Letter to my Son: College Thoughts

Hi Gregory,

I am on the train right now and doing my normal routine of jotting down three things I am grateful for and also meditating.  As I thought about things, I wanted to express some thoughts about college that maybe you have not heard.  And I wanted to give you the space to ask your questions, whatever they are.

As you have heard from me before, my true desire is to give you kids my perspective on life, so that you might have a bigger view of the world and how it works.  When I was your age, I was pretty ignorant to how things come together, and I would have loved the opportunity to ask questions, or certainly to understand more.  So that is what I would like to offer you.  You may already know everything, but just in case, I want you to feel you can ask if ever needed, and not feel dumb for not knowing something.

College is a great time to learn the language of life, whether it is art, or music, or engineering, or philosophy, or law, or business, or dance, or math, or psychology, or political science, or computer science, or whatever.  It is a wonderful time to dive deeper into your interests, and also get a rounding to your eduction where you get to experience a variety of classes outside of your specific interest area.

Your specific area is also known as your Major.  (Think major field of study and minor friend of study.). For example, my Major was Psychology, and my Minor was Business.)  Whatever Major you choose tells others a bit about you:  namely where your interests lie and how you are setting yourself up for later.  For example, many lawyers study English or History as a Major and then go on to Law School after college.  Many doctors study Biology or Chemistry as their Major and then go on to Medical School.  I studied Psychology and then got a Masters in Business Administration.

Many students don’t know what they want to “major in” and so go to college “Undeclared” as a Major.  They will have to choose at some point.  To show how smart your dad is, I went to college thinking everyone was a Business Major and thus that is what I chose.  After two years, I realized this was not the case and I switched to something more interesting to me, which was Psychology.  I figured that I would someday go on to get a Masters degree and that I could focus on Business then, so why not study more classical subjects like Psychology in college.

I went to school before the Internet was born, so the explosion of all things Internet had not happened.  Today the view on fields of study might be more geared toward electronics and technology.  Still the business of building content and sharing it across the world in all the new mediums of technology is huge.  Especially when it comes to video, they say “Content is King!”

I did not know what I was doing when I went to college.  That was okay.  But looking back on it, I wish I had done things differently, like focus on my interests head on, and understand what might be more valuable later on.  For me, I might have done more work in Engineering as I eventually became a cable guy.  Also I might have done more computer science as I spent time programming and I had to learn everything from scratch.

Anyway, think about your interests, and let’s talk about all the branches that spring from your “tree of interest.”  I love that you love music, because so does the world!  I’d love to give you some of my thoughts on various branches and give you perspective on different courses of study that might give bigger life to your major interests.  I can’t stress the “interest” part of life.  If you follow your interests, or sometimes called “following your bliss,” you will be more engaged and more ideas and “branches” will open up to you.  It’s like driving in the fast lane versus the slow lane.  Your interests come from inside you.  So noticing them is the first step.  You are already doing this with music.  What other things interest you?  Video games? Mythology? What else?

The world is a big place, so don’t limit yourself.  This is a great time to think big, jump in and out of things that interest you, even if it is only for a short while.  Try things — put them on and see if they fit!  Keep your eyes open and follow your interests.  Take the time to go deep on things and keep going if you like.  There is a signature that a friend of mine has on her email.  It says “Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life!”  That sounds pretty darn good.

Have a great day.  I love you,

Dad

Sent from my iPad

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