The real world can wait a while

Zayira Jordan

Welcome back to the real world! No, this is not another column dedicated to analyzing the path and effects of American TV’s real-life shows. Summer is over and, knowing that the time has come to go back to the books, the thoughts and comments of many may have been filled with four letter words. But believe me, is not as bad as you think. Although some people prefer to call the “productive years” of the Homo Sapiens breed “the real world,” I must say there may be some confusion about it. Having been given the chance to take a look at what most people on campus call the real world, I should say sometimes it is not as glamorous. The fact is the majority of the radical movements and new schools of thought that have modeled the contemporary society have emerged from university campuses rather than multinational corporations. The creation of free thinkers is the goal that academia has purposely sought to attain. There is evidence that, to a certain extent, this goal has been achieved during the most recent past generations. History has seen many positive twists as a result of fresh thoughts born in the untainted minds of college students all around the world. These have only been responses to the demands of a continuously adjusting society. To name a couple, just take a look at China’s Tiananmen and the ’60s anti-war expressions. While the “real world” is anxiously awaited for by today’s students as the culmination of the dreams that brought them to post secondary studies in the first place, at the end you may have to face several disappointments. Sheer hypocrisy, incompetence, personal matters reigning over the professional facts are just some of the drawbacks of the so-called real world. Education is definitely an added value but is not the whole. The tools you’ll have to use to make your path more comfortable and successful rely in the simple lessons we learn during our lives as students. These are lessons of the human condition, of our relationships between one another. While studying you will find that, in most cases, if you do well you’ll get a good score, the same if you flunk it. Recognition is inherent to these years. When in the “real world,” you may not always find the same rewards. As your college years go by you’ll find professors, roommates, classmates that will give you great gifts: new perspectives, enhanced values and the knowledge and recognition of disparities. For now you are a free mind. Since nobody is paying you to burn your brain cells in their favor, you will gain an ever-growing confidence in your own reasoned conclusions. A free-thinking mind is one of the best outcomes from academia. No doubt it will be one of the most treasured rewards you’ll earn in the next few years. Value it and stick to it for as long as you can. There is a bliss attached to my beyond-and-back experience, a certainty that I am not anymore part of the beehive confusion that at times made me feel estranged from my own idealist beginnings. After all, I’d rather be the person I was. I have regained an awareness of the other real world, the one in which illusions may be closer to become factual. As a college student, I now share with you the responsibility to dissent when the time calls for it. That is the way for us to bring the world to its “real reality.” Zayira Jordan is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Utuado, Puerto Rico.