Monday, April 7, 2014

Unscripted: Expectations

Hey, guys. It's been a while, and I'm fully content to blame me, myself, and I. Posts were supposed to be back up by Wednesday of last week, but instead what came was a series of poorly-timed things in my life.

Something's been eating at me, though. It's this concept of college, and it's something that's always on my mind. Remember all those stories where college was an aspiration? It didn't matter if you could afford it, if you couldn't, you went to college because it was a dream, because you wanted to. And what's happened?

College is an expectation. You go not because you want to, but because you're told you want to; perhaps more correctly, you're told that if you don't go then you're a failure and will never amount to anything.

So you go to college. What's next?

I mean, confession time: this is where I'm at. I'm more than halfway through my English degree; I have less than three semesters to go once Spring ends. But a common theme with myself is a sense of un-fulfillment that continuously leaves me either empty or questioning every life decision; usually both.

Most of the time, I just don't care about what I'm "learning."

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud to be here. But I also get this feeling that, if I had more freedom of choice, I wouldn't be here.

A common question that circulates is: what do you want to do after college? Well, I have my answer. I want to write books. I want to make people question themselves (not the way I am, but in a broader sense). I want to help people escape reality the way fiction always helped me escape, and I want to remind people of the more important things in life, things that both characters in a post-apocalyptic world and people of society today have in common.

So I know what I want to do. Where, exactly, does a college degree come in?

This is a question that I'm constantly asking myself, and I still haven't come up with an answer. So if you have anything to say about this, then please enlighten me because I'm not kidding you when I say that I'm completely and utterly lost.

Because I have a dream, just like billions of other people on this planet. But sometimes I feel like those dreams are lost in the expectations of everybody around us, until we lose sight of what we want because we're so bogged down with what everybody else wants us to have.

And every day-every day-I tell myself that I'm going to wake up and things are going to be different. But they never are, because I don't know how to change them. All I know is that I haven't been able to act on my dream because I'm so busy spending five hours reading one thing, and another ten writing a paper to prove that I can analyze it the way my professor wants. I'm so busy tearing something apart and shoving words into the author's mouth to create something out of my own imagination.

What happened to creativity? What happened to asking "what if," and coming up with pure conjectures, instead of being forced to gather evidence because your opinion is only valid if five others have had the same ideas?

When somebody tells me to come up with an original idea, and then buries me in guidelines about what that idea should look like, then it's just an idea. And when I'm limited in exploring human nature because I happen to study it a little differently, and because everybody else is telling me what I should and shouldn't want to do, then doesn't the idea of learning lose a little of its pizzazz?

I mean, maybe it's just me. And maybe this post doesn't even make sense, because I have a bad habit of drawing connections that don't exactly carve a straight line through my own thoughts.

I just think that there's a real problem when following your dreams means following society's standards.



  1. *huggles* Rae Rae. In all honesty it sounds like you really need a break from things. Take the summer off of school and just look at your life. Are there programs you can get into that will help your writing that aren't through a university's coursework? Can you start networking with other names in the business to get where you need to go?

    Are you okay with having a "lower" day job so you can write on the side and live minimally for a while until things take off? Because writing is one of the slowest industries on the planet. I'm not saying you shouldn't do it, shouldn't give up a degree, but tolerating it until you walk off with that diploma may help you in the long run too. But what it really comes down to is what you think is best for you. You can always go back to school and finish if something doesn't work out the way you'd like or expect it to.

    I hope that helps at least a little.

    1. *hugs* You always know what to say, don't you, Hannah? we'll talk :)