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best days of your life?

I saw a weird Wal-Mart ad today. In it, a mother says to her college daughter, "These are the best days of your life." The daughter replies, "I hope so."

I'm not sure what "I hope so" is supposed to mean. She hopes her life doesn't get any better?

Anyway, do you feel your days as an undergraduate were the best days of your life? I've been out of school for three years and I miss it. Miss being relatively carefree, miss learning all the time, miss all the women and parties.

Do you feel your life keeps getting better as you get older or did it peak somewhere?

Modern Cowboy
Sunday, August 01, 2004

While I had a great deal of fun in college, I dont miss it. Life keeps changing, I keep changing with it. And, it keeps getting better in many, if not most ways.

Eric Debois
Sunday, August 01, 2004

I miss the academic environment, so much so that I've contemplated going back for a PhD, although everyone I know who is in or has been through a PhD program has advised against it.

Still, my undergrad days certainly weren't carefree. Sure, a lot of fun was had, but the stress levels were consistently higher then than they have been since. One feeling I do not miss is that I could never truly relax because there was *always* something I should have been working on or studying.

[I remember at my first job, fresh out of college, I mentioned to my manager that I found school to be very stressful, and she said that work was more so. I scoffed at this, and 11 years later I stick with my scoff.]

Anyway, the attraction of being in an academic environment, at least for me was two-fold: constant learning and being surrounded by bright people.

There is one other environment I've been in (a couple times now) that is similar: a startup. I think some of my best times have been while I've been involved in startups (at least, in the early days...the second startup started becoming much less fun after we grew past 30 or 40 people...but that's a whole 'nother topic).

So the short answer is: it doesn't have to be. For me, it's just a matter of being in a challenging environment, solving interesting problems with bright/cool people, and I'm happy.

Brad
Sunday, August 01, 2004

As a current undergraduate (starting my third and final year of BA studies), let me tell you, these days are anything but carefree.

First of all, you're doing tons of work and not earning any money with it. Getting payed makes your attitude to a lot of things *way* better. More importantly, I both know that I am significantly better than my classmates (I try to convince myself otherwise and fail regularly) and know that I can get a good job any given, uh, week if I don't have the temporal and geographical commitments of college setting me back - the university is in a small town and most of the jobs are in a big town. Also, if I screw up here, that's going to impact my life in a very bad way, whereas if I get fired or quit a job, I'll find another one - if all else fails I can always become a trucker and earn tons of cash sitting next to my bed and looking out the window all day.

Of course, I'm not typical - I was already good when I went to college and I'm only here for the diploma.

Flasher T
Sunday, August 01, 2004

'I both know that I am significantly better than my classmates'

At CS and not English, correct?

You stupid kid ...
Sunday, August 01, 2004

Best days of my life? maybe....This was the pattern of my college life for all 4.5 years of it.

First few weeks of semester, worry about how i'm going to pay for school, meet new chicks, get textbooks after i've happened on the money some how. catch up to the rest of the class 'cos I always missed the first week of school for all 9 semesters to sort out admin. / tuition issues

Midway through the semester - i know who my friends are, which chicks are worth the effort, who's the smart kid in class who'll help me with my coding/calculus/numerical analysis etc. which classes are going to be "Easy A's " so I can skip them and do homework for the not so easy ones. where to get free food and free entertainment.

Drawing to the end of the semester - sucking up to proffessors for whom I've done sub-standard/no work so I can make it out of the class with a 'C' for completion. wrapping up my easy A classes so I don't have to take the final and use the precious last couple of weeks to finish that killer project that should have taken all semester and a team of 4 but for some reason it's been left to the last week and you're the only team member left. And yes finals and my famous phrase just before an exam while other students are paging through their 400 page text books and i'm holding my can of mountain dew and putting formulas in my TI-85..."If I don't know it by now, there's no way I'll learn it in the next five minutes so screw the text book!"

And then there was summer. interning at startups, doing research for profs who thought they were the next nobel prize winners, road trips, hot chicks in the latest abercrombie crap.

yep, those were good days...

