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I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up. I did not like that question when I was a kid. How was I supposed to know what I wanted to do 10 or 20 years in the future? I had no idea what I wanted to eat for lunch the next day. I had no idea what it meant to have a job. I had no idea what it was like to have responsibilities. My biggest decision of the day was what shirt to wear with a pair of jeans. I feel it is ridiculous to expect a person in seventh grade to be making life decisions. Suffice it to say when I answered that I wanted to be a truck driver on a standardized test questionnaire I was reprimanded. Now looking back, I probably would have enjoyed that job. I would have made good money and would have been retired from the business by now. There is that 20/20 thing again.
I tried going to Michigan State University right out of high school. I was less than ready for having that much freedom and responsibility thrown at me at such a magnitude simultaneously. I was awakened to extreme cultural differences that until then I had been unaware of. It was then I began to learn about black culture. My ignorance had me kind of ostracized from those that looked like me, a frustration that I still struggle with. Then there was the problem of trying to learn the language of math from a teacher’s assistant whose second language was English. I quickly found that I was only excelling in socializing and not studying. Regrettably, but what I thought was with responsibility, I pulled myself from this institution of higher learning. I did not think it was fair to my father who was footing the bill that the only thing that was increasing was my ability to party instead of my book knowledge.
After several more adventures in colleges and universities in the area, I find myself in an interesting position. Through life experiences I have gained much knowledge in things that I am interested in. Things that could in turn get me a more lucrative job, but without that receipt in the form of a diploma I do not qualify. I have found myself to be not able to even get an interview for a job that I am more than qualified for through sheer tenacity and experience.
I see a large number of young people that do not have a desire to venture into the world of college yet they have great aspirations of financial success. They see the pseudo reality of seemingly successful people on television and the internet not realizing from where the money comes from and who truly is wealthy. Almost anyone can afford to rent a fancy car to ride around and look cool in for a weekend. I know a lot of people that are house rich but pocket broke living in a fancy house, barely able to make the mortgage. I also see that most people are not planning for the future or for a catastrophe such as losing a job or have a medical reason for not being able to work. I am guilty too, for I have not followed the advice of people like Suze Orman that almost demand that people have enough money in savings that could sustain you for six months if you find yourself out of work. I could probably last six days.
College may not be the answer for everyone. There are other options such as trade schools and other ways of getting accredited in different job fields. One thing is for certain, that no one should take their future for granted by squandering their present. And yes, I dropped out again so to speak but I am saving up for another semester at Lansing Community College. Maybe I will see you on campus this winter.
~Melik, melik_2001 @ yahoo.com
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