elijahcaine.me : I. Fucking. Graduated.

Today I checked my grades for the last time. I can safely say that I have finally gotten a gorramn undergraduate degree in Computer Science, with a minor in Mathematics, from Oregon State University. [1] [3]

I hear that this happens on the reg [2] but I'm sure that every single person who actually graduates feels amazing when they do.

It's not amazing because graduation is a Herculean feat. I know I'm not a 60 year old grandmother who dreamt of getting a college degree for 45 years and finally scraped together the cash and time in retirement. I'm also not a refugee that escaped a war-torn country for an education and a better life. I'm just another white dude that checked all the boxes.

It wasn't hard for me. I just had to put my head down and do the work. But it did take a long ass time.

Honestly my story is exactly like most college graduation stories. I went to kindergarten, then elementary school, then middle school, then high school, then college, and now life. I plugged away at school, did what I needed to pass my classes, stressed and lamented, studied hard and eventually the system said "Cool. You're done." Along the way I learned how to "play the game" [4], albeit a bit late compared to a lot of my peers.

I'm thankful to be in a field which doesn't require a masters or PHD to get a jorb. Heck my field doesn't really require the degree I got; a surprising number of my friends got well paying jobs sans-degree.

I'm also thankful to graduate without debt. This came from some kickass parents + grandparents, some work during school, and some bad stuff that happened which ended up paying for abou half of my tuition.

I'm thankful to graduate with wonderful friends, a job, and some passions which make my work-related decisions simple and profitable.

Last, I'm thankful to be done. Now I can finally focus on learning, my real passion.

I'm gonna have a Cucumber Sour and celebrate. Thanks for reading.

[1]I don't claim to have the best sources, but at least it's not Yahoo Answers: https://www.reference.com/education/many-people-graduate-college-year-8b0ccf821050d39e
[2]I'm 99% sure I graduated. Something horribly kafkaesque might still happen, but fuckit.
[3]Go beavs.

This is shorthand for tips and tricks to get through school.

School isn't really focused on making sure you learned, it's mostly designed to make sure you can pass tests. Once you figure this out you can focus on learning for the test instead of trying to grok the material. I believe the kids call it a "life hack".

Not that you shouldn't try to grok the material, that just happens to take way longer than test-based learning. So if you want a personal life, learn for the test; if you want a PHD, learn for the material.

I didn't figure this system out until about Junior year of High School, too late to apply this zen skill to the ACT and SAT, but it was useful in college.