(not) Something to be Proud Of

Five years ago, I was convinced that the one thing I’d be most proud of was putting myself through school and getting my degree.

Five years later, I have to say I was wrong. I just hung that damn diploma up on my wall, and I can firmly say it’s not something I’m proud of. The hanging it, maybe, though I’ve been weilding hammers and other tools (of the non-powerd variety, lets not get carried away here) for years now. But the degree, no. At least not right now. Maybe the scars are still a bit too fresh, or maybe I’m doing that thing again where I’m “not giving myself enough credit.” Every time I look at the $25,000 piece of paper in it’s fancy frame, I can’t help but see it as a reminder of the culmination of at least five years of terribly awful decisions.

Did I learn somethign in those 5 years? Plenty. Did it have to do with what’s written on the diploma? Not so much really. I learned a lot about myself, a little about life, and well… maybe a thing or two about those oh-so-awesomely important VO2-Max tests (are these even used outside a lab?!). So was it a waste of time? No. But a waste of money? Debatable.

Truth is, as I stare at this thing – I am tempted to go back to the UW dean/president/whoever and negotiate a do-over. Because I don’t feel I’ve earned the thing. Yeah, I got the grades to meet the minimum requirements – but I could and SHOULD have done so much better! My mom once called University “expensive daycare,” and sometimes I can’t help but agree. A lot of what we do and learn has no practical application or value aside from the mandatory hoop jumping to get this stamp. What for? Because some employer, somewhere, wants those letters after my name.

You know what’s crazy? I have done 120 hours of yoga teacher training with Pranalife. Those 120 hours have done more for me in terms of life and career advancement than the way-too-many-to-count hours of undergrad ever will. And no, that’s not just some shameless Pranalife YTT plug before our November model (though if you’re interested at all, scooch over to the YTT tab and check it out!!).

What’s all this getting at? Good question. As I sit here staring this silly paper down, I’m thinking of changing my attitude towards it. Rather than letting it make me cry every time I see it until the end of time, I’m going to try to see it as a reminder. A reminder to use my smart brain, and to make my own decisions. To make what I do matter, to count for something, and to give it some intention. It’s a reminder to follow my own gut, not what someone else tells me to do. It’s also a big “bite me” to those select few who told me I was taking the easy way out, wasting my time with a “crap” degree, couldn’t do it, didn’t deserve it, and was ‘lucky’ with my classes and grades.

Bring it, life. I’m university-educated now.

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