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@tylerchilds
Last active Jan 9, 2019
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What would you like to do?
I'm guessing this was my final paper in English 101.

Tyler Childs
Monday, December 17, 2007

[untitled]

Every living creature has a reason for what it does in life. People and animals alike have instincts that they use for survival. Many people make complex decisions that affect their entire lives. Career choices, college and marriage are all common dilemmas that people face. My name is Tyler Childs and the one I’m suffering through right now is college. I’m going to college for three reasons: Satisfy my parents, learn about things I like, and in the long run, make more money.

My parents are both big reasons for why I go to college. Unlike most kids, who go to college because their parents make them, I go to college to accomplish what my parents have not. Both of my parents had to sacrifice college for me because I came, and for this I feel I owe it to them. My father had already stopped going before I came; but growing up, my school work was always important to him. My mother was in college when she got pregnant with me and then she had to stop going to take care of me. The reason I tried really hard in high school was to go away to college and to enjoy going there. For multiple reasons I ended up at Cape Cod Community College. I’m sure most of these reasons weren’t all for me and I fear that I may end up living the rest of my life for other people.

I’m also going to college to learn about things I like. I’m currently studying to become a Web Site Designer and I like most of the classes I’m taking. Unlike high school, college gives you a lot more opportunity to take classes to really figure out what you like. In high school, I took a basic computer repair course and it helped me to make the decision to take more computer classes in college. College has made me realize how much I like working with computer and that I want to pursue computers for a career. Along with my Web Site Design degree, I hope to get “A+ Certified” for repairing computers. With the degree and the certification I hope to become a big asset to a company once I graduate.

Lastly, making more money is a reason I’m currently attending college. A common saying is, “Those with college degrees make a million more in a lifetime than those who don’t have a degree on average.” This phrase has never meant that much to me because I know anyone with a brilliant idea can make tons of money with little education whatsoever. This phrase just reiterates the reason of why I would want to go to college. I may never have a brilliant, original idea that will take me to the top; if I’m going to work for the rest of my life, I at least want to do something I enjoy and get paid a lot of money to do it. If I didn’t have a college education I would have less job opportunities to get a job I would enjoy.

Everyone has their own reasons for attending college. Most people don’t go to college when they are younger, but they get jobs and later on take classes so they can further their career. I respect these people and their determination to work for a better life. Seeing them motivates me to want to get college done and out of the way while I am young. Hopefully college works out for me and I find a job I enjoy doing, get paid a lot and satisfy my parents by doing what they wished they could have done.

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@tylerchilds tylerchilds commented Jan 9, 2019

This hasn't been edited at all from the way that I found it, even though I'd like to fix grammatical errors and make it more clear in places. I feel the problems illustrate how far I've come in the past 11 years.

I'm sharing this publicly because of a thread I read on Twitter about under-matching by Mekka Okereke. It really resonated with me because in reflecting back on where I've come from to where I am now, I've had quite a few nudges (minor-interventions) along the way.

The most notable nudge would go to my high school guidance counselor because she helped match me to courses I was interested in. I distinctly remember trying to take two study halls my senior year, because taking the easy path to graduating seemed like a great cure to senioritis. That wasn't going to fly with her, so we talked about me taking psychology. I went to the first class and afterwards told her we needed to figure something else out because I had zero-interest. We ended up landing on me taking some online classes instead. This was my intro into web development with two classes, Macromedia Flash and another in HTML.

At the beginning of my freshman year of college, I had a class that forced me to write a resume with an Objective at the top. I wrote I wanted to one day work for Google or Microsoft. I didn't realize it then, but setting a long-term goal like that really helped to drive my motivation for the years to come. I put that on there partially as a joke because I thought it to be completely unrealistic, "Could you imagine me in a place like that?". But a part deep inside of me really aspired to the goal, "Could you imagine me in a place like that?" It wasn't really anything about either of those places, my perception was just that those were where the greatest minds in the world worked and working alongside bright, talented people seemed appealing and impossible.

I won't bore you with the details of getting from there to where I am today, but I'm writing this in case it inspires just one person. For the past decade, each step of the way, I've felt really lucky. In hindsight, some of might have been luck, but a lot of it was working my ass off towards what I wanted and being in the right place at the right time. I always thought that the "right place at the right time" was a luck component, but I've realized that's part of the result of working hard.

If you show up to a gold mine everyday and most days you turn up empty-handed, it's not luck the day you finally strike gold; it's persistence.

I'm not telling you that you can be anything you want to be, but that you will be anything you work to be.

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