What is college really about?
I had a friend who in response to reading my blog entry, I wish I never went to college said something along the lines of “Well it indicates you can finish something.” He then recounted that many projects have a period when they suck, generally once you’re past the “wow we’re working on all this cool stuff”, but before “the end” is in sight.
But here’s the thing, those projects are something that you want to do and you know you want to get to the end of.
All through elementary, middle, and high school, I was fairly computer savvy, and I started writing code when I was seven, and still continue to do so. I also took some summer courses from the University of Michigan’s Computer Engineering school. Everyone figured I’d become a programmer once I graduated. But, I’d get through specking out something, writing a fair amount of code, however when I got to figuring out the code for edge issues and debugging all the bugs it drove me crazy.
So, I decided to go after one of my hobbies that I really enjoyed, when I started college I went into Theatre, but after spending a fair amount of time in theatre I realized I didn’t like it enough to do it continuously.
I wandered a bit and ended up discovering a “completer degree” from Northern Kentucky University in Organizational Leadership, which seemed to fit my interests, in some vague way. While I was going to NKU, I started working at Chiquita and found my way into being the guy between the business side and the computer guys. By the time I realized this, six years had passed since I graduated from high school, and it wasn’t at the point where I could steer my schooling in a different way without throwing away a huge amount of work.
So here is my problem with college: I figured out what I wanted to do career wise when I was on a chronological basis seven eighths of the the way through college, and even further on a credit hour scale. So I trudged through and finished, not because I wanted to get a degree in Organizational Leadership, but because I was too damn near to the end of my degree not to complete it.
So what does completing college signify for me? I managed to complete something that by the time I had it I didn’t really want. Thus, I fall back to my initial advise:
If you’re not dead set on what you want to do in college, don’t go to college.
Once you decide what you want to do in college its better having that driver behind you. (Or if people in your life aren’t going to accept that, go part time to college and take your general education courses, and work full time.)
I’ve learned as much if not more from my work life, and from what I know about that I would’ve gone a completely different way in college.
Completing college is more meaningful when you complete a degree that will allow you to do something you really would like to do.
Oh, and I followed up on that Organizational Leadership degree with a certificate in Project Management, which is something I do want to do. I just didn’t realize it until I had my Bachelors.