The phrase “that’s not fair” has been thrown around in association with our generation, as well as by the people in it. People think that we need everything to be “fair” and everyone has to get an award for participating. Well, you know what? I never got a trophy to take home until I was 18 years old, graduating high school and was voted “Most Dedicated” in my choir class because I had worked my ass off all year trying to make sure the asshole sophomores didn’t ruin choir for me my senior year. I don’t know where all the trophies everyone talks about went, but I sure as hell didn’t get one, and I know a lot of other people my age who didn’t either.
That being said, “That’s not fair” is a phrase commonly misused by the people around me, who did grow up in a time where more often than not the playing field got leveled not by our parents but by legislation like “No Child Left Behind” and the higher-ups forcing the so-called “fairness” on all of us.
My most recent examples are from college, and the ones that currently irritate me the most. On more than one occasion, my peers and I have been assigned something that wasn’t easy for a class, and more than one of them would comment “Well that’s just not fair. That’s too hard.” I’m not talking about people who hadn’t been appropriately prepared or given the right tools to succeed. I’m talking about people who should be instead saying “Well shit. That is gonna take a lot of work,” pulling up their bootstraps and making it happen. Others are about textbooks. “It’s not fair that I have to buy two textbooks for different classes that should be able to use the same one.” No. Does that suck? Yes. Are textbook prices exorbitant? Yes. Are colleges more often than not charging us fees that shouldn’t even exist to make more money off of us? Yes. Is having to buy two textbooks unfair? No. Another from college is that the HOPE scholarship many students in Georgia rely on to go to school only covers so many credit hours before it runs out. I mentioned this to someone and they said “Well that’s not fair, my degree requires more hours than other people’s!” Believe me, I get it. My degree program has one of the highest credit hour requirements out of the entire university meaning my last semester, I’m pretty much screwed where scholarships are concerned. That being said, the credit hour limit on the scholarship is the same for everyone, making it inherently absolutely fair. No one gets more money out of the state than anyone else. Again, does it suck that I’ll have to figure out a way to cover way more costs than my other semesters right before I graduate? Yes. Is it unfair to me that I don’t get more money than all of the other students with the same (or better) qualifications that I had? Nope.
Instead of making everything about what is fair and what isn’t, how about we all start seeing things as difficult but doable. I was recently told that it’s not fair that I’ll be graduating on time and other people who came in with me won’t be. They said that all degrees should have the same credit hour requirements, and everyone should be able to easily graduate in four years. Well, considering this came from someone who has a degree with less credit hour requirements than I do, I kind of had to laugh in their face. Does it stink that you aren’t going to get out of school as fast as I am? Sure, maybe for you it does. Is it unfair that I’ve taken 17 or 18 credit hours and busted my ass almost every semester since I started school, as well as six hours of summer classes, therefore enabling me to graduate on time, and you are not graduating on time because you’ve taken 12-15 and no summer classes? No. It’s not.
This next one might shock you if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “well yeah, I say that a lot too, so what…” So hold on tight… LIFE IS NOT FAIR! The world is not going to revolve around you, ever. People aren’t going to give you jobs just because someone else got one too. You’re not going to be handed anything on a silver platter in the real world, and I think that a lot of people get that, but the *loud* (not large) majority think that they should be given everything they want if they work semi-hard and do what they’re supposed to for the most part. Lemme tell you something, there are a lot of people in the world who are working super hard, and have done everything right and they’re still not getting anything handed to them on a silver platter. You have to earn your keep in this world, so how about we stop saying “That’s not fair” and start saying “How can I make this work to get where I want to be?”