SOME COLLEGE

9.30.2014

The year I graduated from high school happened to serendipitously line up as one of the years when the area was INFESTED WITH CICADAS, so our ceremony was held in our un-air-conditioned gymnasium with the doors closed and a giant fan blowing that did nothing but re-circulate everyone's hot breath and expletives. Our parents took photos of us in the front lawn afterward and it took twice as long because we had to pick giant flying cockroaches from each other's gowns. Clearly, it stands out in my mind as a time of great sentiment and value.

I didn't hate high school, but I wasn't sad about the end of it. College seemed like the next great adventure, and for the most part I like change if I know it has the potential to be a good one.

That fall after graduating, I moved an hour away from home into a dirty old dorm on the University of Kentucky's campus with one of my close friends. Our parents helped us move everything in, and once they left I remember us each sitting on our new (to us) beds across from each other and thinking "We are alone now. LET'S GO DO WHATEVER WE WANT." So I think we went and bought batteries and ate gross campus food. Things that just shouted, "INDEPENDENT WOMEN."

I had no idea what I was going to major in, because I saw possibility in every option and felt overwhelmed by the prospect of picking something that I'd do the rest of my life. My mom encouraged me to go to a community college to take care of my general credits, but I balked at the suggestion because I thought I was too good for it. I was a stupid eighteen-year-old, and very wise in my own eyes. Instead, I skipped classes. I drank mystery liquor at parties (thank you Jesus for protecting me from that stupidity). I met with professors that thought it endearing that I wanted to major in English and be a writer. They were quick to inform me with a firm declaration that I'd likely have no prospects of a job. Confused and defeated, I found myself starting to flounder. Our family was going through a difficult season and my grades just kept getting worse. A couple years in, and thousands of dollars in debt later, I waved my white flag. I was trying to pay for school, rent, and living expenses and the ends were not meeting.

The decision to step back and step out of college was not taken lightly. I was terrified to even suggest it to my parents, but was surprised and relieved to find them supportive. They encouraged me to move home for a while and pay off my debt.

I went to college because that was the trajectory and path I'd been taught was best for me and I never had any reason to question it. It's a really good path, but it took a long time to be okay with the fact that it wasn't mine and that it wasn't the only one. Work hard to get into college, pick a major, take out some student loans, and all of the et cetera before you wake up one day in the middle of the Talking Heads song and you ask yourself, "Well, how did I get here?"


The decision to leave college was so very humbling. I felt like a failure, and I let myself be identified by it for a really long time. I held tightly to labels of QUITTER! and DOOMED! and WILL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING! even though, no one was saying that to me. It was my own song, and I kept singing it.

I don't regret the two years that I went - it was an experience I wouldn't have traded for anything, and the failure was good for me. It was a season of my life when I came to know Jesus, met my best friends, and realized that once again, my mom was right. Basically, it was a lot like when I begged my mom to let me become a figure skater. I really just wanted to wear the ice skating outfits and look like Nancy Kerrigan - not go to the Olympics one day, unfortunately. I know now that I was a baby and should have waited and figured things out a bit more.

I had to work twice as hard to prove myself because if ever qualifying myself to an employer, and I'm always going to be filed in the "SOME college" category. That's okay. A countless number of times, it has eliminated me from potential jobs that I'd have loved to do. It forced me to have a strong work ethic - and in many ways my faith has been so encouraged to see the ways God provides. It has humbled me as I've stumbled through seasons of working multiple jobs, lamenting the hardships and monotony of customer service and hoping to one day do something I loved. It has made me so incredibly thankful for the opportunities people give me when they take a chance on me and let me prove that I'm just as capable without it.

For some of us, we figure out what we love by first experiencing the things that we don't and going by process of elimination. That's how it was for me. Everyone doesn't have the financial means to pay for college. Conversely, I know many of my friends struggle with the fact that they do have a college degree, but aren't working in their field of study. We're all just learning to sail our ships, you know?


Recently I went to the dermatologist and in his effort to make small talk it somehow came up that I didn't finish college. He launched into a lengthy Mike Brady-esque monologue about how I needed to finish because I might be very smart, but someone with a degree would always get the job before me. I sat there staring at him thinking, "Who are you and can we please just go back to discussing the mole on my eyebrow that's starting to look like a big nipple."

