My alarm goes off for the third time this morning: 7:55 a.m. Slowly, I rise from my deep slumber, groggy and deeply regretting picking all of my classes before noon.
I’m late—rarely am I late. I know my professor regularly starts off class with a five-minute soliloquy about why the 80s had the best music so I’m not worried. I stroll down to the bus stop, headphones blaring and watch the 8 a.m. bus cruise by me. Watching the driver pull onto the main road, I realize I made a grave mistake. I have a midterm today.
Now, ask any college freshmen and they will tell you that days like this bring out the question, “Is college really worth it?” Why spend my time stressing over my knowledge of imperfect Spanish verbs? If the verbs don’t need to be perfect, why should I? Some people dream of getting famous off a Vine or YouTube post and never see a day of school again.
I have a much more realistic dream. I want to be a rapper.
I’m that college student. The one who fills my side of the room with microphone stands and mini keyboards, sneaking into production rooms on campus to make some tracks. I spend hours testing new sounds and rhythmic patterns to make beats. Oftentimes I take different creative ideas from previous projects and use that as a launch point for my others work. Don’t even get me started on my mixtape.
The dream started in high school. Freestyling with friends in the cafeteria became my main source of fun and my background in poetry allowed rap to be a natural next step. Now you can catch me in the cafeteria with a notepad and M&M’s writing game-changing bars. Of course my friends acknowledge my talent. They patiently wait for the release of my new single “Sweet Tooth,” which needs a little more tweaking. And when others ask, “Why hasn’t your music been released yet?” I give them one response, “Ask my professor.”
I know she means well. But it hits me when that 8 a.m. class gets in the way of posting a song on Spotify and Soundcloud (or my sleep) that I need to think critically. Spending hours each week making flashcards and completing online homework assignments hasn’t really been a passion of mine.
Throughout my distinguished academic career, a letter on a piece of paper has signified my life’s worth, value to a society and whether or not I could hang out with my friends on a Friday night. These grades got me into college. But now that I’m here, I start to question, “Do I belong here?”
I can imagine most of you will see this and say I’m experiencing a collegiate-life crisis—and I would say you’re half right. However, this is completely normal. Four more years of education after going through SATs, advanced courses and senioritis seems like a daunting task. Many students will get to a point where it all seems pointless, especially when that grocery clerk job back in high school waits at home for them with a name tag and bi-weekly pay.
But then, like me they realize that rap draws off experiences. College Dropout was released in 2004. Maybe it’s time for College Graduate to top the charts on iTunes. So to all the dreamers stuck learning “conjugamos” and losing sleep over video projects, hang in there. We will overcome and learn from this process—maybe.