No BS
Sunday, August 01, 2004

About a year ago here there were a couple of threads on work & regrets & the vast majority of people said they simply stopped having fun after college. I wish I could dig them up.

www.MarkTAW.com
Sunday, August 01, 2004

Mr T's English seems acceptable, even if his spelling is a bit off and he happens to go to university with apparent thickies. What mistake are you thinking of?

(Mind you I would probably use "I know both that... and that..." ("that" needs higher precendce in English 2.0 :) rather than the somewhat-tortured-to-these-ears "I both know that... and know that...".)

Tom
Sunday, August 01, 2004

The reader should use their skill and judgement to work out what common English word I have mangled into "precendce".

Tom
Sunday, August 01, 2004

As a matter of fact I'm not a programmer, hence my long-standing status as a lurker - I am in fact an English major, so mr. Kid can piss off. :P At this point I'm doing some online grunt work that pays fairly well for the time I put in, and freelance for http://www.baltictimes.com.

People I go to uni with are fairly smart - these are the top 20 out of 400 applicants for the major of English language and literature, it's just that I seem to be naturally insanely good at English. Got the top grade on the entrance exam, 85.5% on a test they said was designed to put the best people at 80%. I've also been a semi-pro journalist (not living off it but writing for proper media) since I was 11.

I have worked at a software vendor though, and I enjoy Joel's writings for the general common sense value rather than just its relevance to the programming world.

Flasher T
Sunday, August 01, 2004

Yes, even though at the end of college I was getting really sick of it, and wanted to move out into the real world, now that I am in the real world, I want to go back.

Of course, the grass is always greener...

I moved across the country for a programming job.  I have been crunching on projects for the last 2 years.  During the crunchtime you lose any sort of social life.  And during the downtime you are too tired to resume it.  I just sit at home in front of my computer in my spare time.  I don't even know anybody in this town really.

In college I had tons of friends.  I would go out every weekend.  I was depressed then too, for sure... but now it seems like a cakewalk.  I definitely miss the women.  Just being around dudes all the time really wears on you.  When you're a programmer you don't much chance to work with women on anything.  In college I lived with women like every year in apartments, so they would always have their friends over and stuff...

I keep having this plan to just go back to college and party and redo it all... it would be so easy.  : )

Rob
Sunday, August 01, 2004

> Anyway, do you feel your days as an undergraduate were the best days of your life?

No: working on problems that had already been solved by generations of undergraduates before me seemed like a waste of time.

> Do you feel your life keeps getting better as you get older or did it peak somewhere?

It has highs and lows. I like learning new things, having new (pleasant) experiences as well as repeating already-known (pleasant) experiences. Because I keep learning new things, in that way it keeps getting better.

Christopher Wells
Sunday, August 01, 2004

People who are insanely good at English generally spell paid correctly.

.
Sunday, August 01, 2004

Optimist:  "This is the worst day of my life"
Pessimist: "No. It isn't".

Mr.Analogy
Sunday, August 01, 2004

I always hope tomorrow improves on today.  Better?  What does "better" mean? 

In university I had a girlfriend and family support.  It was great not having the responsibility of life while learning.  However, it was also great to get that first job, then improvements, promotions, go out on my own.  Add to that a wife, home, children. 

I am with the OP, I hope this is not the best day of my life and short of it ending, or something equally tragic, it will not be.

Anonanonanon
Sunday, August 01, 2004

I dont miss anything.  Everything has sucked so far.

Karthik
Sunday, August 01, 2004

Junior high school - good (I was in private school, few students but we knows each other very well, plus the teachers were excellent)

Senior high school - not so good (public school, too many students, few friends. the teacher quality was inconsistent)

Univ days - back to good (private univ - few students, top professors, excellent facilities, top notch female students at liberal arts/social majors !!) :)

Workdays - 3 places already, generally the same rule applies - the more the employee the work environment sucks more :), plus of course more politics involved.

Andrew
Monday, August 02, 2004

"People who are insanely good at English generally spell paid correctly."

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=payed

Flasher T
Monday, August 02, 2004

Maybe the mom was ushering her daughter off to college for the first time, and was simply saying it would be the best days of her life *so far*...

