Work Stuff

College is Not Necessarily a Pre-Requisite to Success

I have a college degree. I graduated from college in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science in Technical Writing and a minor in creative writing.

I went to college for two big reasons:

— I wanted to prove to myself that I was smart enough to finish it. And I’m proud to say, I graduated Cum Laude. (Contrary to popular belief, I’m not that smart when it comes to book smarts. What saves me is I have LOADS of common sense).

— And I wanted to set a good example for our boys, to show them that you’re never too old to go to college, (I was one of those annoying, overachieving older students you see sprinkled throughout campus), and that if you wanted to make something of yourself, you needed to go to college.

I have since changed my mind on that.

College nowadays is not really about educating you and/or preparing you for the real world, it’s about indoctrinating you into a specific mindset and teaching group think. And for that completely worthless lesson you get saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of debt.

Whee!

When our boys graduated from high school, we didn’t really discourage them from going on to college but we certainly didn’t encourage them, either. We didn’t have to worry about that, actually, as both boys were firmly against going to college, primarily because they didn’t want to start life off in debt.

Smart kids, I wonder where they get that mentality? (*cough*)

At first, we were like, “but you’ll never get a good paying job without a college education! How will you be successful?” but now, I’m SO GLAD they didn’t go as I wouldn’t want them to be brainwashed to believe the sh*t that’s being taught now.

True. If you want a job in a specific field, accounting, law, medicine, you’ll need a formal education to pursue that goal, but it’s totally possible to be successful without a college education. And if the boys want to go to college at some point, we’ll certainly support their decision, (with some financial counsel, for example, take it slow, pay as you go, don’t take out loans and CERTAINLY don’t expect someone else to pay your bills for you). In fact, I think going to college later in life, when they are more mature and serious about what they want to do is preferable as opposed to right after high school when they are impressionable and easily manipulated – kids need to learn to navigate the real world first, get to know who they are as people first, before encountering pressures to learn and/or live someone else’s ideals.

I have a college degree, but I haven’t done anything with it, I’m ashamed to say. Primarily because

  1. I’m too scared to try
  2. I don’t think I’m good enough
  3. Technical writing is BORING

I know Kevin is disappointed in me. He has never come right out and said that, but I can see it in his face at times when it comes up.

Like now.

We had a “huddle” at work the other day, and my manager mentioned that she heard a “rumor” that the hospital was going to mandate the experimental injectable, i.e. COVID vaccine, this coming Fall. It will likely coincide with the annual flu vaccination, which, for the record, I HATE and don’t believe it and only get it to keep my job fully convincing myself that whatever poison they are injecting is not affecting my long-term health, at all.

Anyway, I was disappointed and sad, but not surprised. I was hoping I wouldn’t have to deal with this issue for at least another year, but it doesn’t sound like I’m going to get the luxury of time here. And it’s only a rumor at this point, maybe I won’t, but I think it’s going to happen, largely because I hear the hospital is requiring new hires to get the “vaccine” before starting.

So, it’s coming. I need to stop holding out hope.

I’m not going to lie, I have been waffling back and forth on whether to get it, or find another job. Let’s real talk here, I’m not getting any younger. I have about … ten working years left in me before retirement and do I really want to start over? Start from scratch? Learn something new and deal with the stress of that?

And the Johnson and Johnson vaccine is one jab and it at least resembles something like a normal injection in that it has a little bit of the virus in it as opposed to the Moderna and the Phizer which is the mRNA technology that is still …. pretty experimental.

The thing is, the hospital will make me sign a consent, (even though I technically DON’T consent), thereby releasing them from any liability if I have any sort of adverse reaction. And I know that according to OSHA guidelines, an employer could potentially be liable for any adverse reactions if they mandate the vaccine, though that wouldn’t apply if I’m forced to sign that damn consent, but it’s food for thought.

And I LOVE my job, I really do. It’s stressful and exhausting, but I’m good at it and the people I work with are pretty amazing, but is all of this worth my health? Remember, I never, IN A MILLION YEARS, thought I would find myself working in healthcare – I never wanted it and quite frankly, I could walk away from it without losing much – I don’t have a dog in this fight.

