was college the best years of my life? in a lot of ways yes.
in part because the entire experience was eye opening and mind blowing. and if i had kids i would want them to learn
all the great lessons i learned through that process.
like these sons and daughters of hollywood stars and ceos, when i was 17 i hadn’t accumulated the greatest grades. which was stupid, in retrospect, because i always knew i was going to go to college. but when it came time to work hard in high school i was unmotivated to say the least.
in part, probably, because if i did well, i got separated from my stoner friends who were in the normal classes, and i got placed in honors classes with people i didn’t want to be associated with.
and if i did poorly everyone would get on my case saying “but you test SO WELL.” i just avoided the whole deal.
the one place i wasn’t punished for doing well was in sports and in marching band and the one year i was in drum line we won best in state. i waited for something terrible to happen but it didnt. and i moved to california.
once here i enrolled in junior college. santa monica college was actually where it all turned around for me scholastically and i wish all of these well-intentioned wealthy parents would have just asked me, because i would have told them: just let your princess go to JC for a few years, fuck what your judgemental friends think (they aint yo friends, gurl!) – what she will learn there she will carry with her her whole life.
the red tape involved in getting classes, dropping classes, applying for financial aid, being rejected from financial aid, attaining residency, fighting for that one extra B because a C+ will keep you from transferring on time, failing at getting that decisive grade changed, the tears in the library only to be comforted by JD Salinger’s nine stories in the library – literally changed my life.
it turned me from a half assed teenager into an adult. and isnt that what we hope happens from 18-20? dont we want our kids to learn things experientially so that it lasts with them forever?
any time i fight for my right to do anything, it is because i learned how to stand up for myself at SMC, in papers, in paperwork, in rental agreements, at work. blink 182 says nobody likes you when youre 23. but try being pimply faced and 19 trying to get your boss to give you a raise from $4 an hour to $5 and being told no. those are the lessons that we need as kids. take us to the river, drop us in the water.
college isnt just about dorm life and cramming for finals, its about getting there, staying there, and falling in love with one new thing after another. and then having those things break your heart.
i was thisclose to getting into ucsb a year before it even happened. all i needed was to get a B- in history and the teacher gave me a C+. she wouldnt budge because she said i was a terrible writer and i would never make it at ucsb until i learned how to put a sentence together.
i asked why havent any of my english teachers told me this? and she said, if you’re on the borderline of being accepted into UCSB as a transfer student maybe they have been – how many As have they given you? none. how many Bs have they given you? very few. so there you have it. learn to write this summer and come back to my class and i will help you next year.
at the time i was selling tvs on commission at a crazy electronic store that also changed my life. one thing it taught me is if you want something, work hard, and if you’re on commission you’ll get it faster than if youre just working for a few bucks an hour. learn how to sell that big tv or that expensive stereo system and you’ll make more in a day than you could in a week.
so i told myself i was going to be in the top 5 of salesmen that month and the next, (each time you were in the top 5 youd get a $500 bonus). and with that $1k id buy a ticket to europe, drink where hemingway drank, kiss pretty girls and never stop reading and writing.
im still not the greatest writer, but it doesnt matter. i improved. which is the point. these are the experiences that make a person.
their own experiences. the ups and the downs.
especially the downs.
there is nothing i like better than throwing money at problems, dont get me wrong.
but getting into college and being in college and living that life
is not a problem,
the entire thing is the education.