thoughts of a daughter-sister-twenty something-artist-grad student

I question school a lot. I’m not afraid to admit that I’ve even been questioning the institution of academia in some of my homework assignments.

Then again, a lot of people are talking about this issue, so it’s not that strange, right?

I’m so tired of doing things for a grade. It’s like, if I didn’t want to be doing something, why would I do it? Why am I doing it?

If I “need” a grade to motivate me, should I really be doing whatever it is? Really?

It’s just frustrating. I don’t think grad school is supposed to be “done for a grade.” But sometimes it feels that way. I think it’s an inevitable part of school…one that I don’t like.

I hate the power that grades have. They either inflate people or deflate them. A streak of bad grades may be a signal for something, sure, but how can we measure everyone on a level playing field if each person is an individual? So many people are crippled under a system that tells them they have no potential. I’ve seen people think less of themselves because they receive poor grades based on someone else’s standards. You’re not smart? Because a grade someone gave you told you so? Really? It becomes cyclical. It contributes to the so-called pecking order of life. It’s sickening and breaks my heart. Is this just the way the world works?

I’m not saying we shouldn’t be put under rigorous circumstances, or that we should never encounter tasks we don’t like. Those things do a combination of refine us and point us in the direction of what we should be doing. And the things we like should be challenging to us and keep us on our toes.

But frankly, I feel like at this point in my life I just don’t have it in me to do things that I’m only 80% for. 80 percent is settling. It’s not good enough.

I’m afraid of disappointing those closest to me. I’m worried that my heart isn’t in what I’m doing here in school.

I occasionally sometimes often wonder what I’m doing here. What is the greater good? A master’s degree? Higher earning potential? What if I don’t want to base my life around “earning potential?!” What if the whole hierarchy is just bs?

I feel like if I’m here I should give it my all. HERE, of all places. But have I been? …if I’m honest with myself I’d have to say “no.” But then again, I lost my patience with school long ago.

I just don’t understand why if I’m here if I feel this way. Sometimes I become so frustrated because I just don’t know. I don’t know. Inside I whisper, “Why have you called me here, God? Please let me in on the secret. I just want to know that there’s a purpose behind this, because right now I don’t see one and I’m not sure I want to be doing this anymore.”

Encouraging scripture would be much appreciated.

I feel like something’s missing. Like there should be something more that doesn’t exist.

The sucky part is that I care. I want the grade. It’s how I’ve been trained. It’s what got me here, right?

One of the most important things that I personally took away from Chase Jarvis and Vincent Laforet’s talk (more on that, soon! =) ) was that you should only be doing things if you want to be doing them, not because someone else said they will make you successful. That being authentic is the only chance you have at being successful and happy. Authenticity is key to living a self-actualized life.

I’m twenty years young and I’m happy that I’ve come to this conclusion. I just hope I can live it out…and I intend to.

I guess one solution to my feelings of academic malaise is to do more of what I DO want to be doing. That’s totally fair. Maybe I’m just out of balance and that’s what I’m supposed to get out of this–“pick up your camera and shoot, girl!” “Write as if no one were reading!”

I am very thankful for the education I’ve received and continue to receive. No institution is flawless, though, and being in the day-to-day of it sometimes opens your eyes to problems you hadn’t really thought much of before, you know? Sometimes I feel like school gets in the way of learning. It’s an area that needs quite a bit of innovation in order to keep moving forward.

So here I am, using my blog as a channel to share my thoughts and findings with you, and through being vulnerable at times, maybe some of you will identify with that and gather something from it =). We’d become a community of doers and sharers and dreamers and lovers.

Have you ever questioned anything in your life? Be brave if you dare and let us know in the comments below (whoa, that rhymed ;) ).


4 thoughts on “thoughts of a daughter-sister-twenty something-artist-grad student

  1. Pingback: mothers and brothers « the blog

  2. Pingback: when something isn’t working, change it. | the blog

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