However –

There’s already talk of an annual COVID “booster” and where do I draw the line? I have to put my health and freedoms first.

I. HAVE. TO.

So now what? What are my options now?

I have my degree. Perhaps it’s time to pursue something in that field. What do I have to lose? I’m going to have to find another job anyway, I might as well see what’s out there. And honestly, NOW is the perfect time to look for a job since employers are practically begging people to come work for them.

That may not be the case in the Fall when people lose their unemployment checks and have no other choice but to get back out there and find work.

This situation is TEARING me up inside. I’m reaching a crossroads in my life and I don’t want to make the wrong decision.

Luckily, it’s only me and Kevin on my insurance now but quite frankly, when the boys dropped off my insurance, they found some pretty sweet deals on health insurance, which wasn’t an option ten years ago when Obama stuck his nose into the whole business, so I know we CAN find affordable health insurance (and quite frankly, it will likely be better than what we have now because contrary to popular belief, health insurance is not that great for healthcare workers).

So. I think I need to move forward. I need to think ahead and prepare myself for the very real possibility of not having a job this Fall. Where do I start? I haven’t been on a job interview in ten-plus years. I’m a bit rusty, to say the least.

I need to start with my resume. I will put that together and then I will dust off my LinkIn account and post my resume to my Indeed.com account. I’ll cast my line out into the employer waters and see what I can catch. Who knows what will come of that, if anything.

If that doesn’t work, then I’m not too proud to apply places like Wal-Mart, Hobby Lobby … whatever I can get. And quite frankly, I’ll likely make more money because again, contrary to popular belief, healthcare workers don’t make that much money.

Which is sad and wrong considering all they do for the public, but it’s just an unfortunate fact.

I haven’t made it a secret at work where I stand on this issue so if anyone from work reads this post they won’t be surprised to learn how I feel about this, but I definitely feel like someone turned an hourglass over and now my time at this hospital is running out.

To say I’m bitter and resent the HELL out of having to make this choice would be putting it mildly. Once again, I’m being forced to adapt to a situation not of my making and THAT PISSES ME OFF TO NO END. But I will NOT conform to something I don’t believe in. I just won’t. And if that means that makes my life harder, or I have to rearrange my life to accommodate the madness, so be it.

I don’t know. Won’t it be ironic if my college degree ends up saving my ass after all?

Life

Keeping Him Busy Until Something Happens

Springfield is a college town – in case you didn’t know that.

We have:

Missouri State
Drury University
Evangel University
Baptist Bible College
Central Bible College
Ozarks Technical College
Vatterott College
Cox School of Nursing

And I’m sure I’ve missed a few more technical colleges.

All of these colleges are crammed into our “little” city. (We’re actually the third largest city in Missouri, but you rarely hear that fact because we’re ignored a lot of the time. Which … is actually okay with me because the media is lame to begin with).

So when Fall rolls around, the college students start POURING in. Which is fine – it’s great for our economy, not so great for our traffic flow. But whatever. We quickly adapt.

Now that Dude has graduated from high school …

*Side Note: Now that Dude is 18, I really don’t have a problem calling him by his real name on this blog. I want to, but I don’t think it’s wise given this blog comes up pretty easily in Google (not because it’s popular but because I’ve been blogging for nearly seven years now) and I don’t want a potential employer googling Dude’s name and this blog comes up. It’s not that I have anything to hide, per se, but it might just be too weird to watch baby videos of a potential candidate … in case you were wondering why I still refer to my oldest son as “Dude.”

… and has applied for 17 jobs (at last count – and yes, we’re keeping track of where he has been applying as well as the dates he applied through an Excel sheet), but hasn’t actually landed a job yet, he has some time on his hands. Time that he WILL NOT waste away by playing video games all day long.

Since his long-term goal is computers, Kevin suggested (as in STRONGLY suggested, as in you don’t really have a choice until you get a job suggested) that Dude come up to the office every weekday afternoon and work toward his A+ certification. (Computer places won’t hire you to work on computers unless you have this certification). He’s also dabbling in Java and PHP, too. (Those are computer programs, in case you don’t speak geek. HA!)