To answer your question, I have a great job and can't imagine doing anything else... except going back to college. Honestly, there are ony two reasons I don't:

1. Once you're used to making a good income, it's tough to revert to living as a poor college student.

2. I'm no longer 18. Many of the lessons, perks, and experiences of college can't be relived, especially after you're 25.

As a side note, people who have the opportunity to go to college but skip it are absolutely nuts.

MS Anonymous
Monday, August 02, 2004

In the ad that the OP mentions, I think the "I hope so" is in response to an implied "so far" following "best days of your life". Of course, I haven't seen it so that's a total wild guess.

My college years were definitely the best time of my life up until then. But that was more than a decade ago, and I've certainly had better days since. Still, the "best time of my life" feeling in college was frequent to the point of being almost omnipresent. In "real life", it's more sporadic, though I think I appreciate it more rapidly now because I'm much more aware of how special those incredible moments really are. When I was in college it was easy to take all that for granted.

One thing I really miss about college is the social interaction with peers who were not distracted by family commitments and the like. It's very rare for me to have good, quality time with friends who have settled down, gotten married, and had kids -- they (understandably) have other priorities. That's part of the cycle of life, and not at all something I want to disparage, but back in school the absence of such responsibilities I think led to a much more intense collective social and intellectual experience.

John C.
Monday, August 02, 2004

English is foreign language to me, but I'm finding constantly that people mistakenly use "LOOSE" instead of "LOSE" (but rarely for the reverse scenario).

Ismail
Monday, August 02, 2004

""People who are insanely good at English generally spell paid correctly."

http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=payed
"

Um, did you read that definition before you smugly linked to it?  If so, could you explain how, exactly, being coated with waterproof materials improves your attitude?  Words mean things, you know.

Another English major
Monday, August 02, 2004

>whereas if I get fired or quit a job, I'll find another one

*ROFL*

Ah, to be young and full of optimism again....

Michael E.
Monday, August 02, 2004

"Um, did you read that definition before you smugly linked to it?  If so, could you explain how, exactly, being coated with waterproof materials improves your attitude?  Words mean things, you know."

Um, did you read that definition before you smugly decided that I can be caught out on something I myself quoted? Payed = past tense and past participle of pay, according to the American Heritage Dictionary.

MichaelE, the thing is, it's true. So many young people around here complain about not being able to find work, but there's loads of work to be had. If all else fails, I can always become a trucker and make tons of money sitting next to my bed and looking out the window all day.

Flasher T
Monday, August 02, 2004

> If so, could you explain how, exactly, being coated with > waterproof materials improves your attitude?

If you don't know that, I suggest you take some time away from your computer (nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more) :-)

Harvey Pengwyn
Monday, August 02, 2004

Flasher T:

Payed is the past participle of pay only in the sense of letting out a line by slackening, as you can read quite clearly in the definition you linked to.

Let's see how this works:

1. You boast of your "insanely" great writing skills.
2. I point out that in the process of boasting you have made a schoolboy spelling error.
3. You link to an online dictionary which demonstrates that a word does exist with the spelling you used.
4. Someone else points out that the word may share your spelling but certainly doesn't share your intended meaning.
5. You insult the person who called you on it and continue on your merry way.

So instead of admitting your tiny error, and getting on with it, you a) concoct a bullshit story, and b) put rubbish on the people who point it out to you. If you're willing to behave this way when you make a small mistake, I can only guess at how you behave when the stakes are higher. You must be awesome to work with.

.
Monday, August 02, 2004

Can't understand what the "I hope so" bit means either.

but as for:
>Anyway, do you feel your days as an undergraduate were the best days of your life? I've been out of school for three years and I miss it. Miss being relatively carefree, miss learning all the time, miss all the women and parties.

I agree university life is incredibly stressful. I am going back for my second degree, and my husband is coping so well (*grin*). However I love it. I am not the partying type, it is both carefree and stressful. I stress about the bulk of work. But when I walk across campus, have lunch in the quadrangle, head to the library to study, to the coffeeshop to study, hand in assignments, talk to lecturers. Well I just love it all. For me being at university is the best time ever.

I want to do at least two more degrees after this one. Just love it.

Aussie Chick
Monday, August 02, 2004

Mister Dot, have you actually read through the whole thing?

