Global College LIU Road BlockFeeling a little sad today. Maybe a little confused. Momentarily unsure of what Road to take.Standing at the fork looking out in one direction and then the other. Thinking too much.Road my bicycle out to the Budapest island and tried to peddle it all out in my head. A road block [...]
Global College LIU Road Block
Feeling a little sad today. Maybe a little confused. Momentarily unsure of what Road to take.
Standing at the fork looking out in one direction and then the other. Thinking too much.
Road my bicycle out to the Budapest island and tried to peddle it all out in my head. A road block was put up in my path, and I must now choose to drive straight through it or comply, and go the long way around. Over the years I have delighted in studying in various colleges and universities around the world – I have been to eight of them already. In early 2004 I enrolled in a Japanese cultural studies program in Kyoto with an American university called Friends World (now Global College). This was either the best or worst thing that I have ever done.
Wade from Vagabond Journey.com
in Budapest, Hungary- August 7, 2008
Travelogue — Travel Photos
It is probably both.
For the next four or five years I dabbled in this school. I would take a semester here, or a semester there whenever I was feeling particularly studious or I ran out of travel funds and sought to live off of scholarships, student loans, and financial aid. After Japan I studied off and on with Global College in China, India, and Morocco. It was fun, I learned more than I could dream of, and it was hard work. The semesters in this school were perhaps the biggest projects that I have yet attempted, though they always left me completely spent when finished. I always supposed that I would eventually take a degree from this college, but I never rushed myself to do so.
So when Global College – which I was lead to believe was a 4 year international program – came up with a new requirement that stated that all students must take their last semester in Brooklyn, NY, the incentive to graduate nearly completely faded from view. I just shrugged my shoulders and said oh well. I have never needed a university degree for anything up until this point and I am sure that I can work my way around not having one in the future. I do not want to live in New York City.
I have spent very little time in NYC, but from the brief moments that I have passed through there I know the place is unsuitable for a boy who grew up out on the farms of Upstate NY. I was born and breed on the banks of Lake Ontario 600km from the rot and worms of the Big Apple. I know nothing of the city, but I do know that I hate the way I feel there like no other place on earth. The simple thought of that jumbled mass of misplaced humanity makes my stomach curl. I fail to find a drop of Romance in that gentrified, yet concurrently squalid, megalopolis.
The Big City can be nothing more than a brick and mortar cage for an otherwise free canary.
But preferences aside, I know that I can live in and enjoy any town on earth. Though sometimes I cannot help but to look at some paths and find them lined with far more stumps, rocks, mud, and roots than others. If I were to make a three or four month commitment to living in NYC and finishing the degree, I know that I would have to work full time at night as well as study full time in the day. All while living in such a belligerent urban environment that I find gruesome and am almost wholly unequipped for. This road does not look good. I like to study. I really get into studying, and if I am focused on something, I will remain so all day long. Study and work seems mutually exclusive to me. I do not want this stress. As much as I try to ignore it, I know that I am not equipped for the city life. After a week or two in a busy city I begin to feel knotted, wound up, mechanical, and irritable. I believe that all urban environments are abominations of the human spirit. The energy in such settings comes from people and from people alone – not from tree, sky, and sea – and this constant lack of psychological and emotional sustenance turns me into a borderline neurotic.
So is it worth it?
I say maybe, but not today.
I just figured that I would swagger through Brooklyn at some point in the future, stay for a few months, and walk out with a degree that I can give to my mother to hang on the wall. My mother gets proud of such things. I would like to one day stay in NYC. I know that there is an interesting undercurrent to the place and that my aversions will probably fade as soon as I get there. I am sure that NYC could provide much to interest me, and, even if it by chance doesn’t, I will still be able to obtain an impression of a place that is so vital on a global scale. It would be a good experience for a traveler to spend a little time in New York City. But I am in no hurry to finish school, I am walking slow and thoroughly enjoying my education. I do not want to have to kill myself to find the means to study. This is stupid. I simply do not want to work day and night struggling to come up with the money just to exist somewhere for an education that should be enjoyable. University is fun for me. Going to class all day and work all night is not fun.
Paying over $1,000 a month for a room in some crappy apartment and $4 for a little container of orange juice means that I would have to work constantly if I were to give in and go to Brooklyn. This would surely ruin any experience that I could have of any place. Throw in school, class, and university obligations and I will surely feel the harsh stresses that are the hallmark of my countrymen.
I want to finish up school, but I do not want to do it like this.
So I put off this last semester of study for a while. I planned on putting it off until I somehow discovered a way to live and study in New York without sacrificing my soul or until the day that I could convince the college authorities to allow me to study anywhere else in the world.
But then a road block was put up in my path. I was provided with the information that if I do not return to school and finish up my degree this coming semester that I will have to start in the program all over again and go through another four years of Global College. This really does not sound to bad to me. I would study internationally for another four years. No problem. I like this stuff (I have been studying off and on since 1998).
But for all practical purposes, this is clearly not a possibility.
So here it is:
I move to NYC with very little money in three weeks or I give up the university education for good.
I have pressured myself with this decision for the past week, and I think that I am finished with it. I have been thinking too much.
Let the Path lead where it may.
(But do I really – really – need a university degree that I probably will never NEED to utilize anyway? I must remind myself that I do not believe in the myths of my time.)
Links to previous travelogue entries:
- Hostel Work in Budapest
- Slovakia Photos
- Hobo Hideout at Budapest Bubble Hostel
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About the Author: VBJ
I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. VBJ has written 3657 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.
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