Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Cup of Coffee

Many of my college-aged friends were busy from Mach 1-7 talking about finals and then March 8-15 posting pics of their Spring Break awesomeness.

Meanwhile, I've worked 95 hours from March 1-15 plus many more hours in drive time and working on a project that does not pay hourly.

Yes, I'm tired. Yes, I'll like getting my paycheck. No, this is not your typical 20-year-old's Spring Break dream.

So why do I do it?

Even on the weeks where I am hustling, working night shifts, and sleeping less than I should, I do not envy my college friends. They post on social media about needing more coffee, cramming for an exam, and the stupid things their professors say. They spend their days in class, in their dorm, and in the coffee shop. Most of them can't wait for the weekend and they are even more excited about Spring Break -- an entire week away from this routine. Sure, college can be fun. I've been there (well, not the dorms, but definitely the classrooms and coffee shops). But I don't particularly want to go back.

My parents are totally willing to help subsidize my college education and the sought after "college experience". You can go anywhere you want, they tell me. We'll pay. But now that I've tasted a real work week, I don't want to go back to college life. In my opinion, it's a lot more fun to be working at a job I enjoy, creating value for other people, and getting compensated for that effort than there is sitting at a desk, drinking another cup of coffee, and getting deeper in debt. Rather than accumulating facts which I may or may not remember later, I'm building skills that can be seen. I'm learning how things work "out there" in the "real world". Instead of getting a scheduled break from the hustle, I have to request the time off. Rather than looking forward to a week of exams and then a week at the beach, I look forward to a week of solving real problems by creating solutions and seeking out answers -- not just memorizing them. If I fail, I can't just retake the test. I have to keep trying until I get it right. And when I do succeed, there is real value created -- customers recruited, money earned, etc. It's not everyone's cup of coffee, but it's the coffee that the real world brews, and I'm enjoying my cup.

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