Do it for yourself or don’t do it at all

Instead of trying to please those around you, grow up and do it for yourself. Or don’t do it. But make a decision and stand by it.

Perhaps it’s because I’m 12 years older than the average Skyline student. Maybe it’s because I’m from a working class family and I know how lucky I am to be able to attend college at all. Could it be that it’s because I’ve seen what life is like for those that don’t have a college education to fall back on? It very well could be. It is for that reason that I am annoyed and frustrated when I hear Skyline students say that they are only taking classes to make their parents happy.

Really? That’s why you’re taking up valuable, and limited, space in a classroom here on campus? Because your mommy and daddy want you to be here? Did they threaten to disown you, to kick you out of the house, or throw away your Xbox 360 or PS3 if you didn’t at least take seven units this semester? Guess what kiddies, it’s time to grow up.

A decent percentage of Skyline’s population are men and women who are working one, if not two jobs, while taking classes in the hopes of bettering themselves. They’re here because they want to be here. They want to learn more, to further their education, and they have goals they’re working towards.

Do you think they like only being able to sleep four to five hours a night because they had to work a 12 hour shift and then go home and write a five page term paper that’s due the following morning? No, I highly doubt they look forward to such nights. But they muscle through it and they get it done.

You know why? Because they’re adults, and that’s what adults do. They’re here because they want to be here, and they’re doing it for themselves. Doing something because you want to do it allows for a very powerful drive to succeed. No one is going to be holding you to your goals but yourself, and if you fail it’s no one’s fault but your own.

Maybe high school students shouldn’t be allowed to enter college right after their senior year. All students, after they’ve received their high school diploma, should go directly into the work force. Retail or the service industry only. Forced to work for the general public for no less than eight hours a day, five days a week. If they enjoy it then they can keep doing what they’re doing, but if they don’t then they will be free to apply for college. But only after a one year minimum working in their post high school job.

I am speaking from experience of course. I worked in retail for a decade, and I always chose work over school. I didn’t appreciate the opportunities I had at the time, like the majority of young students we have to deal with day in and day out on campus.

One day it dawned on me that I could do more with my life, and I decided to go back to school full time. Not because a family member expected me to, and not because someone guilted me into doing it, but because I wanted to. If you don’t want to be here, then by all means drop out. Someone else out there will happily take your seat, because they know what it’s like out their in the real world, and they know what a difference a college education can make.