The last entry on the list refers to the American Heritage Dictionary, says "payed" is the past form of "pay". Clicking on "pay" leads to the entry defining it as getting money.

Once again - there are cases when I'm wrong, but when I bring up a link, it is legitimate.

For the record, I do know that the usual way is paid, it's one of the mistakes I regularly make when typing fast and not proofreading my text. But when people attack me about it, I reply.

Flasher T
Monday, August 02, 2004

It seems to me that a person perception of a "better" time in his/her life is inversely proportional to the amount of responsibility he/she had.

It could be said that my college years, spent bouncing between classes, Tuesdays listening to local bluegrass, Mardi Gras trips, and working at the WDW Jungle Cruise were the "best" years of my life - they were definitely the most fun.

Of course, since then I've gotten married and had my first child - I get the feeling that as the kid grows up, I'll look back on *now* as the best time of my life.

Greg Hurlman
Monday, August 02, 2004

Actually Flasher, when you click on the link, it takes you to all definitions of pay (as it should).  In the first section, (which is the definition you want), number 10, it clearly says your wrong.

Steamrolla
Monday, August 02, 2004

> clearly says your wrong

Is this irony?

Harvey Pengwyn
Monday, August 02, 2004

"As a side note, people who have the opportunity to go to college but skip it are absolutely nuts."

I disagree.  You have to want to go and do the work, otherwise you will waste time, money, and establish a record of failure.

A college diploma opens doors in certain fields, but it does not guarantee success and it is not a requirement  to being successful.  I know many people with no college who's incomes far exceed mine.

Allan

AMS
Monday, August 02, 2004

Going to college is not about opening doors in certain fields, or about a higher income.  It's a life experience that everyone should, well, experience....

Michael Kale
Monday, August 02, 2004

>A college diploma opens doors in certain fields, but it does >not guarantee success and it is not a requirement  to being >successful.  I know many people with no college who's >incomes far exceed mine.

How very true - my B.S. in Chemistry and $3.00 will buy me a hot chai latte at Starbucks.

Michael E.

wmeconsulting.us
Monday, August 02, 2004

"I always hope tomorrow improves on today."

I think you'll find that each day is better than the next...

It's all downhill from here
Monday, August 02, 2004

"I am going back for my second degree, and my husband is coping so well (*grin*)."

So do you and your husband alternate getting new degrees, or is it just you that gets to have all the fun? :)

Jim Rankin
Monday, August 02, 2004

Something that I would like to experience, and may surpass being a college student, is to be a tenured professor.

Unfortunately, all the stuff that goes into becoming a tenured professor I would rather avoid.

Jim Rankin
Monday, August 02, 2004

>> "I hope so."

Maybe she meant "It doesn't seem like it, but if you say so."

Alex
Monday, August 02, 2004

College was fun, but it certainly wasn't the "best days of my life."

It's easy to look back and see the fun and completely ignore the less savory side. Besides the fun and carefree of college, I remember:

* No money.
* All the negative aspects of dating
* No money
* Being the "young snotnose punk" in the work environment.
* No money

Now that I'm established with a wife and children, enjoying my work and making a good living I don't really miss the college days. They were fun times, but not anything I'm eager to go back to.

Mark Hoffman
Monday, August 02, 2004

"Going to college is not about opening doors in certain fields, or about a higher income.  It's a life experience that everyone should, well, experience...."

You could (and many people do) say the same thing about a tour of duty in the military.  But many people choose otherwise.  I just don't think you can say "if you don't go to college you're nuts".  It's not for everyone, and it's a hell of an expensive "experience" if it's not for you.

AMS
Monday, August 02, 2004

"You could (and many people do) say the same thing about a tour of duty in the military."

I believe the slogan here is:

"Travel the world.  Meet interesting people.  And kill them."

Wonder whatever happened with that fellow considering joining the French Foreign Legion.

Jim Rankin
Monday, August 02, 2004

Actually the best days of my life where when i quit my craptastic job, packed all my shit in my jeep and went snowboarding for 3 months.

Eventually I had to pay the piper, but man those were a couple good months ; )

christopher (baus.net)
Monday, August 02, 2004

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