First off, I realized I wasn't getting nearly enough of whatever it is that's in meat and beans. (I have no idea what it is, but I find it's one of the more common things my body tells me I need.) I'm not getting any at school lunches, and I've only made pasta and sandwiches for myself which totally doesn't do it. So I finally realized why I hadn't been hungry the entire day, but hadn't been feeling energy-full either - it's because I don't have the right stuff here. This isn't really important in the long run, though, only that it acted as a catalyst for the following events.
The next thing I realized is that Pathmark is on 347, not 112 like I'd thought, but that was extremely minor (well, twenty-minutes-out-of-your-way minor.)
The next thing I realized is that whoever planned the streets around Pathmark really didn't think too well.
See, 347 is a relatively major road - four to six lanes, with a metal divider between it. The genius that designed the exit from Pathmark to 347 clearly decided that, hey, probably everyone would be turning right! So he put it at about a 45degree angle to the road, then put up stoplights so people could get on. He made a break in the divider anyway, just in case, you know, you wanted to turn left for some bizarre reason.
I was turning left. However, keep in mind it was 11:00 at night or so. And there was someone stopped, in the oncoming lane at the stoplight, with their headlights on blinding bright. So, to make a long story short, I ended up turning into the wrong lane, i.e. the one that involves going the wrong way on a road.
Which wasn't really a problem. If there had been more cars on the street, it might have been, but within two blocks was only me and Blinding Headlight Boy. So I backed up about ten feet and got into the right lane, no doubt with Blinding Headlight Boy staring at me in disbelief, but it's not like I could tell because, hey, dude, your headlights are too bright. (It might have been a girl, but I'm bowing to the gods of alliteration here.)
All of the above is totally unimportant.
Because what I found myself thinking is "boy, I'm glad I didn't get killed there. I'd sure feel stupid if I got killed while going to college again."
See, it's a belief of mine that you shouldn't do anything you'd feel stupid about if it was the last thing you did. After all, you could die at any moment - so if it's not worth your time to do it, why are you doing it?
Why *would* I feel stupid?
Answer: because I'm not doing anything useful.
Yeah, okay, so college is sort of useful. You learn stuff. But in the end, you could spend your entire life learning things and then when you died, nobody would care in the least. Learning things is only useful once you start *doing* stuff. And I can do stuff now. I can do what I want to. So what am I doing here in college when I could be spending my life in other pursuits?
I mean, I suppose I could go on a big long argument about how it'll be better for me in the future, and how I'll need it in order to continue what I want, and so forth. But look at my life here. Due to the wonders of compound interest and my lifestyle, if I can hold down a steady job until I'm 40 I'll probably be able to retire. Or, alternatively, go back to college if it's really that important.
And there's another thing. I've felt, for a few years, that I'm kinda living on borrowed time. I don't really have any business still being alive - I got through on pure luck and willpower, and large amounts of support by a few good friends. (Brief diversion: no, not a typo. Credit where credit's due. Nobody ever said the same person couldn't both save you and kill you.) In some ways I feel like I have to make my life worthwhile - I've been given an entire new one with no strings attached, I need to repay *someone*.
This is the wrong place to do that.
This is the wrong place for me.
I'm calling Google on Monday, and telling them I want a full-time job. Starting after this semester, of course - I've said I'm going to finish this semester, and I am. But I think full-time college is no longer for me. Part-time, maybe that's another story. But . . . I think it's time to make something of myself.
(And to fend off one particular inevitable objection: no, getting into a master's program wouldn't help. Where did I indicate the quality of school was a factor in this train of thought? :P)