That was a huge victory for me, though (unfortunately the nipple is still there) - but I let it go. I understood where he was coming from, but I knew it wasn't true and that it wasn't part of my identity. I stopped letting it get to me. I'm not my accomplishments or shortcomings. Obviously I haven't arrived anywhere, but it's a huge victory for me to see where I've been and what God has done. The world told me my prospects would always be bleak, but God always has better plans and I wouldn't do anything differently. I take that back - I would definitely say no to the mystery liquors if I got to do it again.

I'd love to hear about your experience. Did you always know what major you'd choose? Did you skip college? Do you have a dermatologist you'd recommend? Tell me.

In the end, just remember:

YOU IS KIND

YOU IS SMART

YOU IS IMPORTANT

;)

37 comments:

  1. I started at Murray State and then transferred to BYU after my freshman year. I had no idea what I wanted to major in, but my parents had a lot of vicarious ideals about what I should be doing and how fast I should be doing it. It was a lot of pressure and I ended up in a major I hated until the summer before my senior year. I switched, ended up teaching special ed for three years afterwards, and am now in grad school. Looking back, if I had just ignored my parents and did what I was really interested in, I would be in the field I am in now (teaching English as a second language). I wouldn't take the experience back though because I learned a lot from it.

    Also, my dad ended up going back to college when he was in his 60s. It was amazing the day he called me and said "I can't believe you went to school full-time, worked two jobs, kept good grades, and met and married your husband." It was a big hurrah for me because he didn't have the empathy to understand why I wasn't a 4.0 student before.

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  2. You are SO kind and SO smart, Fran. I have always thought this about you.

    I love knowing this part of you. A piece of the puzzle in your story--- and a good one, too. I like that you said you don't regret anything. That's how I feel about all of my choices, too. They make us who we are, they lead us to where we are meant to be.

    I have always known what I wanted to do, and as a stroke of luck there was a clear path for me. But you're also right in saying that it was the path that was laid out and expected... the college part, absolutely, that's the only choice I ever thought I had. And for me it was the right one because it helped me get to the job I dreamed of, but I realize now that it's absolutely not that straightforward for everyone. How strong of you to realize that it was not the path for you. I admire you! I'm sorry it took you awhile to "let it go", but also so glad that you've found your peace.

    And I would absolutely say you've arrived. The life you are living is a good and important one. Much love. XO

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  3. First off, you are my favorite. I am still banking on the fact that some day, you, Hannah, and I will get to create our mini blogger conference where we eat delicious food and drink copious amounts of tea/coffee.

    I started out at a community college and I struggled with it at first. My friends were all going away to school and I stayed because it was a better financial decision for myself and my family. I thought I was too good for community college, but my parents encouraged me to do it, and I'm glad I listened because it saved me tens of thousands of dollars.

    I sometimes struggle with my position at the university, because there are some people who should not be here. There are some people that aren't ready for this experience nor is college right for them. I also serve on a retention commission and felt like I had to keep every girl that started their freshman year here the whole year. My coworker pulled me aside one day and told me that it is "good and right" to let go of some of these girls.
    While college was definitely the right choice for me, I don't think that it is the best for everyone. I loved college for the experience and the education, but I'm not working in my field at all. That's another thing I've had to get over. It's okay though- the experience was valuable for me, worth the investment, and I'm grateful for it. If I had to do it over again, I'd do it exactly how I did it, community college and all.

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  4. Amen, sister! I wasn't ever one of those people who had a standout ability in ...well, anything. I was an academic, however, and my high school years were spent aiming for a prestigious college, because identity. I was accepted into a great school but deferred to spend a gap year overseas. When I returned, my financial aid package was significantly smaller. Three days before move in, my parents sat me down and asked what in the world I was going to do with all those loans. I resisted backing down because: identity! But The Lord really made it clear that I was to choose His path for me and that was turning away from Duke and toward finding my identity in Him. I waited tables, went to study photography and graphic design in Hawaii (wow for his plans) and then plans changed again and I ended up going to a small Christian college a mile from home. Met and married my hubby, worked three jobs, had two babies while still working on my BA, graduated at 27 (!) debt free. His plan was longer and less prestigious in the world's eyes but his grace was so grand. Love that proverb 19:21- many are the plans in a man's heart, but The Lord directs his steps.

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  5. I wish I had had this courage! I went into college similarly lost on my future -- and while I've landed on my feet with a degree, I can't help but think of all the things I would rather be doing... And that maybe if I had made that choice when 25 rather than 19. This story is so admirable.

