Why College Is Becoming Obselete

I learn through Google searches. Anything I want to know can easily be found in a matter of seconds. I can become (pretty much) an expert in something overnight. It’s truly an INSANE new world we live in.

Don’t know how to change your oil? Youtube it.

You’ll be getting grease on your hands in ten minutes.

We live in a world where knowledge is just seconds away. Why go to college if this is the case? I was never taught about copywriting, blogging, or journalism in school and yet I get paid to do all three of those things now. Know where I learned how to write? The internet. My own research. Books.

Reading Strunk and White was probably the best thing that ever happened to me as a writer. What I’m saying is that I spent upwards of 60k for a degree and I’m not using it. My own accomplishments thus far are more impressive to clients than a degree.

But what about those who are studying medicine? True, these people do need college, however much of what they learn in school can be learned on the internet and in books. It’s only when they have to learn how to suture or put in an IV that they need to actually be in a classroom setting to experiment.

People probably won’t agree with me, and that’s fine! In a classroom setting you do get to have discussion, be corrected by a teacher who knows what they’re talking about, and physically practice things if that’s typical of your major.

However can’t we do these things on internet forums? There’s plenty of thought leaders on the internet that are even more proficient than a professor in certain topics. Not to mention that half the kids in your class don’t even want to be there. On forums everybody is there because they enjoy it.

I don’t know, I could be extremely naive, but I could’ve learned everything I learned in college about marketing through a google search, and that really sucks, doesn’t it?

I could’ve taken it a step further by constantly looking in the news for new marketing trends and pondering why that certain video went viral.

Here’s my biggest argument, though: we learn by doing. We learn by failing. I’ve learned how to write well by doing it and failing at it day in and day out. Do you think all my clients were happy with my work? I made a lot of mistakes early on that made me a lot better today.

There’s no involvement in college. There’s no DOING.

In college you’re learning by just sitting there most of the time. It’s honestly a horrible way to go about it. Why can’t teachers involve us more?

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” – Benjamin Franklin

There’s a part of me that thinks colleges will never actually go obselete–that there’s always going to be value in that piece of paper you get at graduation. But the reason why it’s valuable is because the job world values it.

It’s difficult to measure how smart someone is if they don’t have something that’s a benchmark for that. A degree shows you’ve gone to school for four years. If you don’t have one it’s tough to show how much you know about something. But why does a degree show you know something? Just because you went to school for four years doesn’t mean you’re valuable. You could’ve been sleeping the whole time.

I don’t know. My main argument is that anything you learn in college you can now learn on your own. Maybe I’m wrong about that, but in my experience I’ve learned way more on the internet than at college.

 

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My Blog In Perspective

It’s my birthday, and I thought today would be a good time to put my blog in perspective. Here’s Tommy In Orlando by the numbers:


 

Total Views: 1,053

Posts: 50

Visitors: 622

Best Views Ever: February 17, 2016 *91*

Followers: 95

Most Viewed Post: 10 Things I Learned On The Disney College Program *171*

Creation Date: Sometime in November of 2015


 

I crossed a few thresholds just recently. Yesterday I wrote my 50th post, and a few days ago I crossed 1,000 views in total for my blog. This is huge news, even though I’ve written articles that have gotten thousands of views on their own for other sites.

The truth is that all blogs start slow. All blogs slowly build a following until they start steamrolling. I just hope that I can do the same.

For those just tuning in, this is a travel blog, and I plan to go on my own road trip on June 6th to places like New Orleans, Austin, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. I also plan to go on a trip out west to states like Montana, Utah, and Nevada in the fall. I’ll be back in Orlando come November if everything goes as planned.

I plan on doing a lot of things for Tommy In Orlando–including changing its name and buying hosting. I want the name to be Tommy Abroad, and I also want to get a caricature of me drawn for branding purposes.

It would also be cool to have cards made to give out to people on my trip. Social media is going to be taken care of as well, like a Facebook page.

