During college I hosted “Monday nights at the One-One.” My friends would come over. I’d cook. We’d pig out, gripe about classes, laugh until we cried and watch shows like The Hills, Girlfriends and The Game. I also remember talking about how I couldn’t wait to graduate and enter the workforce. Pure ignorance. I’ll get into that later on. I loved these nights at my apartment and I especially loved watching Girlfriends. Because my parents and society tricked me into thinking that a college degree equals a great job, money, and status, my feeble mind could not understand why Lynn was unemployed even though she had 1,000 degrees.
I understand it now.
Last week, my friend, business partner, coauthor and spirit animal, Kio, wrote 6 Things No One Told You About Success (Or, Lies My Parents Told me). She lets us know on number three that a college degree is optional and if you do decide to go to college, get a degree in something practical,
“They meant it when they said you can’t get a real job with a bachelor’s in English or Art History.”
I have one of those! My English degree and I have been working jobs that have nothing to do with English for five years now. She also told us that good manners will get you further in life than knowledge ever will. Thank the good Lord that I was raised in the South! My English degree coupled with my Southern Belleness has helped me get real jobs—an English degree alone could not do this.
Now that I am out of school, working on another degree, tattooed and feeling like a real life, “employed” version of Lynn Searcy, I kind of wish I would have stayed in school longer and not been so anxious to get out and conquer the world. I wasn’t ready for the world and the world wasn’t quite ready for me. If you are a Millenial and you’re still in school, never fear! Do not be ashamed of being called a 10th year senior! Do not be bothered by entering into your third graduate program! In reality, you might be doing better than the rest of us.
I’ve compiled a few reasons why being a Professional Student is a great career.
- You do not have to pay Sallie Mae (just yet): The day that you apply for graduation, Sallie Mae starts her plan of action. The moment you walk across that stage, she is waiting and ready to pounce. The next day, it’s over for you. She warns you that you’ve got six months to rest, then she’s coming for you! Miss Sallie will not stop until the day that you die and even then I heard she just moves on to other surviving family members. Since you’ve signed a decree that you and Sallie are bonded until death and after, stay in school until the bond is broken.
- Bills are minimal: Not only should you stay in school until you’re ready to enter into real life, you should also live on campus until then. When I was in college, the dorms that I lived in hadn’t been remodeled since the 80’s. I moved out after my freshman year because I couldn’t continue to live in a small room that flooded if you turned on the air conditioner. But now a days, college dorm rooms can look like studio apartments. And since you’ll be there for a while working your way up the college ladder, one day you’ll get one of those awesome apartments. Pay your dues, so you don’t have to pay rent.
- You have time to prepare for a cruel, cruel world: Y’all think that the internet has no chill. The world has no chill! College can be a time for you to develop the thick skin that you need to survive in life. Stay there and let your professors coddle you and help you fix mistakes. College is your personal Iyanla Vanzant. You can fix anything and everything about your life, your personality, and your career goals while you’re there. Stay there and do that.
- You can learn how to handle stress: Midterms and finals week are turbulent times for students. Edges thin, under eye bags are more defined and the sales for caffeine shoot through the roof. This is how a working person feels every day, but a student only feels these emotions for roughly seven days twice a semester. Stay in college and learn how to manage stressors because when you get out here in the world, there are no do overs—no retakes. If you fail a class, you can retake it. When your lights are off, they’re off and the power company doesn’t care that your dog ate your homework or that you had to go to a certain party or you wouldn’t be allowed to pledge a fraternity/sorority. Your professors might let you slide, but bill collectors will not.
- You can rest: You have a flexible schedule in college. You can take all morning classes and then sleep all day or you could sleep all day and take night classes. My point is that, in college, you can sleep. After you leave college, sleep is a luxury. Cherish those naps. They will be few and far between.
Granted, a college degree really isn’t that necessary in adult life anymore. If you choose to go to college, you better stay there until you’re a neurosurgeon or professor or something that requires you to have a degree. Yes, most of this blog is satirical, but let’s be serious for a moment. Take my advice, Young Millenial. You can trust me–I’ve been where you are. If you’re still in college trying to figure it all out, stay there until you really know what you want to be when you grow up. Then grow up for a few years and maybe leave after that. Maybe. Do not let your parents, society or anyone guilt you into graduating (prematurely). Take your time. We are a generation with the power to change our world. Stay in school and charge for a while. There will be plenty to do once you’re ready to unplug.