Sunday, February 3, 2008

Enjoy being a student

After reading Chris Bronson's latest blog entry about how he feels his social life has taken a hit due to trying to be a student, work, and live on his own all at the same time, I decided that I want to send a message to all the future pharmacists out there.

I am 100% dead serious when I say this: I would give up every dime that I've made over the last 2 years if I could go back to college and be a student all over again. College was the best time of my life, and I honestly can't think of anything in my future that could match it. I got to hang out with my friends all day long. My girlfriend was at school with me, and I got to be with her whenever I wanted. There was no pressure, limited responsibilities, and best of all, I had a sense of hope and optomism for the future.

See, when you're in college (or any school for that matter), you're always striving towards a goal. There's the ultimate goal of graduating and getting a good job, but there's also those little goals that pop up during the week. Maybe you want to get an A on your next test or paper. Maybe you want to do really well during your next intramural contest. Whatever the case, there always seems to be some sort of purpose to your life, and you get to have A LOT of fun while trying to achieve your goals.

Contrast that with my life now... I'm single. I live in a small, one bedroom apartment all by myself. My friends all work and have lives of their own, so I only get to see them once or twice a week. Because I see them so rarely, there's this idea that we have to go out and do something exciting whenever we get together, so we always end up at a bar, club, or some other entertainment venue.

Know what I miss the most about school? Just hanging around my dorm room with my two roommates watching TV and talking about sports or other pointless stuff. I also miss just hanging out at my girlfriend's dorm, sitting on her very uncomfortable futon, trying to tune out her annoying roommate, while watching Friends and the other shows on NBC's "Must See TV." The biggest thrill in the world was deciding to skip the dining hall for one evening and order out.

Life was so simple back then. We didn't need to create excitement for ourselves. We had a nice laid-back lifestyle, and I loved it. Now, I have to hunt for dates, and when I meet someone I feel "compatible" with, I have to figure out a place to go. Moreover, if I actually like the girl and want to go out with her multiple times (i.e. eHarmony girl), I have to rack my brain for date ideas because god forbid we go to a dinner and a movie 2 dates in a row. 4 years ago, the greatest thing in the world was getting the chance to go out to dinner and a movie. Now, it seems like it's not good enough to entertain someone.

I never realized how good I had it until I started working. Even if I thought my job was the greatest job ever, it still sucks to have to put 40 hours per week into it for pretty much the rest of my life. What am I striving for now? In 40 years, I'll be doing the same damn thing as I'm doing right now. I'm a pharmacist. I've met my goal. Now, I suppose the only thing left is to keep trying to be the best pharmacist possible. That's not exciting though. That doesn't fill me with a sense of optomism. It just means I have to keep putting in hours and gaining experience in my profession.

That's the main reason I write this blog. I spend every waking hour looking for meaning in my monotonous life. Perhaps, if I was married like I was supposed to be now, my outlook would be different. I would be enjoying the fruits of my labor with someone that I truly cared about. I'd be looking to buy a house and start a family. Basically, I'd be working towards goals.

Right now, I'm just floating aimlessly, and I feel like I'm under constantly increasing pressure. I have bills to pay, loans to pay off, and at the same time, I feel the precious few years remaining of my youth passing me by. If college was the best time of my life, this is easily the worst time of my life. However, I made twice as much money last year than I made my entire life up to that point. I said in a previous post I wouldn't take a pay cut to make my job better. Well, I WOULD take a pay cut to make my LIFE better. I'd work the shittiest, lowest paying pharmacy job there is if it meant I could have that same sense of contentment I had cuddling with my girlfriend on that uncomfortable futon watching TV.

So back to my original point... If you're a student, be happy being a student. Don't try to rush into adulthood. Just enjoy the rest of your time as a "kid." Afterall, you only get to be a kid for a little over 20 years. You'll have the rest of your life to be an adult.


Carol said...

I hear you. It took a few years to get my feet under me after graduating. Try out some new possible hobbies. See if there is a wall climbing club near you. Try out a new skill-anything. From flower arranging to leather work to American Sign Language.

Chris Bronson said...

Thanks for referencing my post Mike. Just reading what you just wrote really helped me to see things in a different perspective.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree

Anonymous said...

Maybe finding a hobby and setting some goals with that would be good? Might recreate a sense of purpose ;)

RatedRx said...

Hey dude - I enjoy the blog! You are right about college being the best days of your life! If I could give you one bit of advice - it is to enjoy the moment! Things will work out for you soon enough.

I'm a retail pharmacist, and married with two children. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, my kids play little league, take ballet, I go to church every Sunday - and I'm living the dream - or so it would seem. Truthfully, this life is a cage. I hate pharmacy - but I'm a slave to a mortgage and family. There is nothing less fulfilling in life than to stand behind a computer all day dealing with the unappreciative morons of the general public. Can you imagine doing this for 40, 50, or 60 more years? So freaking depressing ....

Make the most of being single. Travel, see the world, go places and have adventures. Experience life! Life isn't a race to see who can work the most, or who can accumulate the most money. Only YOU have the power to change things in your own life - the future is your to create.

Good luck. This all being said, I know it is easier for me to tell you what you should do in retrospect. Truthfully, I should follow my own advice, but it is so much easier to keep doing the same thing, no matter how much I hate it or how many times it kills my spirit. Ok, I'm depressing myself now ...

Anonymous said...

invest in real estate. flip a house. do something thatll get you money, so you can work less and play more.
find a hobby thatll earn you some income on the side, or maybe just be patient and the girl of your dreams will come around. in the end, just be thankful, you need to hit the lowest so you can truly appreciate the rise back up. wow that was hallmark up ur ass

Anonymous said...

I'm a pharmacy student right now at a small private school in the middle of nowhere, single, with probably $300K of student loan debt to pay off when i'm finished in 3 years, there are 4 out of 108 single girls in my class (none which are attractive), my best friend just left for AZ working the you could have it worse. Work a 7 on 7 off shift and travel once a month, thats what I'm going to do til I die. Cheer up, have fun at other people's expense its enthralling I promise, ha. Good luck