For about two years, I was a resident advisor, or as some first year students liked to refer to me, the "resident assh*le."
While I was an RA, I spent a lot of time around first-year students, the batch getting younger and younger each year.
On a typical night, you can find your average first-year student doing one of the following things: drinking, studying, vomiting, streaking or any other combination.
It's something that you have to deal with — a psychological occupational hazard.
I remain partially scarred, but ultimately grateful for being able to help them out, despite their drunken retorts of, "get away from me, I'm fine!"
I use this as a preface because, in being surrounded by so many first-year students, you begin to recognize the types of college students who walk through the hallways.
There are the academic-types, the party-goers, the 420s and any number of followers and lost sheep.
This is for the lost sheep. College is a time for fun and self-exploration, to be free and wander about campus, figuring out your passions. But, what if your passions aren't in college?
Stay with me now, what if they lay far beyond the confines of any college campus within the entire United States? Don't laugh; it's possible.
Have you seen Monsters University? Mike and Sully went to college, did their best, got kicked out and still made it to the top of Monsters, Inc.
The path is winding and rough, but it is not that way for everyone. There's more than one way to achieve success in this society.
That being said, I do understand the overwhelming societal pressure to go to college.
We're raised thinking the only way to true success, or the only way to make something of of ourselves in this world, is to go to college and get a degree.
To a massively large extent, this is true. The job market is tough, unbearable and tedious.
In order to get any experience, one must already have experience, and to that end, experience almost always implies having a degree of some sort.
Do not let that deter you from following your dreams. Yes, I could tell you that so many CEOs didn't graduate college and went on to become multi-billionaires, but that's neither here nor there.
To all the lost sheep, I am going to get real with you right now: I'm willing to, once again, take on the resident assh*le role for your sakes.
If you don't like it, then leave. Just withdraw and find your passion elsewhere. It's better to have it rough for a while and achieve your dreams than to waste your time sitting on your thumbs wishing for something big to happen.
Stop wishing and start doing. The last thing anyone wants for you (whether it's your parents, your friends or your RA) is to be pushed so far down a road that you didn't want to go down in the first place with only the hope that something will come up along the way.
Most of the time, nothing ever does. Break free and decide for yourself. There is so much more to do out there, so long as you know it exists.
If you look around your campus and feel like these are not the people you want to surround yourselves with for the next four years, then I say go find your people.
Look for them in the oddest of places. Search in coffee shops, thrift stores or museums. College is too often seen as the one-stop shop for all of your career success needs.
Here's a secret: It's not that way for everybody and that's okay. Trust me, I was the resident assh*le.