Since college is right around the corner, I’ve been thinking more about my future. It’s natural, and for anyone in their senior summer, it should be the question to think about. Otherwise, that person’s got a problem.
What do I want to do in the future? Or, what sorts of goals, activities, and jobs will bring me joy?
That’s the important question — any other questions don’t matter as much, or don’t matter. The point isn’t to answer this question, but rather to keep it in mind.
I don’t want to work a desk job. Too boring. Lawyers and doctors get paid well, but I wouldn’t do those either. Nothing feels more boring and pointless than courts annd law and prison, and lawyers have to work their ass off. Doctors do a pretty noble job — helping people is great — but it’s still a rather restrictive job. You have to go to medical school for God-knows-how-long, and work very hard, do lots of paperwork and regulation crap, not to mention the stuffy hospital or pediatricians building you work in all day.
Both these jobs aren’t very interesting. And interesting people don’t chain themselves down to boring jobs.
I’m not saying all holier-than-thou that I’m too “interesting” for these perfectly respectable jobs. Many passionate, interesting people become doctors, and go on to risk their lives doing what they love to do, such as those who flew to countries like Libya to help during the ebola episode. I don’t imagine as many passionate, interesting people becoming lawyers, but they do exist, such as those who lead organizations that fight for the wrongly-accussed.
What I am saying is that most people who become doctors and lawyers don’t do it because of a gut-wrenching, manic passion for the job. It’s because the jobs pay well. This isn’t necessarily a problem — more money is generally good, as it helps you achive goals and do the things you want to do. It’s just the cost for that money is so goddamn high. Think of how much doctors and laywers work, the long, mind-numbing 8+ hours every day, and suddenly that quarter-million salary doesn’t look so nice anymore.
That archetype that goes through so much boring school and hard work — those are boring people. Overwhelmingly, or perhaps universally, truly successful people are interesting people.
So, what does this have to do with college? I mentioned interesting people — come to think of it, that’s what this article’s supposed to be about, huh…
An interesting person to me, means that they have passions. Not just mild interests, but passions, that clutch them with a cast-iron grip. They do what they love, and they love what they do, and they settle for nothing less. Doesn’t matter if it’s wheat or emeralds. And intersting people have tried many things. They’re knowledgable, and despite that knowledge, they are still contstantly learning, discovering. They make their own paths. And maybe they’re a little strange, but all it does is magnify how interesting they are.
When you are around interesting people, you will just absorb things — say Joe held a deep-passion in novelty bobbleheads, with his crazy blue eyes like Mad-Eye Moody, wearing trech coats all the fucking time, telling you about his adventures at sea at 16 years old with his fisherman father, and how they saw a great humpback whale that almost knocked the boat over. Or maybe Mary — that chick who wore the funny hats, way too much eye shadow, went to Zen Buddha temple twice a week, who never talked to anyone, and now that you’re friends she won’t shut up about whatever “Shor’s algorithm” and her quantum computing research at IBM is about.
We learn an incredible amount of what we know from the interesting people in our life. Our most impactful friends, teachers, lovers — think about how absolutely fascinating they were. Think about how much you learned from these people.
Interesting people are critical to education, because you expand your horizons, you learn new things, new passions, and you observe how people around you are chasing the things they love to do.
This is why the dream college must be filled with interesting people.
You can learn the same crap at any college. There are good professors everywhere, unless you really went wrong with you choice.
Which colleges are filled with interesting people, and which ones are filled with doctors/lawyers?
That’s what picking a college for me is, basically. Once I discover which places have the interesting people, I’m going there. Ivy Leagues should be common sense, right? Perhaps, but I don’t know. For sure 20 years ago, but every Ivy I’ve visited had people looking like zombies. I’ve heard good things about Liberal Arts Colleges like Williams, Amherst, Swarthmore. Or maybe international schools, St. Andrews, U Hong Kong, or any foreign schools in Norway, Switzerland, Germany, or France.
Of course, this all assumes there exists this dream college fulled with interesting people. Maybe that’s overy optimistic. It wouldn’t be a suprise, given the stupid-ass climate surrounding college admissions in America.
Maybe I’ll have to just to take my Bikini Bottom and push it somewhere else.