I Just Turned in My Last Test

48/50.

That is the last test score of my Undergrad studies and I am without a doubt breathing a big sigh of relief. Finally the most standard, generalized, and honestly boring part as it relates strictly to studies and my career path is over! No more having to take subjects outside my realm, no more having to hunt down quality professors on RateMyProfessor (which needs to reassess that Chili pepper rating!), and most importantly there’s a whole summer where I’m not worried about the impending doom of a syllabus week!

No more syllabus week. No more syllabus atrociousness. No.

But I am left with the question that all degree earners are left with and often spend years trying to answer… What’s next? Am I supposed to go right back to school? Do I travel abroad like the hundreds of thousands of millions of blog articles suggest to do? Is this the part where I get married, buy a house, and flood Facebook with pictures of my baby?!

Swell ideas really. My advice on this unknown is something of a broad and ambiguous statement. I highly suggest you choose what you want to do.. and go all in. If it’s through traveling that you feel will help you grow the most, do it. Want to start a family? A business? Then take all your time, including “free time”, and shackle yourself to your dreams and goals. Because when you’re finished with college, you’re likely to still be in your younger years. And this presents a golden opportunity that won’t come along again.

When you are in your 20’s you’ll be allowed to mess up without having to feel too much of the ramifications. Maybe you spend all your money on travel, lose all your money building your business, you may end up living in your car for a week. The fact of the matter is this; when you are chasing your dreams you’re likely to slip, trip, stumble, or fall down. It may be just a scrape, it may end up being an ACL tear like myself. I tore mine just from Sprinting and stepping on an uneven bit of AstroTurf… 6 years of tackle football and I was completely healthy. But life comes at you from different angles and presents to you a plethora of different challenges.

And when you’re younger without too many commitments or responsibilities the setbacks will be minimal.

You could hold out hope from your 1 Bedroom apartment, praying that you’ll go untouched and unnoticed by the rigors of society. But like with any challenge, it’s best to challenge the unknown head on rather than taking a conservative “playing not to lose” approach.

I could (and have) start a business and end up losing some money over the whole set up, only to find that the final product was much of a money fetcher either. The most worry I would have is just cutting down a month’s supply of groceries to get back on budget. But imagine if I try to start a business while having kids and a wife who lean on your for your financial support, your undivided attention, and it all falls apart. How do I explain to my kids that they’ll just have to not eat as much for a month? Do I tell my wife that our family vacation plans are going to have to go on hold?

Are the lights going to go out in the middle of the night because we couldn’t pay for the electric bill?

Don’t try to protect yourself now thinking it’ll be easier to conquer later. Building up your fortress and then trying to expand your kingdom will leave you in a vulnerable spot. Embrace the nomad style of building your horizons and value and the kingdom you build will be exactly to your liking!

And for my concluding thoughts… Taking a year off.

What on Earth does that mean? With all the limited time we have on this planet, you’re going to spend that time “relaxing”?

GET THAT THOUGHT OUT OF YOUR HEAD

There is no such thing as taking a year off. You know who takes a year off? THE DEAD. Heck Billionaires don’t even take that much time off. Because they know more than anyone the value of time. You think they’re going to walk into their companies one day and say, “Man I’m exhausted, I better take a whole year off to get my mind right.” Their companies would go to shit or it wouldn’t be their company for much longer.

Taking a year off from School is fine as long as you fill it with something productive. I’m using my year to build this blog up into a reputable business. I love writing, I love the idea of having no more bosses, and I’ll work my fingers to the bone to make it happen. Bora Bora can wait. I’ll travel when I’VE EARNED IT. I’ll go out to the club when I’VE GOT SOMETHING WORTH CELEBRATING.

Maybe you’re doing this because you don’t feel like you’re seeing your friends enough. Well…

NEWSFLASH

They’ve got lives to live too! When you get older you’ll be lucky to socialize with your friends once a week. But if you’re busy building up your illustrious empire and you happen to have some great friends, once is enough. Get this habit of seeing your friends 10 times a day out of your life because while it’s good to have friends and a social structure, your friends aren’t going to pay YOUR rent. They aren’t going to pay for YOUR business. But they’ll gladly let you pay for THEIR drinks.

Accept this reality. You will only be better at what you do with practice. And practice demands a little bit of alone time. You learn more about yourself when you are alone than in a room full of people. I am sure your friends are awesome people but you need to be able to chose “working on my business background processes” over “going to the club with my friends”.

