Rant & Rave

By Matthew Spencer

Tuesday, November 30, 1999

College time for
growth, not voc ed

AS I sit here in my ethics class, not paying attention to the professor, but instead pondering what I want to do with the rest of my life, I often wonder how others know what they want to do with the rest of their lives.

Sure it may seem like college is just the next step in the cycle of life after high school and before the "real world," but I think that you need to go to college for the right reasons and not the wrong ones.

A lot of people have the misconception that going to college and getting a degree automatically qualifies you for a job when you graduate. Another mistake I see people making is majoring in or wanting to become something just because it will get them a good job with lots of money. To me, these are bad reasons for going to college.

When I first started out here in Santa Clara, I started out as an engineering major. After the first couple of months, I knew that I didn't want to be an engineer anymore. It wasn't because of the classes or the professors, although I wouldn't miss them, it was because the things we were doing in those classes didn't interest me.

For me right now, I think that going to college is all about finding where I belong and where I want to go, and who I am as a person. Sure, that may sound cheesy, but that's what I believe.

In other words, I think people should do what they want to do. Right now, I'm allowing myself to learn my strengths and take the time to discover who I want to be, rather than doing something just because it will get me a good job or make me a lot of money.

I think one of my friends who will be leaving Santa Clara after only his second year, summed it up best. I asked him why he was leaving school and he told me, "I'd rather be living in a cardboard box supporting my family, doing what I like to do, than sitting in a desk always wondering what could have happened if I didn't go for my dream."

My ultimate goal after college is to come back to Hawaii and be able to find a job and live there. Sure I may have a hard time finding a job in Hawaii's tough job market, but I'd rather be true to myself than work in a job I don't like. Besides, who said life was easy?

I do offer a bit of advice for those in college and those who do plan to go to college: Don't go to college for the wrong reasons. Do what you want to do, and everything will work out.

Matthew Spencer is a 1998 graduate of Kamehameha Schools,
who is now attending Santa Clara University.

Rant & Rave is a Tuesday Star-Bulletin feature
allowing those 12 to 22 to serve up fresh perspectives.
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