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  6. This speaks right to my quarter-life-crisis-riddled soul! Thank you for sharing! I recently had a very similar experience.

    I have always loved school. For me, school just makes sense. So, after high school, I went to college. I majored in French and minored in English, and took loads of dance and arts courses. It was all incredibly practical (except not), and I loved every single second of it.

    After college, when the page was blank and I was staring into the abyss of adulthood...I panicked and went to law school. There were all sorts of reasons at the time. I was going to be an "advocate." I was going to do something "important." I was going to "change the world." But, most importantly, I think, I was going to keep attending school; I was going to keep the status quo. And, so, I went. And I was successful. But, then about a year into it all, I realized that I really, really did not want to be an attorney for the rest of my life. I realized that I had made a rash, misguided, and expensive decision. So, I cried a lot. And then I withdrew.

    It is still such a tender subject...but it is getting easier. I still have the "I'm a failure," song on loop (especially since I still have absolutely no idea what I am doing with my life)...but that song is getting quieter. I am finding some peace in my decisions. And reading stories like yours, makes it all a little better. I am happy to know that we're not alone in these experiences.

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  7. That is such a courageous story! I know so many people who carry along in their non-ideal paths because it is so TERRIFYING to leave what is comfortable and expected of us (whether its by us or others). GOOD FOR YOU in turning down 'the road less traveled', it is quite inspiring to others (like me). Thank you for sharing your story, I wish you all the best in your journey of finding your true path. With courage to make the right decisions like you have, I am confident it will come along. God bless!

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  8. I never get to read/hear experiences like this, and it's made me so happy! I, too, was two years in, and packed it up. Also, an English major, double minor in economics and women and gender studies. Reasons for leaving: working full-time to pay all of my way was mind boggling hard for me, had a father diagnosed with cancer, a scary failed relationship, and a promotion offered to me back in my home city. It just sort of happened. I don't regret it, either- I'm so thankful for my experiences, the wonderful people I'm still friends with, the stupid-squared choices I was able to learn from. Plus, I LOVED the courses and challenge. Thanks to ambition, drive, and consideration for others I'm proud to say I've made it just fine in the corporate world. I do hope to return to college one day when life calms down a bit and leisurely enjoy my former major and minors, again. And, I know for a fact that when the time comes I'm going to really relish I and appreciate it.

    Thank you for sharing this! We are all just finding our way, and thank goodness all paths aren't the same. It simply makes for a much more interesting world.

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  9. Autumn- I'm hurrah'ing you, too. That is some serious business you juggled right there. Bravo!

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  10. FRAN. I think you are so brave to pack it up two years in. The world tells us college is the only path that will make us successful, and I simply don't believe that anymore. I have my BA in English and French (after spending time in nursing school and realizing maybe that wasn't my calling after all) and I loved every second of earning it. I could launch into a whole economic discussion on what I've learned regarding employers not wanting to pay more for those with college degrees and how the debt to potential earning ratio is all screwed up, but I won't.

    College was something my parents told me was happening no matter what, and I was okay with it because I wanted it and they paid for it (I know, I was extremely fortunate and that is rare). But as I'm going to have a baby, I've thought long and hard on what I want my kids to do. There's no way we could pay for them to go to college. My husband and I have both witnessed so many people without degrees become successful, AND they're not drowning in student loan debt. The more expensive college becomes, the less necessary I start to think it is, depending on your intended career path. The world is becoming so entrepreneurial and it's so much easier to make your own path.

    My degree helped me get a decent job at a law firm that pays the bills for now, but at the end of the day, I want to stay home and raise my kids and freelance write. And that can be done with or without a degree. We're all just trying to figure it out :)

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  11. Such a great post! Thanks for sharing this. I've actually blogged about how paralyzed I felt trying to decide what to focus on for my post-secondary education. So your story is pretty familiar. I wound up taking a year to work full-time after high school and saving up enough money to pay for a two-year journalism diploma program while I decided what I actually wanted to try. I figured that even if it turned out I hated journalism, I could make it through two years and wouldn't be in debt by the end of the program, so I could think about my next steps then.



    I'm so glad I didn't buy into the idea that smart people went to University and College was for those who weren't smart enough to get in to Uni. I think I would have been miserable and bored in a four-year degree program, not to mention heavily in debt.