Choose wisely because you can’t go back later. For me, I’ve given my self a time limit of a year to turn this site into something profitable. The whole, “Quit my job, telling my bosses to suck it, doing what I want when I want, and writing for a living” dream is something worth working towards but it will take time. Therefore, I can’t afford to waste any time in this year I have.

It might seem like a lot of a pressure but pressure makes diamonds.

*Disclaimer

Featured Image was retrieved from (www.Pexels.com). I claim no ownership nor credit for photo and am simply using it as an image for this post as it relates to the writing.

Advertisements

Things I Wish I Would Have Done In High School – Nerd Edition.

The final lap is here. After eight long semesters of ‘top quality education’, I’ve got just two more before I can finally turn that tassel again and breathe a sigh of “OH THANK GOODNESS IT’S OVER!”. The ride has been an exhilarating one, full of twist and turns, triumph and turmoil, procrastination  and….procrastination. The only thing I kept thinking as I sat down with my college adviser was how glad I was that the ride was coming to an end.

And then it struck it me. “Why am I so happy that it’s almost over?”. Five years of higher education, working long hours, balancing my social life, and now I have a piece of paper that says, “Justin knows enough about psychology that you can hire him…after he does about 3-4 more years of schooling! HA HA HA  you thought you were done didn’t you?”. Yes I did actually. And it’s at this moment when you finish or are on the verge of finishing something that a load of regret falls on your shoulders. You begin to think of all the divergent paths that appeared that could have taken you down another journey, one that could have been more fulfilling, lucrative, or happier. But there’s always a key point you remember, one that you are entirely convinced that if you had done something different at this special moment, your entire life changes dramatically.

What was mine? How apathetic I was towards education when I was in high school. Not to mince words but I did not give a sh*t about improving my educational thought processes whatsoever. You see, early on in life I just seemed to get things. It all came natural to me, I could understand whatever subject and be absolutely great at it. Wanna know how great I was? I was creating homework for my fellow classmates IN FIRST GRADE… Not the teacher, me! I was already learning 5th grade math material at the same time as well, (coincidentally I would place America’s math skill at a 5th grade level in today’s society). Yes education was simple, it wasn’t at all difficult to learn and regurgitate the material.

Unfortunately, I fell for the “it’s lame to be smart” bullsh*t that plagues the world today. I was so concerned about fitting in and making friends as a youngin that I allowed my work output to slip. By far my biggest regret in life. Why? Because as a young adult about to head into the “after college” phase of life, I can look back and frustratingly wonder, “Why oh why did I try to fit in with a bunch of a*shole kids?!”

Oh but you see, I’m smart enough to realize that 90% of intelligence is just working hard… or at the very least doing the work. Enter High School, where peer pressure and social bull crap is at an all time high. I was more fixated on playing Football, lifting weights, marching band, and Track&Field events that I started doing what I felt like was the bare minimum…
This coming from a guy who managed to still graduate from high school with over 20 college credits and High Honors/Advanced Diploma! I settled for the hometown College of UNLV rather than going for Stanford or Harvard. Ironically enough, the people who I bestow the title of ‘Role Model’ went to an Ivy League school. What do all my role models have in common? Stinkin successful, stinkin rich, stinkin happy.

So what does this all translate to? A life lesson, a lesson that I hope reaches the eyes and ears of the younger generation. If you think it’s cool to not give a crap about school, imagine a crappy job that you think you’d never do in a million years and imagine that being your go-to career starter. Imagine people like Mark Zuckerberg, Conan O’ Brien, Google employees, who make tons of money, live their passions, and imagine you not being able to sit at the same table as them because you insulted people like them when you were all in high school together. They of course get the last laugh.

Be a nerd. Be smart. It’s not only cool to be smart, it’s an overwhelming advantage when you apply for a job, compete for a promotion, and I’ll be darned if it isn’t lucrative. If I could do it all over again, I’d be aiming for Valedictorian (speaking of which, my school had 9 my graduating year… I was close friends with 5 of them… I was even partially in the right crowd and I managed to screw that up! Mostly because the other crowds influenced me in terrible ways…damn jocks.) I’d aim for Harvard, I’d aim for being a Rhodes Scholar! I wouldn’t leave any stone unturned and to hell with those who think it’s too much work.

Lazy people will forever think that any amount of effort that extends beyond them trying to get out of bed is a lot of work.