When I was fresh out of high school, I went straight to college. When you’re 18, everybody expects you to know exactly what you want to do with your life, and you are expected to go to college immediately out of high school. I went against my better judgement, as I felt like I needed to take time and decide what I actually wanted to go to school for. I was pressured into going, as I would have been the first in my dad’s family to go to college.
Looking back at the decisions I made during that time period, I have never regretted anything more than my decision to go to college straight after high school. I was completely unprepared for college, as it is nothing like high school. Although I had a lot of good resources at my finger tips, I used none of them. I was young and stubborn. The classes were also harder than I anticipated, and I did not assert myself to do my best. As a result, I ended up failing my first and second semesters of college.
After the first two semesters, I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I still continued going to classes using loans to pay for it when I lost my scholarship and grants due to poor grades. I went to school off and on for several years, skipping a semester here and there. Overall, I attended classes for five years, changing my major several times, and completing courses that I would not need for the next change of major. By the time it was all said and done, I had 97 credits, and $30,000 worth of student loan debt. I also did not have a degree, nor was I anywhere close to completing a degree.
In 2014 I ultimately decided that I was done with school, much to the dismay of my family. I still had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, and knew that I was wasting my time and money continuing on this adventure of mine. Since then, I have been constantly bombarded with the question, “when are you going to go back to school?” I applaud people who know exactly what they want to do when they are fresh out of high school. I really do, but I am not one of those people.
Looking back at the decision to quit school, I see it as one of the best I ever made. Yes, I wasted a lot of time and money going to school and never finishing. Now, however, I am in a better place in my life. Now that I have been away from school for so long, I know what I want to do, and I am better prepared for the work load.
All of that being said, I think it is so important to teach our kids that it’s okay if they don’t go to college and get degrees. College is simply not for everybody, and a lot of people will go back when they have matured and have a better handle on their lives. There are a ton of jobs, good ones at that, which do not require a college degree. There are also a ton of people struggling to find work with degrees that are essentially useless.
Although I have not always made the best academic decisions, I am so happy to be in a better place now than I was. I am happy to be more secure and confident in my decisions. And I am happy to be facing this next step of my journey.
Love to all,