In 2010 I had returned from my first attempt at higher education. I was studying theology and decided I didn’t believe in God anymore so I dropped out. After returning home I tried applying for university and after being rejected to all my schools I wrote this…
The University Pipe Dream
“I’m sorry, but you’ve really screwed things up.” I’d been putting off telling my parents I was rejected from the university I was “sure-to-get-into”. I was rejected to all five of the universities I’d applied to. We knew I wouldn’t be going to university in the fall and this when I wrote…
Everything outside of me is pushing me in a direction along with the rest of the cattle to the corporate cubicle farm. I’m on a road that I don’t think I even belong on. Why am I going to spend $100,000 for my university degree just so I can be told a bunch of things equating to an expensive piece of paper certifying me as a graduate. A piece of paper that probably costs $50 dollars to print. Call it an oversimplification, call it whatever you want. The truth is nowadays at the end of university when you move your tassel, throw your cap and walk out of those gates you might not even be able to get a job. Instead you’ll probably end up taking some soul sucking job and start slogging through the corporate trenches because you’re about to buckle under the weight of your college debt and the promise of a “safe and secure” future is alluring. Do I really want to pay to be lobotomized, emasculated, and enslaved to debt.
I feel a widening gap, a divide between the man I’m suppose to be and the man I want to be. Being pulled under the waters of fear and society. A man being told his future rests on achieving his college education. I’m afraid, but I’m not afraid. Afraid because I feel my life has been building to this moment of attending higher education and I’ve fucked it up before it’s even started. I’m not afraid because I know life goes on and life works it’s self out. I’m a smart, young, ambitious man, and I still have time to fuck up.
You’ll join the cubicle farm with the promise of moving up the corporate latter with the promises of more time with the family in the Caribbean, money to buy that big house, and time to do the things you love. The problem it’s all a lie.
Welcome to the Matrix.
This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill - the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill - you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes. - Morpheus (The Matrix)
Unfortunately our live’s don’t have a single climactic event when we choose between a red pill and a blue pill. The choice to take the blue pill and go with the flow is easy and comfortable. We take the blue pill every morning when we turn on the TV and check Facebook for our daily social update. People like easy,comfortable and walking with the pack. I have this deep feeling that unless I make-a-break-for-it I’m going to be sitting in the mindless cubicle farm for the rest of my life slowly watching my ambition and passion slip away as I sell my soul to lie of “More Money More Happiness”. The dream of a good job, a wife, two kids, a car and a dog. That’s not what I want.
All of society tell you college is the best years of your life, pay $100,000 and leave college with likely over $50,000 in debt. Force the kids to join the working world just so they can pay off their debt, and by the time they’re done paying the debt they’ll be settled into the work place: Game, set, and match before they even got to taste real danger and adventure.
I’m asked a lot, “Are you going to be that guy one day? The one flip-flop wearing guy with long hair living the tropical laid-back island life?” I feel I would be good at it. We’ve all seen one of those movies. Could I really make a career of being a writer, photographer, scuba instructor, tour guide? Could I make enough money to support myself? Is there enough demand? Could I be that guy?
Why do I feel like I have to burn everything to do what I really want? Why do so many people have to loose so much to take that step into doing what they really want.
Maybe the answer is right in front of us. Two things are to blame for our lack of ambition: Fear and Materialism. Your afraid of the unknown, and the fear that may come with it.
Not just that but your afraid to give up your materials. We’re bombarded from the minute we wake to the minute when we fall asleep. We’re a society of bigger and better. Bigger house, better car, bigger boobs, BIGGER! BETTER!! BIGGER!!! BETTER!!! Super size that please.
So how hard would it be to break away? I have no child, no girlfriend, and no debt. I’d miss my motorcycle and Bob Marley vinyl. Realistically, right now, giving up everything wouldn’t be that hard. I’ve been numbing by drowning in cigarettes, weed and alcohol. I don’t want to step up and take responsibility. I’d rather keep making money and numbing myself.
So whats it gonna be? The Red Pill or the Blue Pill.
“If you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.”
- Liz Gilbert
“It’s lonely at the top. Ninety-nine percent of people in the world are convinced they are incapable of achieving great things, so they aim for mediocre. The level of competition is thus fiercest for ‘realistic’ goals, paradoxically making them the most time- and energy-consuming… The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals.”
- Tim Ferriss
“I learned this, at least by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings. In proportion as he simplifies his life, the laws of the universe will appear less complex, and solitude will not be solitude, nor poverty poverty, nor weakness weakness. If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them” - Henry David Thoreau
Since that time I’ve gotten into university. I took my first year of school at a community college while saving for my other three years. I’ve been able to save money and have avoided a lot of debt that way.
In the end my reasons for university changed from who I was when I wrote this essay in 2010 to who I am today in 2012. Back then it was all about getting that piece of paper, now I’m in school to learn about things I find interesting. I may not graduate with the most employable degree but I’ll have enjoyed my time and everything I studied which is more then a lot of people are going to be able to say. I still want to escape society sometimes and build a house in the woods or live on the beach.
I’m writing and publishing again. A big step for me. I hope you all will enjoy what I write in the future.
Aug 27, 2012
I haven’t shared of my writing with the world for awhile. Next week I release my first piece in a very long time.