Its a pleasure to welcome you all to the first segment to Shotguns and Jewelry: Volume IV. Shotguns and Jewelry: Volume IV is blogumentary mini-series that encompass my thoughts on life in general. Every segment you will get a blog from me and a featured artist.
How’d I come up with the name? Shotguns & Jewelry: Volume IV is far from random, and more than just a catchy phrase. Neither Shotguns or Jewelry are the most subtle of items. Audibly and visually, it doesnt really get any more loud. However, when used or worn correctly, they really can be quite inconspicuous. ‘No Country for Old Men’ proves this point in wicked fashion. As it relates to my blog, I know that my thoughts can be a bit abrasive and loud, but its not because I cant soften the blow. I want you to see & feel what Im saying. Why did I start at Volume IV? The running joke is that Star Wars did it, and look how they turned out. But its because Im doing these S&J mini-series in stages. IV,V, and VI are what I see as the ‘middle of our lives’. Between the ages of 21-31. The next installments, I, II, and III will be about our childhood days. Im especially excited for those, and may end up giving you guys a sneak peek. But, let me quit rambling and present to you the first installment of Shotguns and Jewelry: Volume IV.
*I like to play the music as I read, but thats totally up to you*
Today’s music is provided by OCD.
VERSE 1: The Problem
That big day is almost here. You can feel the excitement. Cap and gown are hung up in your closet still inside of the plastic you got it in. Outside of your wedding or childbirth, this is the most important outfit day in your life. Your name is called, and you step on that stage to take that degree it took you 4 (or 5, or 6…) years to earn with a sense of accomplishment. You shake hands, take a look at your proud family and friends, and think about all the work it took to get to reach this mountaintop. As you step off that stage and walk into congratulatory hugs and well-wishes, you feel empowered and ready to take the world head-on. Get that great job, start the great career, yadda yadda yadda.
In this age where almost everything comes to us instantaneously, many of us(by us, I mean Generation Y) believe the gap between college commencement and corporate career should should be hand in hand as well. My mother and I have had conversations regarding Greek life, and during our conversations she has brought up how many youngGreeks are victims of what she calls the ‘microwave pledge process’. She tells me how everybody wants the same results in considerably less time, and get mad at the world when it doesn’t happen. She went on to say that it may not just be Greeks, but all young people nowadays expect this sort of instant gratification in life.
Damn Moms, you just gonna throw my entire generation under the bus like that? Or are we putting ourselves underneath and telling the driver to step on it? I dont think it’s much of an argument to say that today’s college graduate has a extremely inflated and unfounded sense of entitlement, the real question is why do they feel that way?
VERSE 2: Re-Education
First thing we need to recognize is that since 2003, graduating from college hasnt really meant much in the professional world. Have you ever seen a soldier walk into the battlefield bragging about his gun? No, because everybody out there has a gun too, and it can do just as much damage. So parading your degree around as if its the Willy Wonka Golden ticket will get your little feelings hurt when you how up at the interview and realize that every other person there is toting the same credentials. We’ve been taught that college is the key to success, and that your degree will be enough to land you one of they many jobs afforded to us in this day. Unfortunately, thats just not true. College has never been the key to success, its been an opportunity to obtain future success. And quite frankly, there aren’t many opportunities just sitting out here on a platter. Outside of the few cases of nepotism, the ones you see on the top of the totem pole earned their keep or made their opportunity themselves. I’ll be finished with my master’s degree a full year before my newly hired associate director. This brother makes about $100K more than I do.
Japanese samurai said it best, the sword is only as powerful as its master.
Its time for us to start thinking of college as a milestone and not as the summit. There are still people out there who are 3rd, 2nd, and even 1st generation college student who thinking that merely completing college is making it. The real work starts AFTER youre done. On top of that, its pretty foolish to place so much significance on something that we probably dont even own when we step off the stage (Re: My last post).
VERSE 3: Brake Pedal
The next time you get a chance to talk to someone you professionally admire, ask them this question: Where did you come from…to get here?
Listen to their humble beginnings, and the WORK they put in to get there. I dont care if its from a supposed ‘hook-up’, it takes hella work to maintain a positive connection with someone for a long period of time. The biggest epidemic in the world isn’t AIDS or cancer, its impatience. And for all the talking and tweeting I see about ‘grinding’, you should be used to it by now. Just run your race and worry about your finish line. Your parents and select peers may be moving faster than you, but thats their lane, not yours. Drive slow, homie. And when you finally do get in the fast lane, take it easy. Life is going to move quickly enough, its no need to press the fast forward button on it. You went to school and graduated to make a change in your life, so dont let the life of post-graduation change you.