22 Things I Learned in Junior College
And some stuff I didn’t.
Before we go any further, I want to be clear about something: This isn’t just some silly, little listicle (that nobody on Medium would ever read …*wink*).
This is a manifesto.
Not that you should take this as some definitive, comprehensive, final statement of my philosophy or personal political views… okay, yeah, it’s a listicle.
Also, just because you didn’t go to a junior college, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read this. If you started your higher education at a prestigious four-year university, it just means you paid too much to sit through Principles of Macroeconomics.
Or your parents did.
Or you got a scholarship because you actually paid attention in high school.
My point is, you can shut up about it.
And finally, junior college — or community college as it’s oft referred — is awesome and everyone who went to, or goes to one, is a secret genius.
*Flashes secret genius hand signal*
I AM NOT JUST PICKING MY NOSE!
Things I learned in Junior College
1.) Never pay full price for a service that requires you do a good 80–90% of the work yourself.
2.) High School never really ends.
3.) Textbooks are a scam perpetrated by my freshman-year bio teacher and the Illuminati.
4.) The only people willing to admit they went to a junior college… went to junior college.
5.) You get out of it what you put into it.
So be careful what you put it into.
5.5) I’m not entirely clear on what “it” is, but I have some ideas.
6.) People who look down on you because you went to a junior college are deeply insecure and probably have a serious drinking problem.*
*I met these people in grad school and every Friday (and Saturday and Sunday) night they got shit-faced and acted both revolted and felt really sorry for me when it was discovered that I attended a JC.
But then hey, I wasn’t the one who ended the weekend covered in vomit.**
**This very personal anecdote is applicable at all times, to all situations, for infinity.***
***Assuming it helps me make my point.
7.) You do not need a high score on your SAT’s. You don’t even need the SAT’s. You just need:
· a job with a flexible schedule,
· someone else to pay for your food and rent (thanks, mom and dad)
· and a willingness to stay semi-conscious in 50-minute increments.
8.) The unhappiest people in the world are the folks who worked the registrations office at my junior college.
I once withdrew from a class in the fall of 1997. This was the very first time I had a stranger glare at me, sigh heavily and roll their eyes, all within the same 30-second transaction — for which I stood in line an hour.
The class: Strategies for College and Life Success.
Oh god. I made a terrible mistake.
9.) I can sleep in my car (mostly just between classes, but also in case of recession, the heater works and there are moist towelettes in the glove box).
10.) Life isn’t fair and anyone that has the power to make it fair, has an unfair advantage (and they don’t give a shit because those a-holes actually think life’s fair).
This is also known as capitalism.
To give you a better example of what I mean: just because you paid $250 for a semester parking pass, does NOT guarantee you a parking space — EVER. There are roughly 26,000 students on campus at any given time and there are 14 parking spaces.
On the bright side, remedial math only costs $75 a unit.
11.) There are literally hundreds of thousands of people who, just like you, have no idea what they’re doing or why they’re here.
12.) Bowling satisfies the phys. ed. requirement.
13.) You can’t please all of the people (academic advisors, your parents, potential employers, all the faceless “humans” on the Internet who leave shitty little comments because THEY HAVE NO FRIENDS & NOTHING BETTER TO DO, society in general) all of the time.
Or maybe it’s just me.
14.) People who major in math (or accounting), live in a completely different reality. I imagine it’s a hellish one, made up almost entirely of numbers. And a smattering of word problems.
Also, I have never used algebra in my life. But I have counted on my fingers almost everyday for the last 40 years. Take that, all of my math teachers!
15.) People who major in English actually read all of the assigned reading.
16.) Reading all of the assigned reading is almost never necessary — assuming you’re okay with a C.
17.) There’s nothing wrong with a C.
There’s nothing wrong with an A either, but if you’re a math illiterate trapped in a calculus class, there’s nothing wrong with a C.
18.) In order to create and maintain a thoughtful and informed citizenry — a citizenry that’s intelligent enough to see-through and dismantle the corrupt machinery of greedy, morally-vacuous politicians and which will unite in causes that have the greatest potential to establish a more equitable and enlightened society — publicly-funded education is essential. And in the 21st century, college must be included.
And having attended a JC in the 90’s on the West coast, I was very fortunate to have a quality education subsidized (somewhat) by the State*. Therefore, instead of going directly from disillusioned high school student to disillusioned proletariat, I was afforded the luxury of spending a few years as a hopeful college student before becoming a disillusioned, under-paid, and pissed-off proletariat.
*Prior to the passage of Prop 13 in California, the community college, CSU and UC systems banned “tuition”. Prop 13 went around this ban and instituted “per unit enrollment fees” in 1978.
19.) Regret nothing.
Except maybe the last 15 years.
20.) Just kidding.
It’s more like 20 years.
21.) No really. I’m just kidding.
I only regret all the major life decisions I’ve made.
22.) Most importantly, never pass up an opportunity to make a bad joke (see above)*
*This has some pretty serious caveats, but I have no idea what they are because…I dropped “Strategies for College & Life Success.”
Hate lists? Then don’t read this: