Work Versus School

There’s an age gap. Or maybe it’s a maturity gap. Or maybe it’s a context gap.

Why do adults see things differently? Why do students think everyone who’s already part of “the system” is complacent?

As a high-schooler, then a college undergrad, I was constantly expanding my understanding of others. But I usually thought adults had mysterious value systems which caused them to behave in non-intuitive ways.

Now, as part of the working college alum world, I see my previous academic self as “unawakened”. It turns out younger Andy had strange beliefs and inconsistent principles.

One of the biggest differences is how I value time. There’s something transformative about having a year of working life under one’s belt.

There are the hard choices we have to make. Where to live? What to do? Whom to care about? And no more required school on the horizon. Ever.

Free of many constraints, the biggest pressures become personal expectations, family and social norms, financial resources. Most of all, time.

Life really does become more fast-paced—and frantically full—as we age. When it’s not, we might be slowly slipping into complacency.

The roller coaster goes up and down. Lots of stuff gets added, then left behind. But it’s a real ride. And it’s the only one we’ve got.


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