I want to touch back on the First World Problem I mentioned in a previous blog post.
Because this is a real issue and I know there are kids like me out there struggling to come to terms with it.
For my first time readers, the First World Problem is that you live in an area where you are lucky enough to go to school, but getting into college is it own struggle like not qualifying for financial aid or scholarships because of your background as a well-off middle class kid.
So I just wanted to take a second and tell those kids that you’re not alone. And to offer some advice you won’t find anywhere else because no one wants to get down into the dirt with you.
- No one in your circle is going to understand your situation. No one. Your parents won’t understand that your entire financial situation is based off of them. Your friends won’t understand because they have their own issues and lives to deal with and they aren’t emotionally capable to deal with your issues right now. And forget about advisers and counselors and mentors at college understanding. They may say they get it, but this is definitely something outside their capacity to deal with, because they have other students and their own lives to deal with. So make your piece with the fact that this is a long, hard road you’re on and that it is a lonely one as well.
- There is no way to get through this without sacrificing everything important. Seriously, you will have to cut ties with certain people and go without your favorite coffee creamer and those awesome family vacations with your folks. Because you’re going to be working your ass off in school and at work to make ends meet. Get used to sleeping on Saturday nights instead of partying and people giving you weird looks for getting stuck at work instead of hanging out with them. And whatever they say, all that ‘you can miss one day, you can miss one class’ BS, don’t fall for it. You can’t gain your footing back when you fall behind.
- I know you are horribly frustrated. Trust me, I know. No one can give you the answers for this problem. Well, except finding a sugar daddy to pay for all your shit. But that is a very rare occurrence. So keep your head down, your nose to the grindstone, burn the candle at both ends, yadda yadda yadda. But that’s not gonig to work either. Trust me. I know from being there. So what do I suggest? Half-ass everything you can and save your energy for the shit you have to whole-ass like projects and tests. Don’t spend yourself on the menial shit.
- Take a break from life if you have to. This is the only rule I follow about my life; my personal self comes first. If that means skipping studying to actually eat a real meal, then so be it. If it’s between a shower and an extra hour of sleep instead of a few hours of overtime, I’m going to pick my bed before anything else. Everyone will try to tell you to keep working hard and just get up earlier and work harder, but for the love of all that is good in this world, do not neglect yourself just to get an A. If you have to redo the semester, so be it. If you have to retake a course 5 times because you absolutely hate it, so be it. Don’t sacrifice yourself just to prove a point. Trust me, I’ve been there.
- You’re frustrated. You’re exhausted. You’re pointlessly wondering about where to go from here. I know. So what do you need to do to quit feeling like this? I have some bad news, friend. Get comfy with this feeling cause it’s your reality for however long it takes to get your degree. Shitty, right? But don’t worry. The process is so long and convoluted to get through school while working full time that by the time you get to the end of the road, you’re to be so exhausted and burned out that you’ll have to be carried across the stage to get your hard-earned diploma. And then you’ll spend the next 50 years working just as hard to pay off your loans and buy a house and then die. Fun, right? So do what I do every time I pointlessly search the internet for some magic solution; make a plan, make a back-up plan, then get to work. Which is the last thing you want to do, but plan your plan out so far that every day has a plan. Every year has a plan. Then even if something goes wrong, if something falls through, or you still feel directionless and exhausted, you have the road map right there to tell you if you’re going the right way, if you’re doing the right thing.
Is this all super shitty advice? You bet your ass it is. But it’s the only thing I’ve been able to come up with considering that I’m the only I know dealing with this shit.
Let me know if this works for you, or if I just pissed you off more.