I learned how to get grades good enough to graduate. I learned how to pass classes. I learned how to be good enough to get by, to achieve a goal in order to get to the next step. I learned that there are people that are really good at being “great students”, getting good grades, and studying effortlessly.
I was not one of them.
I learned how to study just enough to take a test, pass an exam, or do my part on a group project just to get a low B or a solid C, all for the sake of passing the class with a similar grade. I learned how to dumb down academic achievement so much that mediocrity was acceptable.
I learned that there are certain things that I really don’t want bad enough in life like graduating at the top of my class or getting straight A’s. I learned that that mentality will come back and haunt you.
It can stay with you and you apply it to other endeavors in your life, i.e. working just to get a paycheck and pay bills.
I learned that if you turn college into a competition amongst your peers, it will be a competition amongst your peers. I learned that the fantasy is always, always better than the reality. I learned that dreams can be deceitful.
I learned that if you compare yourself with others you will neither be great nor terrible—you will always be good enough.I learned that if all you do is just enough to get by, that is all you will get in return—just enough to get by.
I learned that “just enough” is never enough. Ever.
I did not learn how to be a human. I did not learn how to hone my craft, enjoy my passion and be amazing at it because that is what humanity needs—not more employees. I did not learn how to love my passion as I should have. I did not learn how to love life. I did not learn how to be better than who I was yesterday because who I was yesterday was good enough for me. The yester-me was acceptable for the ensuing day.
I’m learning that, at times, college was the worst waste of my time—because I made it that way. I’m learning that the mentality of acceptable mediocrity never dissipates because it becomes routine. I’m learning that we adopt it and it becomes a part of everything we do. Everything.
I’m learning that maybe I should have been an english major or a theater major, as that would have helped bring out the best part of me to contribute to the planet. I’m learning that maybe having changed my major wouldn’t have mattered at all. I’m learning that making excuses about the past has no positive bearings on the outcome of the future.
Maybe I’ll learn that everything that I just described actually will payoff at some point. But as of today, as it stands, the most important thing I learned in college:
I learned how to get the hell out of college.