Does College Groom You To Become A Professional Bullshitter?

Not only in regards to work ethic, college has groomed us to become professional bullshitters in everyday life. Whether it’s pretending to know what you’re talking about at work or lying to your parents about your ‘good’ financial standing in order to justify your degenerate weekend habits, we’ve all become really, scarily good at pretending, lying and fabricating.

Driving home from work one night last week, I heard the latest way college students are sliding by and continuing to do the bare minimum. Coming up short for a lengthy essay? Write in a bunch of random words at the end, make them the smallest font size possible and change the font color to white. Apparently you can cut out a significant amount of those required words.

Half the battle in college, particularly dealing with presentations, is acting like you know what you’re talking about, being confident, sounding educated and not seeming nervous or flustered. Not much has changed from college to work. Whenever I’m asked a question I’m unsure of, or just not completely positive, I just nod my head with reassurance that I comprehend it and am in the loop. However, 80% of the time, as soon as someone walks away I’m breaking into a panic in my head, fingers are going 100 mph on the keyboard, searching for something relevant to the topic, attempting to figure it out. It’s all about playing it cool. I came across this meme on Twitter and found it so fitting for this post.

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And even when you know you’re doing something wrong, or outside your scope of work at the office, you always have a back-up plan, or response, in case you get caught. For example, printing personal stuff, browsing through social media or online shopping, there is always a part of you that is playing devil’s advocate, brainstorming ways to BS your way out of the potential situation of being caught.

Furthermore, when it comes to discussion board posts or papers, sometimes all you have to do is ramble on and on until you convince someone else, or even yourself, that you’re making sense and telling the truth. Similarly to small talk at the office, when someone asks how your weekend was, you’re obviously not going to respond with, “Omg so much fun, I blacked out in the city with my friends, spent most of my time recovering in my bed and virtually achieved nothing productive.” So, you simply say, “It was really good, super relaxing, how about yours?”

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This also occurs when my parents question my spending habits on the weekends. “I thought you were trying to be more conservative with your money and spend less?” Casually, I respond with something similar to, “Yeah I am, I picked up a babysitting shift so I haven’t really touched my paycheck yet.” Half truth, half lie, but I have to keep the bullshit coming especially when it comes to money to avoid a row with my parents, and also myself. Sadly, I think I internally lie to myself about my ridiculous spending habits on unnecessary clothes, food & alcohol. But I forgive myself.

We bullshit through everyday interfaces as well; whether you run into someone randomly and say you’re doing good, even though you might be having a shitty day, you justify buying that $20 pair of shoes because you didn’t spend as much as you anticipated over the weekend, or tell your parents you only had 1 – 2 drinks at happy hour after work, we are bullshitters.

Will we ever get to do something with substance, or are we doomed to a life of bullshit?

I could be rich, or at least not broke if I wasn’t such a degenerate

Where is Ed McMahon when you need him? I could use a fat check in my name delivered to me right about now- student loans, car insurance, phone bill, credit card bills (my own fault), and just every day living expenses. Seriously, how does anyone afford to live if you weren’t already born into money?

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The system is ass backwards. It’s almost frowned upon if you don’t attend some sort of collegiate institution after high school, but for us that do, who think we’re doing the right thing for our parents and for ourselves in the long run, we’re the ones that are just frowning after the four years are up.

College: 4 of the most expensive years of your life where you generally take 120 credits of bullshit, except for the 5 or 6 classes that actually focus on your major, that usually don’t even happen until your fourth year. And all of the stress of tests and papers and finances, and of course all of the dreaded presentations, is all for one small piece of paper that basically says ” Hi, I’m the idiot who just cried every night for  four years, blacked out every weekend to forget all my weekday problems, which then turned into the weekday problems, gained weight, and went to 40 different classes to basically remember nothing from them, and guess what? I paid $60,000 for all of this.”  Keep in mind that this piece of paper is in a language that the average person can’t even read.

4 years and 1 expensive piece of paper later, and I still have no idea what I want to do. The worst part is that those four years of being a degenerate have just formed me into being a bigger degenerate, just with more debt.

See the problem?

It’s incredibly hard to save money right now. Between all the monthly payments I have to make that I mentioned before, I also mentioned the costs of everyday living aka my inner alcoholic, shopping addict, and food lover.

It’s honestly a vicious cycle. All week I can tell myself I’m going to stay in this weekend to save money and how nice it’ll be to take a weekend off and detox my body, catch up on some sleep, and just relax. Then Friday comes along… Around 4 o’clock I get ancy and realize how much I don’t want to sit in and how bored I’m going to be, with the occasional wave of FOMO that could be experienced. Then I take the plunge and start sending out the “What are you doing tonight?” texts to my friends and just like that, I’m spending $50.

Then on Sunday I’m hating myself for all the money I spent on drinks, ubers and hangover food, but on Monday I’m having the same attitude about not going out the following weekend then Friday comes..you get the point.

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I’ve always chose happiness over money, but I think soon I have to go with the money. I’ve accepted that I might have to work a job I don’t necessarily love for a year or two and then hopefully be able to afford to go back to school for something I’m more interested in, which will obviously just put me further into the hole, but it’s okay, I can defer my undergrad loans while in grad school haha. And if I really have to start going out less on the weekends to save, I think I can do it, I’m not a complete alcoholic.