So today was my first day as a full time student. It was the triumphant return to brick and mortar campus life that I have avoided for almost a decade. In anticipation I prepared the night before. I plotted my route to drive. I planned my parking. I mapped out my route to class and scouted my classes before hand. I thought it was going to be much more then what it was.
Granted I am still excited to be back in school and pursuing a new career field, however the intro back into school so far has been very anticlimactic. It is hard to believe that the course work I am taking on is full time. I have two classes a day. The work load for my first two classes is less then impressive. I am debating on getting a part time job on campus, or I am going to be searching for things to do at home.
I think my perspective of having been out of school life for so long, and having done the working online college experience so many times, leaves this first reintegration unchallenging. I do feel I will learn something from this experience and I have the personal discipline to see it all the way through. My only issue right now though, is to find something to challenge me further and keep me engaged. So I will be looking for student activities and abusing the hell out of the resources available at the school.
In looking at this experience I see a lot of parallels to issue in our everyday life. How many times have you done something to find it did not measure up to the perception of what you thought it was going to be? How many times did it not bite you as hard as you thought it would? How do we as a people deal with that let down feeling? On the opposite end of the spectrum, how many times has something blindsided you with what it really was?
How much of that personal experience though is a perception that is under our control and how do we use those reflection of those events to set ourselves up for failure or success? How much of that perception is under our control? Why do we create this fantasy in our minds to make something into more then what it is? It is the one up syndrome that I think many people suffer from.
You all know that guy, that no matter what you did something better or worse happened to them. You have an ache in your back, well they broke their back. You got an A in English, they graduated with honors. No matter what they take it the next extreme. If there is truth in their statement or not, we as a people tend too try to keep up with the Joneses in our experiences. We tend to discount those experiences because they do not measure up and fail personally to recognize the real value of our own experience. We do this because they just did not impress us enough.
If there was anything I did learn though from this first day of school (again) is that each experience has its own value and teaches us in its own way. You get out of the experience what you put into it. Even if something does not live up to the preconceived expectations it still holds value in the reality of what it really is. Life is about learning, and you only learn if you are open to it. You can only see the truth of a matter if you can break it down from other views.
Just because something is not what you thought it would be does not mean that it does not hold value on its own. If anything I can now measure the man I have become but seeing how easily I can now engage into a challenge that many people struggle with. I am ready to seek challenge where it is not, because the day you stop learning, or at least encountering things you can learn from, is the day that you truly die.