Somebody just made the point to me that this may make me look anti-advice. Which I’m not. I’d just rather get my grinds from someone who isn’t totally otherwise full of shit (and while they’re at it, has some modicum of respect for their listener, which…he’s…sorely lacking in..to say the least).
Speaking of which, read Carney’s post on dropping out. I don’t think the system is so inherently bad, but he makes some very valid points (so does Choire, for that matter).
I dropped out of college in the middle of my sophomore year. In my classes, I was bored; so, so bored. I wasn’t having a good time unless I was actually working on something (at the time, the school’s A & E rag, which I was editing). When I wasn’t doing that, I had my face in a bong. But even the “work” wasn’t working because nothing was happening.
When it happened - when the shit hit the fan, and I was out - I was scared shitless, I was sad, I had no direction other than leave…now. I moved to New York later that year, the day before my 21st birthday. Everyone - parents, friends, professors, etc. - thought I was batshit crazy. I’d spent the summer in North Carolina busing tables, saving up cash to leave, and had moved to New York without even a visit home; there was no time to look back. They thought it was just a phase, thought I’d be back by January, in time for Spring Semester, etc. I couldn’t get on the phone with my pops, a three-degree lawyer, without it devolving into a screaming match.
Less than three years later, a Columbia Grad Student is my intern. At my last job, I had Ivy-Leaguers working on either side of me (one who started a year in a half into my tenure, another one who’d been there for much longer). I’m two years ahead of everyone else in my industry and the youngest one whenever I walk into a room. Fuckit. I didn’t get to party on a free-ride for three years (ask anybody that’s been out with me, they can tell you: I’m making up for it). I didn’t read Andrea Dworkin (though I know who she is now!). I wear that shit like a badge of honor. Four years in college might work for some people, you know, if you need that kind of thing. Shit, I’m still self-conscious about it, still a little scared. Pareene said it best: I asked him what he was going to do post-Gawker, sans college-degree. His answer, however drunk, was crystal clear: “Fuck if I know!”
But that’s empowering. Because most days, I feel like I dodged getting hosed for another 2.5 years of my life, and got on with my shit. That’s a nice feeling.