We really expected him to complain about this “arrangement,” but so far, Kevin and I think he’s actually relieved to have something TO DO while he bides his time on the job front. I mean, playing games is fun and all, but doing it every day, all day long, has GOT to get old after a while.

Learning Java

I think he likes the independence, too. He comes and goes as he pleases (as long as he gets to the office around 1-ish and stays until 4:30 – 5-ish) and he drives his own car. We wanted to give him a taste of what it’s like to leave the house and report somewhere. I want to eventually make him get to the office earlier – there’s really no excuse NOT to. We wake him up at 8:00 (because if we didn’t, he’d sleep until noon every day and if he wants to do that on his days off after his gets a job, fine. But until he gets a job, he’s not sleeping all day and staying up all night – not gonna happen on my watch, missy), and before he gets on his computer, he’s expected to eat breakfast, drink his coffee (that he makes himself because Kevin and I drink our coffee at the office), and take a shower. Reality comes first.

Period.

So he’s up and ready to go by 10:00 at the latest. He could pack a lunch and come up to the office at that time – it’s just a matter of making him do it.

He can also put this office/computer experience on his resume, too. It’s not much, but it’s better than nothing.

Today was the first day of college for a lot of students. I’ve gotten some surprised (and somewhat disapproving looks) from a few people when they find out that Dude is not attending college this Fall. Though we want Dude to go to college at some point (because regardless of what people say, having a college degree IS something to fall back on and to give you an edge when you’re competing for jobs), we also want him to WANT to go and to take it seriously when he goes. We’re also recommending to him that he pay for his classes as he goes, as opposed to getting loans, so he’s not graduating with a bunch of debt.

If/when he takes college courses, he’ll likely take his required courses through OTC – mainly because their classes are cheaper and they have a deal worked out with Missouri State so that their credits easily transfer over. By the time Dude goes to MSU (assuming he transfers to MSU when the time comes), he’ll be able to jump right into his specialized classes.

I will likely take him to the OTC campus in the next month or so to get him enrolled to take a course in the Spring. It really all depends on what is going on with the job situation. Well, even when he gets a job, we still expect him to take classes, eventually. It’s important that Dude think about his future career. Not only because it’s our desire to see him financially set for life (and not having to live from paycheck to paycheck), but because he’s a man, which means at some point he will want to get married and have a family (God willing) and he’ll need to be in a position to take care of his family.

Kevin and I have talked, at length, about our firstborn. We don’t want to choose his future for him, but we don’t want him sitting around the house and wasting his life away, either. The longer he sits around and doesn’t do anything, the more difficult it will be for him to get started. Not to mention, it looks odd to potential employers if he has this big void of doing nothing on his resume.

(“So Dude. You’ve been out of school for two years and you haven’t worked anywhere or taken any college courses? What have you been doing this whole time?”)

We have just accepted the fact that Dude is one of those people who need a push. He’s simply not motivated enough to kick start himself into gear. And to be fair to the boy, he really doesn’t know where to start. Being 18 and a recent high school graduate is a bitter/sweet experience. On the one hand, he has the whole world at his feet. On the other hand, he has the whole world at his feet — where in the world does he start?!

Exactly.

So. As his parents, we’re pushing him in one direction and if he chooses to go a different direction, that’s his choice, but you can’t jump start a car if you don’t have any cables, right?

In addition to trying to give him a direction in his professional life, we’re also teaching him household chores and how to cook.

Learning to Cook

He’ll need to know these skills when he moves out.

Whenever THAT happens.

I’ll be honest, I love my son dearly and wish the best for him. I will work hard to help him in any way that I can, but I’m looking forward to the day that he has taken a step toward his future, i.e. gets a job and starts taking college courses, and I can relax and just let him live his life. I’m ready to relinquish my “mom” duties and move on to “supportive”, “mother-in-law” or even “grandma” roles.

*BIG GRIN*