Pressure. Pressure. Pressure. Every damn day of grade school I remember my educational performance being put under consistent observation and intimidation. But, why? What could possibly be so important that nearly every adult in my life found it necessary to stress me out? College!
Growing up, I cannot tell you how many times I have heard things like:
“If you don’t take this class, you’ll never be accepted into a good college.”
“If you do not pass this class, you will never get a good job.”
If you do not take your education seriously, you will never go far in life.”
I am going to be the odd one here and just say; that I have never heard so much bullsh*t in my entire life… My family pushed me above and beyond about how my ‘C’ average, was never going to get me anywhere in life. To put it bluntly, they made me feel like a failure for my entire middle/high school career in attempts to “motivate” me into trying harder. I was trying. I was getting extra help before and after school, and I did as much extra credit work I could get my hands on when my hard work was not sufficient. I became discouraged, and their so-called “motivation”, did nothing – except for put me into a mental state of depression and anxiety that followed me into my adult life.
After all of that stress and aggravation that lead up until graduation day, my ‘mediocre’ grades were sufficient enough to get me into a tech college. With time, I even applied and got into a highly accredited private college. The tech college, however, was a complete waste. Education can’t be a waste though, right? WRONG! Because of being badgered by people asking me about my college-based career goals, I settled. I was so driven to have something to offer the people who kept bugging me with the same question of, “what are you doing after high school?”, that I forced myself into pursuing a goal I was not truly passionate about. I did that in order to appease others, and to achieve peace from the endless nagging questions. But my escape came at a price (a high one!). I ended up wasting my time and money to attend classes that would never transfer outside their campus, let alone benefit me personally enough to have been worth the money and effort.
Now, I am not going to say that it NEVER benefits anyone to achieve academic success, because obviously that is not always the case. However, I could never stomach being in the medical field, I hate coding, and I despise math and numbers. So, unless I force myself into a lifelong state of misery, I will never PROFIT off of my college education – that I didn’t actually want to begin with. If anything, I will spend a majority of my adult life trying to repay the college debts that I will never benefit from. Not only will it be difficult living in loan debts, but I will also be unable to get a decent home, car, or any major loan for that matter without the burdening shadow of student loans following me around and damaging any actual dreams or aspirations I may find outside of a college career choice.
My point, is that without the pressures of being guilted and the feeling of being ‘abnormal’ or ‘defective’, I might have actually found a better way to shape my future. Instead, I was verbally bullied into diving head-first into unsure waters. All just to give the people I knew and trusted as my superiors (therefore more knowledgeable adults), a false sense of security regarding my educational future. Although it may seem otherwise, I do take full responsibility for the choices I have made. But, I do feel that without the chaos and pressure planted into my brain by the adults in my life, I would have been allowed to make a better decision for myself, and not for those around me.