I have a lot of plans for this blog, and it’s been so cool to see where it’s come thus far. I’ve met a lot of great people and I’m so thankful for everyone that occasionally tunes in to see what I’m doing.

Thanks for reading guys!

Post-Grad Survival Guide: Don’t Tell Everyone Everything

Don’t tell everyone everything. Now, this doesn’t mean what you think. I’m not talking about lying or being dishonest with people; I’m simply saying that you don’t need to constantly tell people all the things that are happening in your life. ESPECIALLY if you change your mind a lot–like me.

I love telling people what’s going on in my life. Who doesn’t? We like to have recognition when we accomplish things or get that interview. But what if things fall through? Then we look like morons quite honestly.

This has happened to me a lot lately, and I think I’ve finally learned my lesson. I don’t need to tell everyone the inner workings of my life. If I get an interview, I’ll just keep it to myself. If I get a job, I’ll keep it to myself. Because when I tell everybody everything, they start to think that I have a hard time committing to stuff.

Look man, I’m almost 23 years old (tomorrow’s my birthday), I never said I’d have everything figured out, okay? I’m relying on my feelings and a little bit of logic for my decisions, and it’s tough to know which decision is the right one.

So while I figure out what I want to do, I’m going to keep things to myself. If you’re about to graduate and are reading this, GREAT. Don’t feel like you have to constantly keep people in the loop on things. When you find the right job, then you can tell anybody you want–but while you’re still unsure, don’t tell a soul.

The whole purpose of this series is to help recent college grads just like me. I’m beyond perfect, but I do learn a few things, and if these words can help just one other person, then I’m happy beyond comprehension.

 

Tommy Does Easter In Disney

Today, at 12:19 p.m., I decided I was going to Disney World.

Easter at Disney seemed very appealing–mostly because it was such a beautiful day. Sundays always have a different feel to them anyway. The air always seems different–more fresh–and the sun always seems a little more bright. I don’t know, that’s just me.

So I put on my sunday best and got out to Hollywood Studios. My main motivation was to take a picture at the restaurant I used to work at before they tear it down.

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It was a little sad walking up knowing it was the last time I’d see it just like that. All things change, though. What are you gonna do?

And why be sad when I got to ride Tower of freaking Terror! Easily my second favorite ride in all of Disney (Space Mountain is just too boss). I got to take some cool pictures while I waited in the queue, so I was a happy guy.

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Then it was time to go to Studio Catering Company and sign my name on the wall. I’m happy I got to do it, it helped me have some closure on the whole ordeal, but it was still kind of tough. Ugh, enough of this sadness already.

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Nostalgia is tough. I looked at the people behind the counter knowing every round of CP’s here had a different experience. We are all connected though, by this building.

ANYWAY

We got to go to Epcot as well, which was incredible. The two parks weren’t that crowded despite it being Easter, which is something I was surprised by.

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Honestly I’m super exhausted, and don’t have much to say about my trip. Disney World is a PARK first and foremost, and parks are where people walk around and enjoy the scenery. And that’s why I think it was my favorite Disney experience in almost a year. We walked around, got a drink or two, and ate some really good food, but didn’t kill ourselves to get on rides every five minutes.

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Original Maryland flag for the Maryland boy.

I was thinking just how much my view of Disney has changed. It’d be a lie to say that I haven’t gotten a little used to it, but that’s what happens when you go so much. But Disney is always going to be magical.

One day I can’t wait to take my kids here and walk down mainstreet with them. Their eyes will light up with wonder, and I know for a fact it’ll be one of my favorite moments as a parent. I’ll be able to tell them I worked here. I’ll tell them who my favorite character is (it’s not Goofy). I’ll tell them of all my incredible stories working with two of my best friends in the world. And my children will know those two very, very well.

