary Ann



    1. Mary-Ann, thank you for your words and advice. I am very lucky for my mother.

      And you are right, it is important to enjoy the process. It is important to pursue the process and not only the outcome. Thank you for reaching out.


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