it was halfway through college when I knew I was stuck

the realization hit me like an oncoming truck

I was studying something I knew I didn’t love

but I felt paralyzed and more afraid of

being seen as weak and failing to succeed

when my identity was he who achieved

 

I didn’t have time to stand still and think

if I didn’t keep moving, i knew i would sink

and all I knew was this high speed pool

where you had to win big and still look cool

 

I shared a post on that very night

as a way to cope I tried to make light

I took an immature jab at creative pursuits

but when I look back, something deeper shines through

I think my true self was crying for help

but I wasn’t prepared for finding myself

Plus it wasn’t the place for not having a clue

There was homework to do and lab reports due

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so I bit into my Wawa that lonely night at Perelman

and chose to ignore the ego peril I was in

As I prepared to embark on another all nighter

I took a short breath and hoped the future was brighter

 

I stood at the crossroads with a decision to make

about how I would live, which path I would take

I was afraid to look within and face the truth

So I stayed the course on the expected route

 

A few years later I took the other path

but it’s a miracle I made it with my sanity intact

 

I watched friends and teammates get pushed to the edge

some dropped out of school while others are dead

The pressure’s too much, it can’t be sustained

A college degree shouldn’t come with such pain

 

These institutes of higher learning

are breeding grounds for crashing and burning

Shared between students is an unspoken yearning

buried by talk of titles and earnings

 

Now I don’t mean to say that all jobs are bad

but our material focus is driving us mad

No matter how much we have, it’s never enough

And we’re left feeling sad with a life full of stuff

 

We need to encourage the discovery of self

And broaden our focus past monetary wealth

Before you can contribute to the world at large

I think it’s important to know who you are

 

Instead we’re just teaching our kids to be robotic

And are left with high achievers who are totally neurotic

 

study

Such a complex issue that one post or one study won’t cover the breadth of..but there’s some interesting evidence here. Click the image to read more.

 

I had passed all the tests and realized success

But when i self-assessed, I felt like a mess

The higher i glanced up the ladder ahead

I saw the more i advanced, the madder i’d get

 

As i began to understand that something was wrong

I was reminded of words from a favorite song

 

It seems we living the American dream

But the people highest up got the lowest self-esteem

The prettiest people do the ugliest things

For the road to riches and diamond rings

-Kanye West, All Falls Down

 

I rapped along for years before I had the realization

but once I started my career, I saw a reeling nation

 

The system is broken if the ones at the top

Are empty and hopeless despite all that they’ve got

And those at the bottom don’t even stand a chance

Because the cards are stacked against their advance

 

Achievements that should be seen as incredible blessings

Only result, it seems, in new levels of stressing

I saw those who “made it” with kids and a wife

Who looked so deflated when they spoke of their life

 

After a lifetime of buying whatever was sold

I started to question everything I’d been told

Through the detours I’ve made, I’ve learned a few lessons

I don’t have all the answers but I do have some questions

 

Now I don’t recommend that you quit right away

But maybe consider how you’re feeling today

Are you proud of your work and who you’ve become?

Or do you show up just for the income?

 

I’m not trying to say that we shouldn’t work hard

Just maybe refocus with a little regard

For the people around us and this home that we share

And try to remember that your life is so rare

 

The great big lie we’ve been told all our lives

Is that after success is where happiness lies

But the equation is flipped, it’s the other way around

Once you know happiness, the rest can be found

 

You’re born with nothing and you leave the same way

So what really matters at the end of the day?