Day One-Hundred-Eight (Academia)

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I have spent the majority of my life in school. When classes started this past Monday, I expected to feel the crushing weight of fear, sadness, and disappointment. Instead, I just felt exhilaration. I’m finally on the adult path. I can do whatever I want. Yeah, the job hunt is hellish. Yes, I’ve been attempting to get a grown-up job all summer. Yeah, it’s scary not having any clear-cut structure anymore. It is a little overwhelming, intimidating, and unsettling. But, as my college friends recounted their stories from the first week, I found that I had no desire to go back. No desire to return to what once was. That’s the past now. I miss having the easy structure, but that’s about it. I’m ready for something new.

It wasn’t until I picked up an old textbook that I’d never gotten around to reading that I started to intensely miss college. It felt weird to read an academic novel without having to answer any questions. Without having to highlight important parts and take notes. Without having a discussion with a full class of students and an intelligent professor to help make the material seem more comprehensible and interesting. All I could think as I read the first chapter was how much better it would be if I could discuss what I was reading with a handful of my favorite professors. My parents just tuned me out when I tried to excitedly explain the concepts I was reading. It’s not their thing. And, I suppose, it’s not really mine anymore either.

Academia is a strange world. Where ideas really matter, writing skills matter, and intellectual thoughts are important. It’s not exactly like that when you get outside of that world. Academics are seen as very bright, respected, and all-knowing. But there is a distance to them. And not everyone is an academic. I miss being analytical and driven. I miss when the world was made up of thoughts and innovation. I was good at that world. I had the skill set for that universe. Now it just feels lonely learning new things when there is nobody who understands to share it with…

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