By Alex Gordon
When one finally leaves the sanctuary known as school, the hardest and most important lesson learned is one of reality.
Reality? Yes, because the realities of school have little to no relation to the realities of the working world. Just think about it:
School is a unique system, one where superiors work in the favor of students, where their overall motivation (theoretically) stems from the phrase “we want what is best for you.”
The moment a student becomes a part of the world at large, “we want what is best for you,” abruptly becomes “we want what is best for us.” This fact is elementary.
The problem, however, arises not from the ability to recognize this fact, but from the ability to accept and weather it. Years of coddling have softened the skin and it will take a bit of time and a few jabs to fashion a new shell; one equipped for the workplace.
The Beatles were seriously delusional when they sang, “we all lived in a yellow submarine.” On the contrary, we all live in a competitive machine, a dog eat dog world, and nothing reflects that more than the workplace, where co-workers will step on your face to get ahead and bosses feel no remorse after screaming at you in front of an entire office – hence the cliche, “it’s not personal, it’s business.” Welcome to the jungle, boys and girls.
The most effective motto from here on out is not to expect the worst from people, but rather, to expect nothing at all. The point is not to be paranoid and cynical, but to be realistic. One cannot navigate the world when they refuse to acknowledge the terrain.
Simply open your eyes and refrain from wishing for or expecting a softer world. Set yourself up to be happily surprised instead of miserably disappointed. It will make for a softer journey.