    I think people do a lot of kids a real disservice when they sell college (or I guess what you would call community college in the states) as the second-rate option. Some people might really benefit from and love the expensive world of theory and academia, and while I'm sure I could have made my way through it, I loved the hands-on approach and came out of those two years of college with a tangible and tested skill set, and a portfolio, and a real confidence that I was prepared to jump into adult life with.

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  12. So I saw your post on Instagram (I'm megmgib - Hi!) and I had to come and read this because leaving college was a hard thing I did.
    I studied Interior Design/Architecture in Philadelphia for 3 years before I realized that it just was not what I wanted to do the rest of my life. While, yes, I do appreciate both design and architecture, my heart wasn't in it. Adding the stress of tuition and, like you, family stuff, I made the decision to take a semester off to regroup. I was 20 years old, what the hell did I know?
    I floundered around for almost 4 years, traveling, living at the beach, being highly irresponsible. Then I met my now husband and we got serious, and I had to get serious about my future, our future. The whole time both my mom and my grandfather (her dad) never let me forget that I had to go back to school. HAD TO.
    So at 24, I got a decent, entry level job at a company that offered tuition reimbursement. I mean, as long as I got a "C" or better, they paid for everything, books, all of it. The university I was going to accepted all of my credits from my previous school, many of which went to electives because they were drawing and design classes and didn't have much use in the curriculum needed to complete my new major: communications! And if you don't know what you want to do, pick communications.
    I took 2 classes per semester all the while I got married, bought a house and had a baby. My second to last semester was balls to the wall. I had a one year old, was working full time and taking 5 classes. But I managed to make the Dean's List. I graduated May of 2012 with a BA in Organizational Communications after 6 looooong years from the time I went back.
    I still get choked up when I think about that accomplishment. That I stuck with it, even when it got hard. I had no excuses though. See, when I was 11, my dad left my mom and 4 kids. My mom did not have any college education, she had been a stay at home mom for the past 11 years. So she went to nursing school, got her RN, got a job at a local hospital and then went to college to get her BSN, all while raising 4 kids with no husband. Every time I thought it was hard, I thought of her. I knew if she did, I had no excuse. I HAD to do it. Nursing is way harder than communications, in my opinion. And she graduated with honors.
    Sadly, my grandfather, one of my biggest supporters was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and passed away right before I graduated.
    The point in my long winded story? College is worth it, no matter how you go about getting there. It's hard and it is expensive but damn, it is gratifying to say I did it.

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  13. I would definitely say college was a good decision for me but, if I had it to do over again, I would NEVER go to grad school. Since then, I have lost out on jobs bc I am "overqualified" and don't make enough to pay my bills and student loans.

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  14. Love this! Simon and I talk about it a lot. It's become such a business (college). I was going to write a long comment but Phoebe has other plans. be back, probably.

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  15. Oh, I feel this post to the bottom of my heart. I started community college the fall after high school - not because I wanted to, but because I felt pressure that it was what I was 'supposed' to do. I did fine; school was easy for me. A year later, I married my high school sweetheart, he joined the military, and we began our journey of moving all over the country. I transferred schools and racked up more loan debt with each of our duty stations. Seven years later, I wasn't finished, but I was done.

    The problem was my heart just was never in it. I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up (ha, like I will ever really grow up), the process was never-ending and seemingly futile, and I gave up. With only 19 credits to go until I got my bachelor's degree, I quit.

    You know what? I don't regret it for a second. It's been six years, and my family still hounds me to go back and finish, because "You're just SO CLOSE." But I finally found what I wanted to be - a mom - and I'm blissfully happy at it. I wouldn't trade my five-year-old and newborn for the world.

    Sorry for the rambling (and probably nonsensical) reply here; sleep deprivation, you know?

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  16. Sigh. I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in my sophomore year. I had to leave school (after 2 attempts) and I don't know that I've gotten over it. It was devastating. I loved it- until it started tearing apart my mental health. So now I stay at home with my daughter. Perhaps I'll go back one day. After the kiddo(s) are older and the hubs is no longer in the Navy. He accumulated massive amounts of student loans (personally I believed that the school cheated him out of his money with crazy tuition hikes over the years) and I don't even think we know what to tell our kid about college one day.



    It seems that every job has a 4 year degree requirement, even for things that clearly don't need that level of education. So many of my friends don't even work in their field they studied in. I don't think every college is equal. I'm not sure that college should even be necessary, as we now have an influx of college grads- many will be paying off their loans for decades. I think the system could use an overhaul.


