Going to school and learning a lot is really great. You expand both professional and mental horizons, connect with minds a like, and get a grip on what your future might entail.

Going to school and learning makes a lot of people really guilty. Schedules are mental to please professional requirements, followed dutifully to avoid the guilt of failure. You connect with minds a like, lost behind unfinished papers or readings, getting a grip on a future of never quite enough.

What is arguably the luckiest part of being a student in a first world society is that the largest stress in my life, and many others, is due dates and GPA’s. The culmination of living under the thumb of these constraints is the GUILTYGUT of spending time on yourself.

The back of your throat does its best to meet your larynx, the synapses which have always served well start to frazzle. A new high score heart rate is achieved while stock still, courtesy of impending late fees on your credit card and culminating. Every glance out the window presents a million adventures you could and should and would be doing, but instead there is a thesis to finesse and a copy to proofread before 4:30pm eastern standard time.

Habits which are better left in vice grips flit into routine, any means of escaping the GUILTYGUT an open invitation. Pouring effort and time into projects to please standards beyond your own is a necessity which is tough to swallow. The practice of selling your time to others assignments is so ingrained in daily life it passes largely unconsidered.

It is a beautiful tragedy to be stricken with GUILTYGUT. It entails one is alert enough to know they have passions being left par-boiled, but that they are also trapped behind projects deemed more pertinent. Perhaps this is where the resentment for education bubbles up from, as it sometimes feels like  YOUR INTERESTS ARE MORE INTERESTING TOO YOU.

Can’t we learn free of guilt? Why is it an academic crime to hand in a polished paper on your own time? From what I was told, school is meant to help you succeed as yourself. This mantra runs a head on course with blanket assignments and standards. If the idea is to help one’s self with higher education, why do I feel guilty when spending time on myself.

So here is a call for sweeping reforms, rework the entire education system. Give students the chance to give their work identity; paint each piece and file each report in the manner they deem most effective. Train educators to evaluate on integrity and intelligence, not rubrics and points scales. 

But really, maybe we should just think more on our stigmas. Why is it such a scandal to fail or drop out if the idea is take risks and learn. It is impossible and ignorant to always succeed, and grooming the expectation of constant perfection is dangerous. Let’s fail, it’s cleansing, and it shouldn’t be a cause to develop a case of the GUILTYGUT.

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