Thoughts About College From a Recent College Graduate

I had to make some changes to my author bio yesterday.  It’s not unusual to do so from time to time for an author.  Sometimes, they update their bio to include more books that they have written, to include a special award that they have won, and other such similar addition of details as well.  However, in my case, it was to add something that’s normally already set in stone for college-educated authors.  I had to change my status from being a “current student” in university, to a “recent graduate.”  Yes, that’s right.  I may have walked back in June, but as of two days ago, I have officially completed all the necessary requirements to complete my undergrad education.

I find it mind-boggling to say that I am now an official college graduate.  4 1/2 years came and went just like that and in that time period, I completed a goal that -while I knew I would always complete- showed that when you work hard and persevere, one can accomplish anything you set their mind to.  And yes, it took slightly longer than it would normally take than it’s otherwise crafted for an undergraduate- the New York Times actually released an article about a study regarding this recently– but let’s be real.  I not only finished faster than a good chunk of people who started at the same school the same time as me, but I also finished faster than some of my family members when they were undergrads too.

There were a number of awesome things that came out of this time period as a college student:

  • I had some really amazing professors whom I learned a lot from.
  • I got to write for my college’s newspaper during the first two years of my education and I had work published twice in a journal through a department I wasn’t even studying under.
  • I made some new and interesting friends, especially this past year.
  • I have been a part of an incredible taekwondo club.

All of this is very true and all of this I mean.  However, previously whenever I talked about school, I always felt like I was sugarcoating the truth- or at least holding back a good chunk of the whole truth anyway.  What I mean is, while I knew that I would finish my degree, it wasn’t easy, and a lot of it had to do with the functionality and the environment of my school as well.

  • A number of my professors were really crappy; either they were very unprofessional or just really weird to be around.  While I know that not all professors are going to be perfect, the fact that I had quite a large number of them was not cool at all.
  • The fact that the school would raise tuition constantly and then lower it and then raise it again… that was not okay.
  • I would sometimes be surprised by the people whom I’d have classes with, for there were quite a number of them who were not at all the sharpest tools in the shed.
  • How some of the clubs and events on campus were organized were not smooth-sailing and would, for the most part, would leave me unimpressed.  Honestly, whenever we had job or graduate school fairs, the most low-key schools and businesses that no one has ever heard of would always be brought in (and the school is near Silicon Valley for God’s sake!).
  • The lack of class availability has definitely held me back a bit (which is why I finished in 4 1/2 years rather than just 4 years).
  • I never liked how people- in particular staff and faculty- would assume that they your whole life story from just learning what your major is.

As you can see, unfortunately the number of negatives outnumber the positives in this case scenario, and what’s even more unfortunate is that that’s not even all of it.  Honestly though, the fact that most- not all- but most of the people I met and most of my most memorable experiences happened off campus these last few years should say a lot.  My undergrad education was a good ride, but on many levels, it could have been so much better.

Overall, if I were to give my undergrad experience a letter grade, it would be a B-/C+.  I know that sounds kind of harsh, but that’s nothing compared to the letter grade I would give to my high school experience (C-/D+).

Notice how I keep saying my “undergrad experience” and not my “college experience.”  That’s because my college experience is far from over.  My goal is that two years from now, I hope to be back in school, working on a Master’s degree.  However, I plan to do it in a subject different from what I did my major in and I plan to go to a different school to earn it as well.

In the mean time, while I look for work- and when I actually have a job of course- I plan to take those free online courses offered by Coursera.  I’ve been going to school non-stop for close to 20 years and that’s a habit that I don’t want to just shake off overnight.  I like being part of an institution of learning, so long as I’m benefiting from it.  This time off from school is also going to be very benefiting for me as an author, for I can finally focus on working on my second novel, full on.

These were my undergrad years.  It could have been better, but I benefit from the moments and experiences- whether on or off campus- that made it awesome.

A Moment’s Worth is now available through the following venues: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunesPlease leave a review if you can, for my goal is to get a total of at least 20 reviews on all venues (so far, I’ve gotten 5 reviews so I’m already a quarter of a way to my goal).

Check out its Goodreads page, which includes two trivia quizzes for all who’ve completed reading it already.

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