My Confession to the World

I have a confession. Well, its more like a giant secret that I have held in so long, so close to my heart, that my parents don’t even know it.  NO ONE knows it.  I have always been afraid to reveal it, because of what society might think. Who am I kidding, it’s not what they will think, it is what they WILL SAY.  We are so judgemental as society, and note I say we because I am totally included in this group.  Though I try to work on it, it just naturally happens; I see someone and instantly categorize them based off of what they look like.  It’s terrible.

Anyway, today I decided, I have had enough.  I will not hide part of who I am any longer.  So here it goes.

I want to be a plumber when I grow up.  There I said it.  I am just so fascinated by how all the pipes work together to deliver water to the various places in a house.  How could someone even be smart enough to think of all that?  And all the work in the dirt, mud, and water sounds right up my alley because I love the mud.  And guess what?  They only work when called and they get paid by the hour AND they get to charge whatever they want.  Combine all of those positives and you have the recipe for my dream job.

Now, I know what you were thinking.  Most people would think, “Okay, but why don’t you be a doctor or go to college first and then decide what you want to do?”  Watch the spoken word video, linked below.  If you are short on time,  just watch the first two and a half minutes or so, otherwise I highly recommend watching the entire video.  It is amazing and brings me to the verge of tears every time I watch it .

TED Shane Koyczan- To This Day

“If you can’t see anything beautiful about yourself then get a better mirror, look a little closer, stare a little longer, because there is something inside you that made you keep trying despite everyone who told you to quit” -one of my favorite quotes from the video

“They asked me what I wanted to be and then told me what not to be.”  This is the epitome of the state of our education system in America.  From day one of kindergarten, the expectation of the student is that they will grow up, go to high school, take a full load of AP classes, go to a prestigious college, and then become a doctor, engineer, or lawyer.  The driving force behind every class, lecture, presentation, and guidance appointment in high school is to prepare students for college.  Look even in recent news, and the Presidency is pushing for higher education(college of some type) for everyone.  The attitude that comes out of this is that it is absurd for someone not to go to college.  Completely absurd, in their minds.

Well, what happens when everyone starts going to college like society is encouraging and calling for?  Many things.  One, we lose people going into the job fields that don’t require a college degree, but still are necessary to keep society functioning.  For example, my dad doesn’t have a college degree.  Yet, he is a fire captain and has worked in the fire service for 17 years.  He is on a National Disaster Management Team and gets sent all over the Western United States to manage the resources(people and machines) when fires and other natural disasters occur.  He may not know how to help me with my AP Calculus homework, but he is one of the smartest people I know.  So, remind me why everyone MUST go to college?  So they can do well in the world? To that I ask what is the definition of doing well in the world, being happy, having money, or something else?  It all depends on the person, whom defines how well they are doing for themselves.

Second, if everyone goes to college, then does it not just become a continuation of high school, and the only way to be competitive in the job market will now be to get a Masters or a PhD?  It doesn’t make sense to encourage every student to go to college, putting themselves in debt, when every job does not require a college degree.

In my case, as I do not actually dream of being a plumber, I need to go to college to pursue a job in the field that I desire.  I hope to major in Biology with an emphasis on genetics, because, in my opinion, genetics is the medicine of the future.  Though I do not want to be a doctor, I do need to go to college in order to even have a chance of getting a job in genetics.

Simply put, we need to stop instilling in our kids that the only way to succeed in life is by going to college.  There are other ways to succeed, and we need to be open to them.  Some of the biggest advancements in our history have come from relatively “unschooled” people.  Maybe its time we stop focusing on standards, and believing that without school education is impossible, and realizing that school isn’t the be all end all that it’s often cracked up to be.  There are several ways to get to the one end that we all desire- a happy life.

11 thoughts on “My Confession to the World

  1. I have to say, I almost thought you were actually going to be a plumber, and I was totally rooting for you. I definitely agree though, we’ve come to perceive education and success as this one track road with little leg room. I really wish everyone could be more open with different roads to a successful future. It would relieve a lot of stress!

    1. We are becoming way to stressed as a society, and it is affecting people at younger and younger ages. I cringe when I hear stories from my sister about her friends and how stressed out they are. One of them actually said, “Oh no! If I get a detention(in 7th grade), I won’t get in to Harvard!” Something needs to change, or else we will end up as a society of uber-stressed people, running around like chickens with our heads cut off, specializing in mediocracy due to the sheer amount of stuff we have to get done.
      Thanks for commenting! -Lindsey

  2. At least you didn’t go to school in the Long Beach school district. They have competitive applications to get into their various High School programs. Can you imagine the stress as an 8th grader?

    1. That is insane. How do they expect a 13 year old to have any idea of what they want to do with their life? If I had been forced to decide in 8th grade, I would be committed to teaching 1st grade, and though I would probably enjoy it; I wouldn’t have gotten the chance to discover the subjects that I have immensely enjoyed in high school.

  3. Lindsey… you go girl!
    My husband did not go to college. I don’t know if he had the opportunity to go, but what he was interested in was air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating… He wondered from a young age, “How does this machine that puts out hot air OUTside put cold air INside?” And he went with his gut. He became very successful at Ford Motor Company, doing what he loved – troubleshooting and fixing – and making others HAPPY! :) I know I have been very grateful for a plumber that came to the house – Enjoy pursuing your passion, and get working on your muscles – you’re going to need them!
    Joy Kirr

    1. As I was growing up(and still today), when I thought of what I wanted to be when I grew up, even when the professions changed, the idea that always remained was that i wanted to do something I loved. I didn’t want my job to ever become like a four letter word, a drudgery, or a punishment. Hats off to your husband for following his heart and passion, regardless of what society might have said!
      Thanks for your comment!

  4. You could also add to this your opinions on attitudes toward education. Is it simply a means to an end? or a pursuit of knowledge.

    Personally I’m getting tired of my seniors having brain shutdown after college acceptance letters start arriving. Here I thought they were taking physics because they wanted to learn about the world! All the while they were checking off boxes on their transcripts.

    1. I totally agree! For me, education is about the experience and the pursuit of knowledge, but I know for many of my peers it is just another step towards “being happy” and “growing up”.
      As a current senior, I can sympathize with your seniors, as there are some days where I have very little motivation to even go to school, let alone pay attention. But that is something we all are going to deal with, no matter what stage of life we are in. Simply put, there are going to be days in everyone’s life, where they just don’t feel like waking up, and you just have to persevere until it gets better, knowing that it will.
      Thank you so much for your comment!

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