This essay is a note to my future self.
2 months from now, when I am back in school, life will be mentally challenging. It will probably be one of the “harder” phases of my life – in which I will need to endure extreme social / professional pressure.
Jordan. Focus here.
You will need to stand strong. Stick to your gut. And ensure you are thinking for yourself, making decisions for yourself, living your own life.
What is 2 months from now? Ask any student and they will tell you as they approach senior year that everyone is thinking about “Job recruiting season.” (I cannot believe we think of it like this at school, but that is the reality for most of the student body).
During this time…all of your friends will get jobs. All of your enemies will get jobs. They will get their offers from Goldman, Mckinsey, Google, Airbnb, Slack, Med School, etc. They will get bonuses and fancy jackets and flown out to expensive weekends.
You won’t. You will not get anything.
They will get attention from underclassmen. “Woah you got x job, congratulations you must be really smart.” They will appear on panels sponsored by the school. They will get recognition from professors. They will have “made it.”
You won’t. You will not get anything. You will not get anything because you will not apply for anything.
This will be hard. Doable but hard. In this moment, you will have to remember that everyone is playing their own game. Let everyone win. Just because you disagree with their career choices, does not make you right and everyone else wrong.
Just because you do not get gratification from joining a corporate machine…does not mean others do not. Everyone is fighting their own battles that you probably do not know about. Assume the best. Assume everyone else is trying their best and their outcomes should be celebrated.
Do not criticize. That makes you a loser. Do not fold. Do not conform.
Think for yourself.
I repeat: this will be really hard. You will seek “differentiation for the sake of differentiation.” You will be grouped into the “startup kids.” The entrepreneurship centers or whatever that means. As you know now, that means nothing and it will continue to mean nothing. Just stick to your gut and keep grinding. Keep spending time on people and things you find important.
And stay humble. This last part is perhaps the most critical. Do not look down on others for their paths. Do not look up at others for different paths. Just keep your head down and keep on hustling. Keep on grinding.
Think for yourself.
Also published on Medium.