by Jennifer Bowman
It's one of the most depressing things you can come to realize. After a long, hard thirteen years of school - it's not over. You get up every morning from the wee age of five to do something you don't want to do with people you don't like. Your independence is confined to sponge-y, tiled ceilings, badly painted walls of cement blocks, and that horrible fluorescent lighting that shines upon you like a curse, a reminder that you, indeed, have to be here. Or else. You can't play on the playground because you have to spend almost a decade and a half in this building for eight hours a day, minimum.
The older you get, the meaner people get, and the more they have a savage desire to squelch any freedom you might have. So by time you get to twelfth grade, everyone hates you so much that they'll do anything to get you to go away. Graduate! Get! Go! No, you don't WANT to go to a local college, have you checked out some of the universities over in Arizona? They're real nice, aren't they? That's where you want to go to college. Don't let the door hit you on the way out!
Keep in mind I have just barely entered into the eleventh grade. I say all of this from my premature cynicism towards people in general.
So, after you graduate -and they make graduation a REALLY BIG deal- you can go to more school.
The sad thing is, that it really doesn't matter. Columbia University does not want to tarnish its name with nasty little undergrads. Who's going to hire you just because you have a diploma? Hah. Everyone has a diploma. Most companies won't even hire undergraduate students. Too… common, you know?
Once you get your master's, there are still those who scoff at you. Why don't you have a ph.D? Hmm, never heard of that college. . . And by this time, you've probably got a husband or wife, maybe even kids. Who in the world has time to deal with all of that, now?
You watch your children fall into the same cycle, and by the time that you've made enough money to be financially secured for the rest of your life, it doesn't matter, you don't want to play on the playground all day anymore. You want to sit in a massage chair while someone gives you a pedicure. It's just kind of sad, you know?
I know I sound like a curmudgeon. (Look it up!) I know I sound horribly pessimistic! I know! And maybe I'm just scared that my goals for my future are too outstandingly great to achieve. I sound like Solomon in Ecclesiastes. But there is good news.
I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico. That, and John Kerry's campaign is in disarray, and …well, things just may be looking up.