Retirement at 24

by hredekop

I remember in elementary school when our teachers would say – whether they were trying to encourage excitement about going to highschool or ebb away our fears I do not know – “just you wait, everything’s better in highschool because you get to choose the courses you take!”  Finally, I won’t have to sit through another art class trying desperately to turn my stick figure into 3D, or suffer through another sewing lesson in Home Economics.  The bells of freedom of choice and the right to chew gum in class rang loudly as I anticipated this novelty that was sure to make going to school essentially painless.

Highschool came and went and it didn’t take long to realize that those promises were quite empty as my newfound freedom did not find me skipping to class whistling a tune for love of what I was supposedly choosing to study.  Barely before my elementary teachers’ words left the echos of my eardrums, the highschool administrators were already repeating the same mantra, only this time for post-secondary education.  We were accosted daily by one university or another, welcomed by a toothy-grinned guidance counselor assuring us that university will be the best thing that has ever happened to us, only because this time, for real, you get to study  what you really want to, and in depth.  Well, sorry to burst your bubble, but it ain’t all that.  University – for me – included a lot of hair loss (natural and otherwise..), weight gain, loneliness, stress, confusion, and on top of that, obligatory courses that I didn’t want to take.  So. Strike two.

Then, the other day I heard someone comment on retirement, where one becomes so busy because one can finally do what they really want to do, and not what they’re paid to do.  That’s promising.

So, moral of the story: we’re destined to always be unhappy with what we’re doing, only to hope that the next stage in life will bring real meaning to us?

That doesn’t seem like a nice place to be.  At least you’re hopeful, I guess.  I for one, after living through the tragic let downs of school, do not plan on waiting around for retirement to get on with living a life doing what I really want to do (even if they don’t pay me!).  What about you?