Disney might have lost a little magic via my walks backstage, working here, and going to the parks more than occasionally, but through that it gained new magic. I will always be so proud to have worked for the greatest company in the world. I know that the cast members we interact with have busy, stressful lives outside of work, but they find ways to forget about that and make our days here simply fantastic. And, in a way, that’s much more magical than any of the effects, rides, or shows at Walt Disney World itself.

Happy Easter guys.

 

 

10 Things I Want To Do In Austin, Texas

I’ve heard a lot about Austin. My friend Sydney actually mentioned this city to me and ever since then I’ve had it in the back of my mind.

This summer I’m going to see it.

But what is there to do in Austin? People who love the outdoors will love it here. I for one love the outdoors, but I also want to see the city as well. My research tells me that the surrounding Hill Country is the way to go if I want to be outside, so I’m going to be breaking up this post into five outdoorsy things and five metropolitan things I want to do. Sound good? Great.

Hill Country

Let’s start with Hill Country. This region is located to the west of Austin and is sometimes called the “Napa Valley of Texas.” It’s filled with small towns, parks, antique shops, and roadside fruit stands. Wow, that sounds incredible. Also, a lot of ranches in the area have exotic animals like zebras and antelope. Pretty cool.

Many of the attractions are spread out amongst the small towns, so I’m not going to worry about logistics just yet, I’m just writing about what catches my eye.

Okay, enough talking, here’s a few things I want to do:

  1. Tube the Guadalupe River – Right in. Basically tons of people get on inner-tubes and float down the river while drinking beer. Awesome. The river is 20 miles long, and there are inner-tube rentals and shuttle services in case you want to have the experience. I will be doing this.
  2. The Salt Lick – Did someone say BBQ? If eating BBQ ribs meant selling my soul to the devil, I’d still eat them. And lick my fingers when I’m done. A salt lick is a big block of sodium that animals on a ranch congregate to–just in case you were wondering. It’s also the name of this restaurant, which has barbeque recipes that have been handed down since the Civil War, and it’s situated in the middle of a beautiful, old ranch. I’m definitely enlisting in this little shindig.
  3. The Hamilton Pool Preserve – Okay, well, this looks like heaven. The Hamilton Pool is a natural swimming hole formed after the dome of an underground river collapsed a hundred years ago. During the summer months this preserve is filled to capacity, so I’m definitely going to check out. For extra information, many of my sources call this the most beautiful spot in all of Hill Country.
  4. Fredricksburg – So apparently Fredricksburg is like a Bavarian-style town in Texas. Being that I’m German, this caught my eye a little bit. Named the most popular getaway destination in Central Texas, this city has a Main Street which runs straight through the town filled with old limestone buildings, storefronts, and, last but not least, biergartens. Bomb.
  5. Gruene – This little town is a Wild West-style location with tin-roof buildings, a large water tower, and an awesome music venue called Gruene Hall. There’s a lot of great music going on in this little city, and I’m going to go check it out.

Truthfully there’s so much to do in Hill Country, and this just gives me a little taste of what to do during my first go-round.

Austin

Back to Austin. Alright, I want to see this city. I want to see the nightlife, attractions, and wander downtown. Here are a few things I want to do.

  1. 6th Street – This is called the Bourbon Street of Austin. That’s all I need to say.
  2. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – WOAH. This is a movie theatre that shows B-list movies introduced by the stars and directors themselves. And you can also drink beer, eat burgers, and just enjoy watching movies made with a lotta love. I’m such a film fanatic, so this is most definitely happening.
  3. Lady Bird Lake – This lake is a stretch of the Colorado River that runs straight through downtown Austin. It has beautiful vegation lining the banks along with turtles, swans, and ducks just chillin out there. You can go kayaking and paddleboarding out here, too. You had me at kayaking.
  4. The Bats of Congress Avenue Bridge – So there’s a place you can go sit at and watch a bunch of bats fly up into the air. They say it’s like, a cloud of bats. They fly out from underneath the Congress bridge to go eat a bunch of bugs or somthing during the nighttime. I plan to get on a canoe and watch this go down.
  5. South Congress Avenue – This is one of the more popular avenues in Austin with unique stores, boutiques, and curiosity shops to chill at. This will be nice to do right before I go see my bats.