    As for me, when I do choose a career, I want to choose something that I'm going to love. Not something where I'm just trying to get to retirement. And I'm going to try to stop feeling shame about my lack of degree (though the looks I get sometimes don't help). And whether I need a masters or an associates degree for my next career, or even on job training, I'm going to keep an open mind. For now, I'm happy to be where I am. I love the life I have and I wouldn't be here without leaving school.



    Thank you for writing this.

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  17. I grew up in a university town and I got good grades throughout high school, so the expectation was that I would go on to a four-year university program. I remember telling our guidance counsellor I was going to do a two-year journalism course, and he was almost mad about it. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted to do, and I didn't see the point in wasting extra time and my parents' money to get a university degree - my rationale was I'd rather be earning money than spending it.


    What I've learned: I do feel like I missed out on the whole "university experience" of living in a dorm, eating shitty meal hall food, and making great friends (many of my classmates were a lot older and in different stages of life so I really didn't bond with many people in college). But I do feel like a more accelerated two-year program was better for me in terms of the pace and structure, and being able to graduate with no student loans and start working in my field right away was pretty nice. I have never once found that having a diploma instead of a degree has hindered my job prospects, especially now, several years after wrapping up at school. I guess I feel like my early 20s were super sped up, for better or worse.

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  18. Like you, I went to college without a major AND also moved into a shoddy little dorm an hour away from home. I took the most random classes and was notified by the school in my second year that I needed to declare...or leave. So, I left. I ended up moving across the country to go to a much smaller school and found a journalism program I loved. Towards graduation time, I realized I didn't actually want to work as a newscaster, but oh whoops, too late. Anyway, I'm now working a temp job in an industry unrelated to what I studied, but I've been able to draw upon technical and practical skills I learned and I'm so grateful for the training I had that I am unfortunately now realizing was a very expense process to "finding myself." But I'm one of those indecisive souls that still switches my dream job by the minute, even as an adult.

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  19. Brave of you to leave - if given an ultimatum I would have likely panicked and chosen something random as a major! Ha. Or just declared and switched a bunch of times. That's so awesome you recognize the skills that you took away from your formal education! I'm right there with you - I think it's exciting to try new things, no matter the season of life :)

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  20. See, I think that is amazing that you knew so clearly right away and were so driven! It's particularly daunting when you are so young to proceed with what you feel is right for you, even more so if it isn't in line with what the more seasoned adults around you may think. While you didn't get the typical college experience, it's so cool to know that you emerged from your schooling debt-free, and with a job! That's amazing - I think it would be fun to build that community after establishing your career.

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  21. Lauren, that sounds like you had a rough time of it :( I love what you said, though - how sweet to think of the life you have right now and how much I am sure your kids love the choice you made! I hope it encouraged you. Like you said, it is far from a perfect system but it's exciting to think that one day if you did decide to go back and finish - you'd be in a better and wiser season of life, hopefully. Thanks for sharing your story - I am loving these comments!

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  22. Do not apologize, I am loving these comments! And I am so glad you shared your story :) I love how sure and confident you are in your decision. I know everyone's circumstances are different - but I think of how much your sweet babes must love having you to themselves and it is such a great thing to never be taken for granted, you know? I was such a different person when I graduated high school. I had NO idea what I wanted to do. I kind of had career aspirations, and only KIND of got really excited at the prospect of being a mother one day. Knowing what I do now I'd have chosen "work part time from home mom" because it seems to be a nice balance ;)

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  23. PHOEBE, WE ARE HAVING AN IMPORTANT DISCUSSION. Jk, girl. Would love to pick your brain about it one day!

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  24. Waaahhh it is such a crazy catch-22! Be qualified, but not TOO qualified.

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  25. Hey girl, hey! I'm always so honored when people take the time to click over from the 'Gram. Haha! I am SO glad you shared this. What an incredible story! You are clearly made up of more drive and stamina than I am. It's amazing to think of how proud your grandfather would be. And single mothers? (Like mine was) special breed of heroism, for sure. Love getting to know you better!

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  26. If I did do it over again, I definitely would have gone the route that you had and worked full-time right out of high school. I was so impressionable and cared so much (waaay too much) what others thought of me, and I wish that had not been the case. I'd like to think that more people are starting to see that there are other options, which is really neat. I also love seeing how people are just creating jobs for themselves. I also liked the part where you said that some people love and benefit from the world of theory and academia - so true!

