The Rat Race That Shouldn’t Be

by kangcuzzi

This is my response to a great number of things I’ve been hearing recently (a topic which a lot of people are familiar with):

Let’s get real here: life isn’t a Mario game. You don’t earn points by knocking your clueless head into more and more brick boxes in the hopes of ‘gaining points’ to make yourself better. Heck, all you end up with are bruises. Life isn’t a Sims game either. Life is more than a user-controlled video game in which you pee yourself because you can’t get past a goddamn sofa. You’re an individual. You think. You don’t need to rely on those ‘token advantages’ to ‘get you’ anywhere, because the only things that’ll get you everywhere is what you actually, intrinsically, inherently enjoy, love, devote time to, commit to.

Maybe you’ve already guessed what I’m talking about.

And if that’s so, then thank you for understanding.

(Edit 26/11/14 – I was looking through my drafts and I found the original version of this same article. I remember deciding not to post it because I thought it was too polemical in tone, but now that I look back on it I realize that it manifests my thoughts in a much clearer and more lucid manner. I myself found it quite a worthwhile read, and for that reason I’ll post it here, for reference – and I reminder to myself that there’s really no need to censor myself on my own blog!)

Education is a gift, not a competition. If only we could get ourselves out of the heated mess we are in.

Lo and behold, I’ve reached the age where the unnecessary college frenzy becomes more than a pristine painting on a distant wall: now I’ve been forced, with both hands tied behind my back, to face the wretched thing full-front and slowly let my morals rot away in quiet dismay. In the previous week alone, I’ve overheard a phone conversation in which a mother asked another to keep the details of a volunteer program confidential so that their kid would have a comparativgain in samaritan points. I’ve heard so much about consultation programs (programs that basically guide people through the entire college process) I’m wondering just how equal the playing field is. And worse, I’ve heard too much about things like ‘sport’ or ‘music’ or – god forbid – ‘poetry’ be thrown around like token ‘college prospect boosting’ objects as opposed to the wonderful, beautiful, life-changing things they can be.

Let’s get real here: life isn’t a Mario game. You don’t earn points by knocking your clueless head into more and more brick boxes in the hopes of ‘gaining points’ to make yourself better. Heck, all you end up with are bruises. Life isn’t a Sims game either. Life is more than a user-controlled video game in which you pee yourself because you can’t get past a goddamn sofa. You’re an individual. You think. You don’t need to rely on those ‘token advantages’ to ‘get you’ anywhere, because the only things that’ll get you everywhere is what you actually, intrinsically, inherently enjoy, love, devote time to, commit to.

 

Maybe it’s where I am geographically, socially, and economically that drives me enough to write this post. I’m so sick and tired of having a constant stream of college-related shenanigans piercing into my mind whenever I’m trying to enjoy who I am. If I’m writing something, I’m not doing it for ‘college’. If I decide to not go to that one hockey session, it doesn’t mean my prospects have been undermined so badly I’m now at Stage -16. If I do something nice for someone else, it doesn’t mean every other person has to do the same so they can gain that ‘comparative advantage’. It doesn’t mean a fire ring of phone calls has to be made to each and every household to gossip about that one kid who went to that college, failed the other.

Calm down.

Why is education even a rat race? We are so fortunate to even have something to invest in. In another part of the globe, an education is the only thing millions want. And here? We have education, but I don’t know if it’s still education anymore. It’s more like some requisite initiation one has to go through so as to not look like an idiot in front of anyone else. Oh, and, bonus points if you invest millions each other in tutorial classes that only act as centers for fear mongering. ‘You’re not good enough.’ Well, screw you. If you spent all your life working super hard to end up in some tutorial center brooding in your own spew of fear-inducing vernacular for kids who’ll probably end up doing the same thing, I see why these classes are so popular.

I don’t know, I don’t even know anymore. I just don’t want to think.

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