I am going to complain a bit here, so if you don’t want to hear my troubles, skip over this one.
Epicurean pursuit of happiness means we need to think of how decisions will affect our happiness not just in the moment and not just in the long run, but both and the weight of each time period. That is why I am going to community college. Right now, I hate it. And when I say hate I mean I absolutely loathe community college. I wake up in the morning and think “I wish I had gone away to school, I wish I was at a better school, I would do better somewhere else, UGH” just about every day. But there is nothing Satanic about doing something day in and day out that you hate, unless you’re honest with yourself about being a masochist which would really mean you kind of love it. But, this is not the case for me. What is the case is as much as I loathe community college, I know that I will find more happiness when I am an adult not suffering crippling debt. THAT is Satanic.
Outside of that later satisfaction in not having student loan payments, I recognize that 2 years of my Vital Existence being spent miserable is never worth some later reward. This seems like a cousin of the “I’ll get my reward in heaven” idea to me, and because I am young and recognize I may be taking risks that other adults would not due to my still unfinished frontal lobe development. I know that things happen. Two years is a pretty big window, and I’m a pretty bad driver. So instead of abandoning that reward, I choose to look more at the life loving, optimistic side of things over the constant striving for better side of things. I pull satisfaction from the fact that I pay for my college entirely with my own money. Money I work for goes to improve myself and make me more money later, and that’s pretty cool. Not everyone has the discipline to do that. My college is equipped with WiFi, a luxury unavailable at my rural home and one that allows me to write this blog. I love writing this blog. My college offers resources for me to network and get a foot in the door of my future career field that would otherwise be unavailable to me. This includes my current inquiry into writing a column for some locally distributed magazines. Hell, it’s nice to just be within a few miles of a Guitar Center a few days a week.
So do I hate community college and all the work I have to do to keep attending? Absolutely, but as Epicurus stated in his Letter to Menoeceus, “And since pleasure is the first good and natural to us, for this very reason we do not choose every pleasure, but sometimes we pass over many pleasures, when greater discomfort accrues to us as the result of them: and similarly we think many pains better than pleasures, since a greater pleasure comes to us when we have endured pains for a long time.” It is prudent to ask one’s self when deciding to take on an unpleasant endeavor whether it fits with this quote. In my case, community college certainly does.