Let's talk about education. There are lots of schools of thought about how to get them smarts in your brain space. School of Hard Knocks, University Road, or State Mandated Library Time at the Prison - just to name a few. I don't knock on anyone on if they went to a university, a technical college, trade school or just took the experience route. If you spent any significant time in prison, I'm probably going to judge you a little bit.
But a few notes on my experiences going the university route.
There was actually not a ton of this going on during my college years.
People who haven't gone to college have their own preconceived notions on what it entailed. And almost entirely, people always ask me what it was like to go to frat parties and drink in the dorms. I have to tell you: I was a boring sumbitch my first year of college. I lived in an all-girls dorm (which I ended up LOVING - there's nothing quite as comforting as not having to deal with boy smell all over the place) and spent a majority of my nights studying with my friends or watching Grey's Anatomy.
My buddy Tina and I definitely NOT studying algebra.
I did some of the generic college things - boxer raids from the other buildings' laundry rooms, pranks throughout the year, etc. etc. And I loved it.
Balloons and Seran Wrap - always a good combo
Being an RA helped with a TON of stuff. It helped me talk to strangers easier (not strangers in vans, but strangers like strange drug dealers and sorority sisters that stumble in your hallways at odd times), helped me manage my time and my school even more so than I had before, and it helped me realize where all the good places to sneak off and have sex in the dorm were (hint: always always always the TV room. Those couches will never be cleaned. Just burn them all). I got to work and live with 30 freshmen girls in the all-girls dorm (which, I'm sorry but didn't include bra-n-panty clad pillow fights and hair braiding....most of the time) my first year as an RA, which meant lots of people learning to live with another person in a 12' x 12' room for the first time in their lives, and I got to see them grow up for a short period of time (if only to watch them grow from wine coolers to PBR). I'm still friends with a handful of them, and with the magic of Facebook I've been able to periodically figure out which ones ended up in jail. Ahh, the joys of college.
Onward and upwards to my junior year! I continued to be an RA - this time in a co-ed dorm. Let me tell you:
The stench of 30 college boys living on one floor is enough to take down an elephant
All in all - my time in college, while not your typical movie experience, was really fun.
Mud wrestling was a commonplace occurrence. We didn't have quite the audience as the girls in bikinis did down the way, but we had more fun.
Sometimes we'd get into sword fights. I always won. Go Brewers.
My senior year came and I decided it was time for me to really buckle down and focus on the important things in life: Beer and job hunting.
Ask any UW-River Falls Alum: Bo's or Mel's was where all the magic happened.
Senior year pretty much was a cake-walk for me. I had finished most of my "core" competencies for my major, and most of the year was catching up on general classes. AKA - don't really pay attention most of the year. I filled my free time with running at the track, working roughly four jobs, doing homework (aka just printing things off and highlighting them), and sleeping. It was a pretty decent year, in my mind.
Pretty much all of fall semester in the Midwest.
Overall, I feel like my college experience wasn't too different than many people's. I don't think that EVERY person had gone to EVERY keg party and EVERY frat house. Maybe some of them did. But I think a lot of people ended up doing really funny, dorky things like I did to pass the time.
But real talk: How did college prepare me for the shit I'd be doing day in and day out in my career? Sadly, not all that much. I never had a class on project deadlines, dealing with international companies, insane expectations and that one coworker who doesn't know what "Get your hand off my thigh" means after a drink or two at the company Christmas party. Is book learnin' any better than experience based learnin'? Maybe for some things. What it DID prepare me for was the occurrences of diverse people, problems and opinions, all of which I have to deal with daily. It helped me create a view of the world that was open, accepting and nonjudgmental and helped solidify my values as to what I want out of my life and my career.
But either way the bottom line is - don't be an asshole to me about where I did or didn't go for school, and I won't be an asshole to you about the same. And then we can be bros again.
'Til next time - keep it legen - wait for it...