Wow, Austin has a ton of stuff to offer, and I just got really excited for my trip again (not that I wasn’t excited already before). I hope I can scratch all these off my list. Maybe instead of go to Houston I’ll just spend two straight weeks in Austin? Let’s see. Thanks for reading guys, and if there’s any other spot I should go see, please leave a comment below!!

What I Expect To Learn On My Road Trip

A few years ago I started to feel this tug to travel. It kind of grabbed at the bottom of my shirt every now and then like an invisible person. Everybody else was so happy, just strolling along to wherever they were going, eyes glazed over, but all I could do was look into their dead eyes and want more.

This is really what they wanted? A small school, perched on a freezing hilltop, with soccer games as its biggest means of entertainment? I felt the tug.

I think that’s why I applied to work at Disney World–I had it with being bored. There was nothing I wanted more in the world than to get that acceptance letter and move to warmth and sunshine. I got my letter.

Now here I am in Orlando two years removed from the start of my program. I almost feel the same stagnation. I hear quotes like “Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing,” and I feel the tug once again. What am I doing that’s worth writing about?

Whatever happened to the adventurous side of me? Honestly it’s in a coma at the hospital for all I know. Have you ever done something crazy and thanked yourself a million times later on for doing it? Ever have those experiences? I’m not having them much anymore.

And now I know I need a change.

For those of you just joining, I plan to pack all my shit up and travel across the United States to see my friends on the West Coast. The question remains, what do I plan to learn from this? What do I plan to do?

For one I plan to have a robust conversation about life with a stranger on some random park bench. I’m talking Good Will Hunting style. I want that really bad.

I want to pack light, and wear the same pair of jeans a lot. I want to go horseback riding. I want to build an insane relationship with my car because of how much we’ve been through together. I want to go four-wheeling in the desert.

I want to taste the best gumbo I’ve ever had in New Orleans.

What do I plan to learn from this, though?

All kinds of things. I plan to learn about cultures, food, myself, and other people. I plan to learn that life isn’t all about possessions, but experiences. I plan to learn that not much can beat a view of the night sky in Arizona.

I plan to feel life again.

Clearwater Beach: My Happy Place


Out of all the beaches in Florida, Clearwater is my favorite.

It’s just an hour and a half down the road from Orlando, and it’s home to white beaches, the first Hooters, and yeah that’s about it.

I’ll be honest, after living in Maryland my whole life I’ve never seen a good beach. All I’ve ever seen was sand that looked like wet mud.

Not in Clearwater though. It’s white here.

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The view from the parking garage. Sick right?

First of all, we drove on a saturday.

Translation:

Traffic was crazy.

It took us about three hours to get to Clearwater, and we finally put our umbrella in the sand by three o’clock. I wrote in my journal, read a little, then played a glorious game of football on the beach with all the people that came with us.

I’m two days removed from this madness and my legs are still squealing in pain every time I stand up.

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Unbeknownst to me, one of our friends managed to bring a few girls over who ended up watching us all play. I didn’t really pay much mind, but when we were about to leave one of them asked for a picture with me. How awesome?

IMG_3535.jpgMy hair almost has a mind of its own I swear. Anyway, we kinda dispersed then I got into the water–which was freaking freezing. This time of year the water on the west coast of Florida is a little cold. I went to Miami two months ago and the water was insanely warm there, though. I’m (barely) a writer, not a scientist, so I can’t really explain it to you.

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Anyway, Clearwater is pretty commercialized, too. There’s a lot of beach shops and restaurants to go to, and the beach itself is pretty crowded most times we go. But then again it is March.

I love Clearwater, I always will. IMG_0758.jpgIMG_0757.jpgIMG_0770.jpg