About My Formal Education…

I happened to have an excellent high school education. Sure, I could spend a lot of time discussing all of my high school’s flaws, but when all is said and done, my high school education greatly broadened my knowledge about the world, but more importantly encouraged me to be curious and taught me to ask better questions.

I had many good experiences in college. I had many classes which increased my knowledge and some which helped me see the world from different perspectives. However, I feel that most of what I got out of college I could have gotten outside of college – I could have read a bunch of books, I could have taken independent classes outside of college, and I could have met many of the same people (or met equally valuable people) even if I had not gone to college. While I did learn a lot and grow a lot in college, I think I would have learned and grown just as much if I had taken a different path.

And, I dare say, I am learning as much by living abroad, even though I am not officially a ‘student’, as I did in college.

I currently have a job that requires a bachelor’s degree, mainly due to work permit regulations. So, in a sense, I am using my college degree. However, the use is purely bureaucratic. I am actually not using what I learned in college very much in my job, and I think I would have been just as qualified to do the work if I had been merely a high school graduate instead of a college graduate.

At the very least, I did not have to take out any loans to fund my college education, partially because I went to community college / state university in California (low tuition), and because I come from an affluent family. Even in high school, I thought taking a loan out to fund a college education was a risky proposition, and if I had had to go into debt to fund my college education I would have probably chosen to skip it.

To me, it seems having a college education is not so much about actually acquiring useful skills, knowledge, or perspectives, but to act as a shortcut for employers who are too lazy to do a proper evaluation of prospective employees. And to mark one’s middle class status, of course.

At the same time, it seems that a high school education of the quality I had is the exception, not the rule, and that college has to take up much of the slack caused by the deficiency of high school. Most people probably do not realize how much I gained in high school, and thus would underestimate my education if I had presented myself as a mere high school education.

I think fewer people should be going to college, and that quality high school education should be the norm, not the exception.

The Only Time I Felt This Way

I was fourteen years old. There was a girl at my high school, who I will henceforth refer to as ‘D’. I got really sweet on D. I was not interested in friendship with her. I also was not interested in sex with her. At least, my feelings didn’t feel sexual, but as an ace, it can be hard to tell sometimes what is sexual and what is not. I did however want her around me. I wanted to hug and snuggle with her.

Of course, I didn’t express this to D. I did not know how to explain to her that I wanted to be her snuggle-buddy, so I did not try. I didn’t even go out of my way to be around her because I did not want to be a creep. But I was happy when she just happened to be in the vicinity.

And then there was that one time.

It must have been right after class got out. I was talking to D, exchanging typical high school chit-chat with her. And suddenly … I had a powerful urge to kiss her. On the lips.

Of course, I did not carry through with it. While I could not read D’s mind, I figured the chances that she would be interested in kissing me back were really slim.

However, I thought about it the entire bus ride home. I was, of course, wondering if I was lesbian or bi. Even at the age of fourteen, I think I suspected deep down I might be what I now call ‘asexual’, but I figured that it was only a matter of time before I became romantic/sexual to an average level. I thought that, even though that was the first time I ever felt like kissing someone on the lips, it probably would not be the last time.

It is, however, still the last time I felt like kissing someone on the lips, and that was almost ten years ago. If I had felt that way a few times, either towards D herself or other girls, I would consider my self to be lesbian or at least romantically attracted to girls. But since it never happened again, it seems to be a fluke, not a pattern.

At this point, I suspect it will never happen again. Though if I ever feel that way again about someone, that’s okay. I am grateful that it happened, because to me it is a literally unique experience.