I’ve never graduated college before. I graduated high school. I’ve been to graduation ceremonies. I know how to use a graduated cylinder. But, I’ve never graduated college.
A couple of weeks ago, which was less than a month till graduation, I decided I wanted to drop out. Not because I was failing my classes (I think I have an A and two Bs,) but because I wanted to stay true to myself. I don’t want to be a f***ing college graduate. There are so many of them in this world. I would rather be a college dropout. I wanted to be the guy who literally waited until the night before graduation then dropped all of his three remaining classes in an attempt to remain the person he is.
“This degree is just UNF blowing air in my head,” I thought.
“You’re not even a bachelor, you have a serious girlfriend.”
I told my friends my plan, and while they understood the irony, as well as my own personal respect for disrespectful things, they couldn’t help but call me stupid.
“Dude, Spence, you’re not seriously considering dropping out right?”
“You’re a f***ing idiot. But, that would be pretty funny … for like a few days.”
“Why would you do that? Are you failing?”
The reason(s) I have are as follows:
- I’m not even sure if I care about getting a Bachelor’s. The entire time I’ve been grinding out these bulls**t papers, memorizing random facts that I forgot five minutes after the test, and “learning how to conduct an interview,” I’ve been motivated by the fact that I hate making pizzas for a living. I don’t want to hate being a photojournalist.
- I’ve given up on things before. It’s an interesting feeling to give up. It’s relieving and depressing at the same time. At one end, you don’t have to deal with whatever thing you just gave up on. And on the other end, you just failed, so you’re possibly feeling like a worthless piece of s**t — I’m down with both.
- I’m a firm believer in the college dropouts. I’m not going to name any, because you probably know at least one that’s smarter than all the cookie cutter kids in your “upper level courses.” I doubt I’m as smart as the faces running through your head, but I respect their ability to do it their way. And f**k if I haven’t already gotten to where I am by doing it my way. Why stop now?
- If I ever do anything significant with my life, it would be nice to say something like, “Yea, I dropped out three weeks before graduation.”
- I want to be an anti-hero. That’s the main reason.
An antihero is a character used in and out of literature. He or she must be a main(ish) character who lacks heroic characteristics. I don’t want to be the golden child. I sure as hell don’t want a 4.0 GPA, weighted or not. I want to be the guy who was supposed to do a bunch of cool s**t, but did a bunch of cooler s**t. I want to be the guy who saves a girl from a burning building, but as I carry her to safety, I realize it’s the wrong girl. I saved the villain.
I’m not that bad of a dude. I’m probably a pretty good dude — besides all the bad s**t that I do or say or write. But, I don’t want to be known as the nice guy either, or the good guy, hero, champion or even the graduate. I just want to be myself. I’ve decided graduating isn’t going to change me. I’ll still be Spencer Rooney. The guy who’s name sounds like a nickname, who’s not the oldest or the youngest sibling. I’m a nice, but not that nice guy, who didn’t drop out, but wanted to really badly.