Everything you need to know
I feel like I’m just wasting my time in college, and I’d have much more fun right now doing my own thing or spending time with my family — even if it meant getting a job at Panera. It seems like, despite my upbringing, I just don’t have much respect for a good old college education. Should I follow my heart, or just suffer through what I have left of these lousy four years?
—I Dream of Panera
Why exactly don’t you respect a good college education? You know it’ll help you get a job later on, no matter what your degree is — so what’s your beef? You may say you’d be happy working at Panera now, while you’re miserable at school, but I can pretty much guarantee you that, once you’ve been at Panera for five years, you might be thinking differently. Is the problem really that you’re not happy with your major? A new semester’s coming up — why don’t you take classes in a bunch of different fields to see if your passion actually lies elsewhere? Or maybe Carnegie Mellon isn’t doing it for you, but another college might, maybe even one closer to your family. What exactly are you unhappy with? Your classes? The atmosphere? The drudgery of homework and exams? Your lousy friends? Or do you really believe that our entire education system is meaningless? Throw the advice girl a bone here!
You say you want to “follow your heart” and “do your own thing,” but you don’t say what this is exactly. If you really want to be a singer or a painter or a writer or an actress, that’s one thing, and you should go for it — though I’d still advocate finishing the degree first, as a backup. But if you just want to go home and bum around the house, play video games, eat your mom’s food, etc., then that’s just too bad, IDOP. Grow up. You can’t leech off your family forever, and you need to ask yourself seriously if you’d really be happy working at Panera for the rest of your life. So figure out what you don’t like about college and either change it or suck it up and get the degree already.
I work at an unnamed ice cream shop in Squirrel Hill, and my coworker is driving me crazy. We’ve only known each other for a month, but she finds it necessary to tell me extremely personal stories about the guys she sleeps with and all the drama going on in her and her friends’ lives. I really don’t want to know this stuff, especially when I’m trying to work! How can I get her to stop?
—Shut the Hell Up, Scooper Ho
The next time Scooper Ho starts getting personal, tell her, “Scooper Ho, I don’t feel comfortable talking about this. Why don’t we talk about X?” You can also try saying, “Sorry, Scooper Ho, I really have to concentrate on the customers right now,” but that will only work when there are actual customers in your shop. She might get pissed and switch from gossip to sniping, but hey, at least it’ll be new material.
Need advice? Send queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.