Gunlord’s College Saga, The End: It really wasn’t worth it, but I did get something out of it, at least…

Welp, today was the very last day of classes I’ll ever have to take (hopefully) again. All that’s left is the actual graduation,and I probably won’t go, I hate those things and I’ll just ask them to mail my diploma to me.

All in all, as usual for a lotta things in my life, the only thing I can really say about it is this:

First, let’s rewind a bit to the first entry I made a little over three years ago that described my reasoning:

Winning Too Hard (Part 1 of ?)

There, partially inspired by the anime one-punch man, I mentioned feeling unfulfilled (despite my life being objectively pleasant) due to a lack of real challenge. One of the reasons I went back to college, aside from maybe getting better job opportunities, was to see if that sort of challenge would elicit anything in particular in me. It was somewhat fun learning a new subject (math and then programming) early on, but as I also mentioned, I made it as far as I could, I just didn’t have the head for compsci (though, as I’ll describe, I might have had it when I was younger). After that, I switched over to Communications, and…while some of the stuff I learned was fun, and I don’t have a particularly bad memory of any of the classes I took, for the most part, I felt annoyed at the inconvenience (even if it was challenging) rather than at all fulfilled from it.

(And yeah, this is more or less a retread of what I wrote in this entry: https://gunlord500.wordpress.com/2020/05/22/college-retrospective-not-quite-the-challenge-i-wanted/ but given college is now totally done for me, figured I should get it down again)

Given that I was so much older than most of the people around me, there also wasn’t much I could do to make friends and so on. Ah, well. Such is life as the years go by. Still, yet another reason it was a bit of a waste.

And it was a waste of money–about 5k per semester for the first year or so, 3.6 after that, even after a couple of scholarships and gov grants I could get, for which I am thankful. None of the jobs I managed to get since then, including the one I presently have (which I think I’ll probably be keeping for a while, though we’ll see–and I’ll talk about them more later) really relate to my comms degree, or even my compsci degree. Though, who knows…maybe being in college at all, rather than just hanging around, helped me get them instead of just being booted without an interview. So I suppose that’s something.

In fact, there are a few things I learned, or perhaps it would be more accurate to say perspectives gained, from my second runthrough of college that were truly valuable. I don’t think they were worth the money I ended up paying, but I’m still glad I found ’em, so I can’t complain about that. Here they are:

1: When it comes to math, your attitude towards it counts for more than what you think might be your inherent skill. As a kid, even slight setbacks in math convinced me I didn’t have a head for it, and over the years it became a self-fulfilling prophecy. However, in my maturity I’ve taken a much different perspective, and I’ve learned that an initial failure isn’t the same as a final one. So when I started to go through pre-calc and then calculus, whenever I came across a lot of complex equations or terminology I hadn’t seen before, and it didn’t click for me immediately, I thought to myself, “maybe I’m approaching this from the wrong way.”

It wasn’t enough–my memory just isn’t what it used to be, which made taking tests much harder. That was what got me in compsci, I think, and why I had to drop out. But if I was younger, and still had both the energy and sharper memory I had as a youth and young man, I could have done as well in my math classes as I did in my history ones. If only I could turn back time, but, ah, well. I’m glad I at least learned something about myself, even if too late, lol.

2: A different attitude would have made my undergrad experience much less miserable. Instead of caring that I was going to a ‘worse’ college than my first choice, I should have just concentrated on learning whatever I could to land the best job possible. That would have made me much less miserable and, frankly, maladjusted for the span of my first undergraduate career. Now, even though my second one that I just finished was much more wasteful, I didn’t take it as a reflection of myself or determinant of my future prospects, so I ironically enough was relatively less stressed out about it despite it being more of a waste of money.

Well, that’s it for my college saga, I suppose. Back to living the driven life for the foreseeable future, and then the good life if I ever finish everything on my bucket list 😀

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