Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Going to School as an Adult Kinda Blows

We don't need no education
It may seem that I live in a world filled with only eyeshadow, perfume rollerballs and free weights. And listen, that sounds like a dream life that I'd love to be living. But outisde of superficial pursuits, I occasionally do other things. I have spent much of my twenties in postsecondary education of some sort. The timeline goes like this: college, university, college, university-for a total of five full years, one diploma and about 60% of a degree, which I am currently working toward very part time. There's been a couple false starts and a few years off in there somewhere. I have not taken a traditional path in my schooling. Because I kind of hate it.

I haven't liked school since I was about 12. I was lucky to get through high school. Not because I struggled with any of the subject matter-, but becasue I skipped so many classes. I always got that speech "Ruth, you're so smart, why don't you apply yourself?" I failed ceramics. Let me repeat that. I failed ceramics. I had a great time smoking cigarettes on the sidewalk outside of school though, and running away from the Vice-Principal, that was fun too. In my last year of high school, I at least went to class and ended up graduating with honours, but I didn't even bother to apply to college or university. I just didn't feel like it. I only wanted to work, and party with my friends. And for a while, that's what I did.

After a few years of working in fast food restaurants and shitty retail stores, I started to realize that my dream of becoming famous for absolutely no reason wasn't coming true, and I could be looking at a lifetime of minimum wage mall jobs. So I deciced to go to college. By that time I was really into working out, which had taught me a lot about discipline and dedication. I transferred those skills to school, and ended up doing really well. I even won an award that first year. But then I got bored and decided I wanted to go to University. Then I did a year of that, and dropped out(out of boredom again) and took a few more years off. Then I back to college, and actually stuck with it, mostly because I didn't want to NOT finish again, and earned a diploma. And THEN I went back to university, where I could only stomach a year of full time classes. So now I'm working a job I like, and doing one class at a time. It's an alright arrangement for me, but I still can't get over my distaste towards Academia. I'm not stupid, I realize that eventually having a degree might be an asset. But I've got some problems with the whole thing.

Whoa, I am so sorry I did not really mean for my whole backstory to come out here. But I guess it provides a framework and gives me some credibilty. I'm not bitching about something I know nothing about, or that I haven't given a fair chance.

Here are just a few of the problems I have with school-some of these are just specific to being an older student. And come on now, don't take me too seriously. I spend my free time thinking and writing about $30 blush.

1. I can't afford it. I'm not the poorest person in the world, but daaaaaaammmmmnnnnnnn school is expensive! I've accumulated some debt over the years, and I don't want more. As an older student, I have seen many friends graduate and struggle with extreme debt from school, and I'm scared of that. Especially after all the episodes of Til Debt Do Us Part I've watched. I do not want Gail up in my house cutting up my credit cards in the future. I'm trying to pay for the rest of school myself and that sucks. The thought of debt is even scarier because......

2. ...it doesn't guarantee a high paying job. Again, I've seen a lot of my friends go through school and end up in jobs similar to mine. Ok, I am a manager at my work, and I don't know that I would have been capable of that before I went to school and learned a thing or two about time management and deadlines and all that kind of stuff. But my schooling has only been indirectly beneficial to my career. It's scary to think that I could finish this degree a whole lot poorer, and maybe not have any more job prospects than I have now.

3. I hate Academic Elitism. I have always been book smart. And that's cool. But I am a firm believer that book smart is only one kind of smart. And not necessessarily the most important kind. I just hate the attitude that some (not all!) academics seem to have that going to university makes them better than the rest of the population. When your toilet gets backed up, you're gonna need a plumber, not a professor.I feel like people at school kind of forget that.

4. Being in school with a bunch of young people really makes you face what a horrible bitter person you've become. I'm awful! My inner monologue at school sounds like this "Look at all these little shits. Wearing their school colours. Oh, everythings so happy and wonderful isn't it? Nice sweatpants everybody, glad you're feeling so casual. You don't know anything about the real world you idiots." Calm down Ruth, they're just enjoying their lives. I'm probably just pissed that they're all making better life choices than I ever did.

5. Going to school as an adult is lonely. Working in the bar and restaurant industry I've been extremely spoiled to almost always be among people I consider friends. My job is all about interacting with people. And despite all my YouTube watching and blogging, I'm really social. I'm not used to being in a environment where I feel like I don't fit in. And that is the reality of it-it's not like I'm in high school and just think I don't fit in. I actually am close to 10 years older than most of my classmates, and  have a whole different set of priorities.  I try to be really nice to the older ladies who serve coffee in the student centre because I feel like I have more in common with them than anyone else. They're probably calling everyone Little Shits in their heads too.

6. I just have a general problem with the whole institution. I'll blame this on going to too many punk shows as a teenager. But really, the whole thing just pisses me off. It's supposed to be a place of higher learning, but you have to do everything the way THEY want you to do it. I think I just have a general problem with authority and that's my own fault. But when I'm told that I have to reference things a certain way, or write the way everyone else does or whatever it is, I get pissed. I'm paying a lot of money to be there and I want to do things MY way. I don't like the feeling that an institution is trying to mould me, and I feel like I'm always up in arms against it. Like I said this is my own fault and I'm probably just being contrary for the sake of it. But still.

And now let me make a confession. I think the whole reason that I'm writing this is that I have a midterm in two days. Any student past or present knows that when it's time to study, you're gonna get creative with your procrastination. The truth is that I am very thankful that I have the opportunity to get an education-I know that many people are never given that chance. But I have some issues with the whole thing. And quite a few chapters of an anthropology text  I should be reading right now.

And for anyone who just wants to hear about makeup, I took a photo of most of my blushes today. I think it's a good illustration of why I need to think about things other than makeup to write about. I have a problem.
No seriously, this is shameful.


  1. I love you ruth :)

    1. Well thank you very much, whoever this is I probably love you too!