It is one of my biggest pet peeves when professors and other students start talking about our futures in the “real world.” I find statements like this odd because I take college seriously enough to consider it as a part of the “real world” already.
Yet, I often hear students complaining, “I hate this assignment, it isn’t going to help me in the real world.” Granted, I’ve said something similar like this in my days as a student, but as I continue to grow as a learner and professional, I am beginning to see how immature this mindset truly is.
There are a lot of things students partake in during their college years that are supposed to help them prepare for this “real world” that parents and educators keep preaching about.
I have to wonder, what do these older adults mean by the phrase “real world” anyways? I assume what they mean is the professional world; a world in which you’re required to obtain a sustainable career that helps you pay the bills and survive as an independent individual.
I think it’s fair to say that many of us are still dependent on our parents for college tuition and even living expenses.
But I’m also willing to bet that a great number of us are on our own for most things. Student loans are in our own names, we pay our own phone or car bills, and we work enough hours each week to pay for rent and grocery costs.
Therefore, I would like to propose that we as students stop doing things to “prepare” for the real world and realize that we ought to start doing these things because we are in the “real world” already.
In our current “world,” we are students, and if we agree that we are currently in the “real world” then, logically, it should follow that being a student is our full-time profession.
In the aforementioned “real world,” employers are going to ask you to complete projects that you aren’t particularly passionate about or interested in, but when it comes down to it, you’ll have to complete the work or you could lose your job.
You can relate this experience to having to do an assignment for class and if you chose not to complete it, you will probably receive a zero.
I think this scenario can also can also correlate to your responses toward certain projects and assignments.
If you verbally insult the work you are asked to do, your professor is probably not going to say much as long as your grit your teeth and hand-in a finished product.
However, in this “real world” in question, I doubt that your boss is going to like hearing you bash the projects and work you are asked to complete. You’ll be labeled as having a bad attitude and weak work ethic, so even if you don’t get fired, I wouldn’t be expecting a glowing reference letter from that boss when you decide to move on.
Sure, you might be thinking to yourself, “I won’t hate the work I have to do in my future profession because I’m going into a field that I love.”
Yeah okay, I’m sure you told yourself the same thing when you went from high school to your preferred major of study in college.
I guess what I’m trying to say is this: stop complaining about the assignments you are required to do and just do them already. We are all busy, we all have assignments to complete that we don’t necessarily enjoy, but that is the “real world” for you.
Even outside of the professional world, no one wants to schedule oil changes, do their income taxes, do their laundry, etc., but these unenjoyable activities and many more are necessary if you want to prosper in the “real world.”
Honestly, the only way you can really get out of completing unfavorable activities or projects later in life is if you become rich and important enough to have some sort of a personal assistant.
And even then, you most likely won’t become that rich and important unless you stop complaining and just do your damn work.
Anna is a senior English major and Opinions Editor for The Voice.