Surviving the monotony of academia

“In theory, school is supposed to enrich the brain with fountains of knowledge that would be otherwise inaccessible had you not continued your education. However, more and more I find myself sitting in classes with a dour expression on my face, my head bobbing up and down like one of those old inflatable punching bag clowns.”

In theory, school is supposed to enrich the brain with fountains of knowledge that would be otherwise inaccessible had you not continued your education. However, more and more I find myself sitting in classes with a dour expression on my face, my head bobbing up and down like one of those old inflatable punching bag clowns. I’ve spent thousands upon thousands of dollars of hard earned money on this education, but for what? What exactly have we learned in college?

Five years ago I entered the University of Akron unsure of what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I figured college would aid me in my pursuit of corporate success and the degree itself would open countless doors to $50,000 + a year jobs. Oh, the naivete.

As of late there have been nothing but news reports about how dejected college graduates have been forced to move back in with their parents – broke and unemployed with nothing but a piece of paper to prove they even went to college. So, how the heck are we supposed to get the most out of a college experience that seems, at times, to be a complete and total waste of time?

The most important thing I can say is join some kind of extra-curricular activity. I’d personally say the best thing that I’ve done in my college career was to join an extracurricular within the college of my study focus. Learning how to work and interact with people in a professional way is one of the most valuable resources you can take out there with you into the real world.

This semester I am back at ZTV, which is the campus television station. Because I am learning skills that will help me in my industry of choice, I feel like I’m actually accomplishing something worthwhile instead of dwindling all my days away in classrooms with no hands-on work.

Also, make sure to stick with your focus, even when it seems painstakingly worthless. I’m not going to sugarcoat anything – some classes we are forced to take will give us nothing in the long run. Heck, a lot of them give us nothing in the short run, but we must comply with university policy in order to get that coveted 8×11 sheet of achievement.

Two semesters ago I was sitting in a class (which shall remain nameless) with a professor (who shall remain anonymous) who could not get the class in order to save her life. All she did was ramble on and on about her own life experiences, selfishly taking our 50 minute time block and making it into her own talk therapy session. Then, come test time, she wondered why the heck none of her students seemed to know the answers to any of her questions! I wasted about $1,200 on that class, which could have gone to something exceedingly more productive.

So, get involved and work hard for the classes you may not think are important. Opportunities are waiting for those who put in the extra effort and become more involved. Even if it takes sitting through pointless babble, scribbling pointless six page papers onto napkins at 3 a.m., or taking tests over things you will forget the next day, stick it out. There are good things waiting out there for us.