I just watched The Hobbit, and I’m seeing the second one today. IT’S SO GOOD. The music, the story, the action…augh.
We all know Gollum. He’s the creepy, crawly creature that’s trying to get his precious back – the one ring. His meaning of life. His addiction. His identity. HIS SOUL.
Well, I was watching Gollum scamper around, and I couldn’t help but notice that college grads can look a lot like Gollum. No, not (necessarily) because they eat goblins and have 9 teeth; in more subtle ways.
1. They’re Perfectly Content With Their Bleak, Meaningless Lives
Gollum lives in a deep, dark cave with nothing but silence, a dirty loin cloth, and his alternate personality in a form of a shiny ring. Quite the model of success, mind you. He doesn’t ask for much else.
“He probably thinks this is a great setup,” I realized when I saw him singing to himself when Bilbo fell into his lair. “He has everything he thinks needs down there, and then some.”
To Gollum, life is peachy and he’s content with what he has. Many college grads think this as well. But when we see Gollum through Bilbo’s eyes, we see Gollum’s true reality – a bleak, stagnant living with little to no fulfillment. Maybe you need a new set of eyes on your life; are you content with the menial, trivial tasks you complete every day, never wanting more?
2. You Might Think Being Lonely All the Time is “Just How It Is.”
Take it from a pretty darn introverted guy whose hobbies include blogging, reading, and closing the door to my room. Being by yourself can be great, but being around people can be better.
Many college grads have found their community and friends disappear faster than a slice of pizza at Comic Con after they graduate. Like Gollum, they get used to the lonely nights and solitude. However, don’t mistake “introspection” and “introversion” as worthy excuses to not be with people. You need the company of others.
3. You Think Everyone’s Out to Get You…
I don’t like cops. There, I said it. I think they’re waiting for me around every corner with a speedometer. This is probably based from my resentment at the many (ridiculous) parking tickets I’ve received.
The same feelings can be found in the working world, especially when there’s a reward on the line, like a new project, a promotion, or a raise. Nice coworkers suddenly get all Battle-Royale on each other.
You might not realize how you’re alienating yourself from your boss, your coworkers, and potentially awesome relationships on the simple assumption that “they’re out to get me.” Don’t let your introspection become “observation;” don’t believe the lie.
4. …So You Only Look Out For Number 1
I had a friend tell me that one time. We were talking about how busy we are in our daily struggles, and he says, “But at the end of the day, you gotta look out for #1, you know?” I heard that and I thought:
The most likable, popular college grads (found in both barista uniforms and office meetings alike) are the ones that are selfless. Serving. Giving.
It’s rare enough to find someone who’s genuinely selfless – more rarer still is someone who enjoys it.
Gollum ain’t lookin’ out for nobody but himself and his ring, and has isolated himself from everything and everyone that could’ve brought him true satisfaction and contentment.
It’s not all about number 1.
5. You Smell Really, Really Bad
Don’t be stingy with that soap, people. Just because you don’t have class doesn’t mean you don’t shave.
What’s one piece of advice you’d give college grads who feel isolated and alone?
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