3 Options

Someone once told me there are 3 ways you can live your life:
You can either waste it, sell it to the highest bidder, or give it away.

My college experience so far has taught me more than I could have ever imagined it would coming into college. I’ve been shaped by my major, history, and am probably scarred for life because all I want to do in other classes is place stuff in historical context. But as most people who go through college will probably tell you, you learn more outside the classroom than you do inside. That has definitely held true for me and I have had great difficulty reconciling the fact that I can’t have those outside the classroom experiences without actually being enrolled in the school.

I know I’m not the only student who feels this way and I hate to whine about classes (oh yes poor me having to suffer the pains of higher education) because college doesn’t last forever. But I’ll let it be known that I am not a very good academic student, nor do I have any desire to be a very good one, I do not find fulfillment in good grades or even acquiring a lot of knowledge. So what am I doing at college? I’m not quite sure.

I wish I could say its because I am passionate about history, although I do like it very much, but I don’t think any academic subject would motivate me. I’m partially here because like it or not a degree gives you power in this world and opens doors. I came to MW because it was the next logical step for people my age. I didn’t want to go to vocational school and I didn’t know what else I wanted to do, so college it is!

My question is, is it alright to not be academically minded in college?

Again, maybe I am being whiny, but it has been a nagging question rolling around the back of my head for sometime. There is no doubt in my mind that I love learning and being enrolled in classes means I have a responsibility to do my work in those classes, but again the nagging question.

The good side to all of this is, I am beginning to understand what things in life fill me up, and I am going after those things with a fire I do not have for academic studies. I believe in order to live life fully you have to be giving it away and through giving we find we are filled back up. I can’t find that in the study of academics like some people can.

I think I am willing to be a mediocre grade student if it means in the grander scheme of things I am living my life well. Hopefully by stating this for myself (and the whole world to see) I can stop concerning myself with the stupid nagging question and just live  it out. Freedom_Tunnel_10 originally uploaded by Pro-Zak


4 Responses to “3 Options”

  1. 1 Laura October 21, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    It’s okay to not be academically minded in college. You have an interest in learning and learning and being academically minded are not the same thing. I think what counts as knowledge these days is way too narrow. In college, what tends to be valued is academic knowledge, and often a very specific way of expressing that knowledge.

    I was not much of an academic in college. I was a poet. I wore black all the time. I drank too much (because that’s what poets do). I was an artiste. I did come out with good grades eventually, but mostly because I got to a point where I was only taking classes I really liked. And now I have a Ph.D. and I *still* don’t feel like an academic. I’m some kind of crazy person with a blog. 🙂

    Live life well. Do what you love. The rest will take care of itself.

  2. 2 sehauser October 24, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Thanks Laura, sometimes I need to be reassured that my insanity is shared by many people 🙂

  3. 3 1sojournal November 28, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    I went to college late, age 37, and, like you, fell into a History Major, then did one in English. Also like you, I found that more than half of my learning process was outside of the classroom and the atmosphere of college sparked a great deal of that. I can only tell you of my own experience. Like you, I began to deeply desire to see and know the chronology of things, especially my own person. But history also helped me to see the need for supportive reasoning for anything I might say, and much more, put into writing which was the reason for the second major. I love to write and didn’t know that until college. College was the first place in my history, where I was encouraged to learn how to think, rather than what I should think. That to me, was the Ultimate freedom I found in my years on campus. I wish you the same.


  4. 4 1sojournal November 28, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    P.S. Forgot to say that I love the quote at the beginning of your article. I am now retired and finding that to be a real freedom to give my life away in new and untried ways. Am still learning and want to continue to do so until the day I die.


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