Happy 2019! One of my New Year’s resolutions is to post once a week on this blog. Last year was really rough and I missed out on all of the fun I had while writing these posts. So, expect at least one post a week on here and also on my Youtube channel!
Now, on to the point of this post. Last year I was a Junior in college. I had spent my first two years at a community college near my home, so I was able to live with my mom. During those two years, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I was always switching ideas and majors, I just had no idea what to do for the rest of my life. Fast forward to last year, I got accepted into a University and decided to pack up my cat, move to a new state, and leave behind everyone and everything I knew.
Perhaps my first mistake was making a huge life change and not surrounding myself with a support system, but I believe everything happens for a reason, which I will explain a little later. I was excited to start this part of my life, I was excited to meet new people, learn new things, and finally figure out what I wanted to do with my life.
I majored in English for the sole reason that I didn’t know what else I could see myself majoring in. I took an Italian class and fell in love and added it as a minor. This is the part where, mostly, things where fine. I made two friends (hey, it’s a big deal for me), my mom would come visit me, I was enjoying most of my classes, and life was fine.
Eventually, my good pals Anxiety and Depression moved back in and things took a turn. I would go to my classes and then come right back home and go to sleep for 18 hours. I would have awful migraines that prevented me from keeping a job, I felt isolated and alone, and the worst part was that I felt like if I admitted it to anyone that I would be a failure.
This went on for the entire school year. Just before the summer semester started, I looked at my upcoming fall schedule and had a full blown anxiety attack. It wasn’t that I was taking too many courses, I only had about 13 credit hours, it was that I was so completely empty and lost that I didn’t even understand how taking pre 1690 literature would get me anywhere near where I wanted to be in life. Where did I want to be? I still had no idea.
Talking to my family about wanting to drop out of school was embarrassing and I felt so defeated. That summer I moved out of my apartment and back in with my mom. This is where “everything happens for a reason” comes into play. I went to University in a different state than I grew up in and during my first year there my mom moved into the same state, primarily because she had a great job offer, but also for my in-state tuition. It brings me some kind of comfort to think that my going away to college, though it didn’t work out for me, pushed my mom in the right direction for her life.
After dropping out, I felt an immediately relief of anxiety, however it was quickly replaced with more anxiety because I had no safety net, I was in the big girl world with zero idea of what to do. I had been told my whole life that you finish high school, go to college, get a job, and work. That’s all I’ve ever known and yet, there I was creating my own path. The only way I can relate this feeling is spending my whole life on a boat and suddenly I’m jumping off. The jump gives me freedom and relief briefly, but then I’m in the dark water and I can’t even figure out which way is up.
The reality of dropping out of college for me is that I’m forced to create my own path and not only do I have to face the criticism from myself because of my own choices, but I have to listen to everyone giving their opinion on what I should do. I know most people are trying to help me by telling me what I should do, and pushing me to go back to college. But, here’s the thing, I have to figure out my life on my own. If I feel like I should go back to college then I will, if I feel like a certain career is for me, then I’ll go for it. But, it’s something I have to figure out for myself.
One thing I’ve noticed since dropping out is that when I tell people around my age that I’ve dropped out, I’m hailed as some sort of hero. I get responses like, “Really? I wish I was brave enough to do that!” or, “That’s so cool! What do you think you’ll do next?” But, from older generations I get a lecture or a whole lesson on why my life isn’t going to turn out the way I’m hoping it will. And maybe they’re right, maybe it won’t turn out the way I want it to, maybe it will turn out to be awful, in which case I will strongly advocate for going back to college, or maybe my life will turn out to be one big, great adventure. But, I have to figure it out for myself.
I didn’t make this post to persuade anyone from dropping out of college or not going to college. In fact, if you know for a fact you want to be a doctor or lawyer or teacher, CHASE YOUR DREAMS. If you know that you don’t want to go to college and you want to do something else, CHASE YOUR DREAMS. We are only given one life, I don’t want to waste mine hating myself and where I am. I’m just one girl who is trying to figure out who she is and what she is meant to do.