There’s something about beginnings that takes people out of their comfort zone. Starting something new is not always easy and sometimes it can be a challenge; whether you are meeting someone new, enrolling in a new school or starting a new job. However, I truly believe that those moments define who I am. If I spent my life doing the same old things, with the same old people, I would not be where I am today. It’s important to try new things and more importantly different things. It takes a frame of reference to know where you actually are in your life and to realize where you’re going. I could have stayed in school this semester, but instead I branched out.
Living at home may seem like two steps backwards – it’s easy to think that if you are only concerned about the present and not the future. I am not saying spend every moment planning for the next one, but don’t opt out of an opportunity because you’re afraid of change. About 2 months ago, I was sitting in my dorm room in Herkimer Hall complaining about how terrible Resnet was and now I am sitting on the 5:19 train back to Stratford after a long day of work.
I have about an 80 minute commute to work; a 7:09 am train and a 5:19 pm. It may not seem that exciting, but it’s worth it. Let me tell you this, nothing good in life is free – there is a cost for every good. In a capitalist society, it’s about what you’re worth and what you’re
willing to do. Investing in your education, investing your time and gaining experience adds value to who you are. So taking the train everyday, to me, is a small price to pay for the value of experience. Corporate America is a funny place. Working in the city on the 25th floor is overwhelming, but once it’s embraced, it is a powerful feeling. It is almost like college. People come from all over the tri-state area, commuting even longer than me, with the same goal in mind, commute and take the elevator rides to get the job done. The difference between working and college is the type of work you do and how people treat you.
Personally, I always felt as though teachers never respected me as a student. They expected me to act like their robot and not like a person with a life and other interests. It seemed to always be about the grade, not learning and I’m certainly not the only one who believes that. Work is about learning how to run a business and what it takes to be a professional. I love it! When I am given a project, my boss explains his expectations, shares insight about his own trial and errors, and encourages me to ask questions. As a mentor, he is voluntarily taking on additional responsibility in order to help me further myself. It’s great when someone believes in you and it’s even better when it’s not their job to do so.
It’s not only about work, work, work. Being in the city is a privilege and an experience in itself. I mean…there are so many places to grab lunch and they are all amazing! It’s funny how much better the food is in the city…but it’s not funny how expensive it is. Walking in the city, watching all of the suits zoom by on their way to work really sets the tone. No one tells you that you can be one of those guys! Literally no one tells you that it’s okay to take a break from school and test out the real world. I mean that is literally what an internship is! Anyone who tells me that I should have stayed in Albany this semester is just flat out wrong. It’s time to be independent! It’s time to be an adult and get to work.
“You can be as successful as you want, but that doesn’t mean anything if you are not significant. Making millions of dollars and coming home to an empty house is not life.”
This is what I have to say to people who obsess over school: You may get better grades, but that doesn’t make you smart. It shows you have dedication, but so does working 40+ hours a week. While it is important to learn, it’s more important to grow and develop as a person. Someone with a 3.8 GPA is not better than someone with a 3.7, but if you only worried about school than you would think otherwise. You can be as successful as you want, but that doesn’t mean anything if you are not significant. Making millions of dollars and coming home to an empty house is not life. Having people who love you, starting a family and enjoying the little things, like playing piano or tennis, is what it means to live! There isn’t one path to follow and not everyone is running the same race. Comparing yourself to other people will not get you anywhere. Putting your best foot forward and embracing a challenge will take you far.
Think about horses at the race. They wear blinders on their eyes, forcing them to only look forward. They run that race as best as they can without any thought of the horse next to them. That’s life – doing what makes you happy as you try to accomplish your goals – whatever they might be – they’re not worth doing unless you do it right and you put your heart in it. Who cares about the guy next to you, do you?
Your comments are welcomed and appreciated!
About the author:
Billy L. Class of 2018 Major: Intended-Business Administration Spring 2016 Blog Theme: The Out of State Student Experience: Studying Abroad in NYC