Quarter-Life & the Academic Suck

Todd Snyder, New York

Elizabeth Street, New York

Do college students do what they do for love of education? For me, I treat grad school like paying an “advancement tax.” Most do it to get a better job. Sadly, many do it in order to get a job at all. I had worked in the corporate world. Instead of staying at the bottom of the ladder, I had decided to make my own trail to get ahead. Now, to attain a Master’s Degree requires a strenuous life. Combined with aspirations of become a military leader through the Army ROTC, I have myself a large monster to slay. We all have monsters and fears to conquer.

“Embrace the Suck” is a familiar military saying. What the heck is “the suck” anyway? I used to think that it referred to deployment into a war zone. However, in actuality, the suck is a term for being in an undesirable condition. When it comes to college life, we experience a special kind of “suck.”

Organic Chemistry? This sucks. (Why would you do this?)

Accounting Exam? This sucks. (Why would you do this?)

Military training in the freezing cold? This sucks. (Why would I do this?)

The most captivating kind of “suck” are the ones we choose to do voluntarily. Why would we do that? I tend to make fun of college freshmen who declare majors that require them to endure academic courses that they hate. For me, it was Nutritional Sciences. I wasn’t ready to devote four years of my life to math & science when everything I  love to do is centered around meeting people and writing about life. Yet I still chose to take courses in economics & finance. This is what I call “The Academic Suck.” I took these courses because they were supplementary to my future career. They would only enhance my knowledge, but not primarily. It can be hard for a social person who likes subjective theories to learn about calculus and statistics, but sometimes things just need to be measured: a full tank of gas, a gallon of ice cream, or the weight of an M-16. But hey, courses will have their finals eventually and it can be a relief.

Is it WORTH it?

Hey, if it makes a person better, why not? To crawl in muddy excrement is what I do on Fridays. I don’t like it, but I’m less of a sissy now. Perhaps if I crawl in “math excrement” I can be a smarter spender. We shall see, J. Crew, we shall see.

Prince Street, New York

Sink or swim. [Prince Street, NYC)

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