Hey now, what’s the rush?

Garrison Ebie

When I started college I was one of those people who thought they would get out in four years. That was four years ago, and I still have at least two to go.

Everywhere you go at Kent State, or for that matter, any institution with an emphasis on higher learning, you hear the same rants and raves about preparing or investing in your future. You get trained and schooled, learning intricate details in the industry or trade of your choice. You are taught by professionals, or at least people who think they know what they’re talking about. Then after 130 or so credit hours and after spending untold thousands of dollars on tuition, you get thrown out on the street with a piece of paper as encouragement to get a job and participate in society.

They call that a career.

But you know what you really end up having after four years of education and student loans to pay back that are almost the equivalent of a home mortgage? A death sentence. You’ve got your designated assignment for the rest of your life, which will probably be what you’ll do until the day you die. Even if that assignment is something you enjoy, it’s still a position that you’re bound to without even realizing it. All you really have to look forward to is retirement, and even that doesn’t always end up as pleasant as expected.

What’s the point of this big drawn-out education if it means being confined to the same dull and predictable routine as long as you live just for the sake of reaching a certain status? People are living a long time these days. The average age when most people check out is usually about 80. By the time I reach that, who knows what kind of medical advances will further our life span?

As far as my eventual career is concerned, it can wait until I have nothing left in this life to look forward to besides making money.

Sure, I’ll admit, one day I’ll sell out and get a real job. I’ll attach some imaginary meaning to this big charade called life. I’ll be able to pretend that there’s some purpose behind it all. Then when it’s all said and done, I’ll even start a family and bring a few screaming brats into this world to take my place when I’m dead.

That much is expected out of everyone: live, contribute and replace. Even for the most anti-social anarchist out there, it’s inevitable that someday they’ll just give up and accept the fact that without the system to hold people’s lives in place, they’re better off dead. But in the meantime, we need to learn as much as we can about this crazy place while it’s still around.

However, getting back to the four-year plan, it’s a mistake. I’m sorry if this breaks anyone’s heart out there, but by the time you’re ready to graduate, chances are you’re going to forget why you decided to pursue your teenage dreams in the first place. Everyone changes. Spending four consecutive years stuck at Kent State without any experience outside of this dingy Midwestern town will probably make things slightly difficult to adjust to in the real world.

The most important things I’ve learned in the last five years have been outside of the classroom, those periods of time where I wasn’t going to school. In fact, absolutely nothing taught in my direction by any professor, no matter how smart they are, has ever been pivotal to my well-being. I could have forgotten it all and kept on breathing. All those big, thick books I’ve read really convey nothing except useless information. But that information is nonetheless pretty interesting.

Around here, I can learn whatever the hell I want, and when it gets too monotonous and stressful, kick back and relax for a semester. I call it my plan to grow as few gray hairs as possible.

Garrison Ebie is a senior electronic media production major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].