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  27. When you said you wouldn't launch into your whole economic discussion I was actually a little disappointed, because I am a nerd and LOVE THOSE DISCUSSIONS. ALSO I DIDN'T KNOW YOU WERE PREGNANT AND I'M HORRIBLE BUT ALSO REALLY EXCITED FOR YOU! Minus your first trimester from hell...please say it's better now. Praying it's better now. Your whole comment is a great (and better than my own) summary on the matter. Everyone seems to be making their own job anymore if they can't find one that already exists. It's amazing!

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  28. Thank YOU for sharing yours! I have been loving reading everyone's story. They are all so different and it's fascinating. I can't imagine going through everything that you were at that time - what a hard season. It's really encouraging to hear that your career was unaffected by it, too. It's also cool to think that if you do go back and finish, it will be even more amazing than it would have been the first time. Definitely relish and appreciate - best way to put it :)

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  29. Thanks, Brigid. You are generous and kind for calling it brave :) I think if I'd seen it as that a long time ago it would have been helpful. But I'm glad it turned out the way it did. So glad that college with or without a degree isn't the end of the story for any of us, you know?

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  30. Ahhh, that is such a great story. The identity part, ugh, I GET IT. How brave of you to be obedient and how amazing to see the way God blessed that. Your story is so very clearly the example of The Lord having better plans. Hawaii? Marriage, babies, three jobs, AND debt-free? ARE YOU KIDDING ME THAT'S SO GOOD.

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  31. I've never heard of retention commissions - and the whole "good and right" to let them go is such a hard thing to witness, I am sure, but it's nice to know that people recognize that it really is a square peg, round hole scenario for some people. I wish I'd have done it like your parents (and my mom did for me) and started at community college. I CANNOT WAIT FOR US TO MEET ONE DAY. I will hug you for such a long and awkward amount of time.

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  32. Anna, you are such a beautiful and wonderful human. The fact that there are children that have sat in a classroom and been poured into and loved on and taught by you makes me so thankful. Thank you for all of those kind words and reminders for me. I really do love and am so glad for how things turned out so far :) It's exciting to think that I can share such wisdom with my babies one day. I hope that they'll listen and understand there isn't just one way after high school. Again, thank you for this. You're great.

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  33. Wow, girl. I'm so glad you shared this with me! Everyone's stories are so different and it sounds like whether anyone went in the first place, stayed and finished, or bowed out early - the years were incredibly enlightening for all of us. Also, the part about your dad! Gaaahhh!!

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  34. I am so glad if it encouraged you. And yes - like Sarah said below, how courageous! So many tears, but I hope and know it keeps getting better and eventually gets less tender. Though I know you are already learning it, I just want to remind you that you are so not a failure. You are so not alone, and you'll have such compassion and empathy to share with others through the struggle of it. Praying for grace for you in the thick of it, girl!

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  35. I did community college for a year after high school before transferring to a 4 year university. It was the worst because all of my friends were off joining sororities, having sleepovers in dorm rooms, making Whataburger runs at midnight (you know, the super important college things) and I felt really left out and really alone. But with that year I had a chance to think about what I wanted to do with my life so I transferred to Baylor confident and ready to major in speech pathology. And I loved it. It was hard work but I just loved the material. The only thing about it is that in order to do anything with that degree is that you have to have a Master's. Womp womp. So now that's where I am. Hugely passionate about a profession I can't get a job in because I can't get into grad school anywhere. The degree blew up after I jumped in and now it's crazy competitive and filled with super brilliant people, so filled that they don't need a 'slightly above average GPA with a good heart' like me. So now I'm hoping and praying God opens a door or window before I grab a crowbar. ;) Thanks for sharing your story!

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  36. I went to a very small private liberal arts college 45 minutes from home, and thanks to the magic of scholarships and my loving and generous parents, I escaped with no student loan debts. I decided to major in Business Economics (because that was the closest to a generic business degree that my school offered). I had no clue what I'd do with it, but it seemed like a good idea. I took all of my prerequisite math classes and enrolled in my first economics class the second semester of my sophomore year. I didn't understand a single concept in that class and my plans for my future were completely derailed. On the last day to be able to drop a class without tarnishing your academic record, I sat down with my professor. I asked, "if I were your daughter, what would you advise me to do?" He said he would encourage me to find another path in life, and with that, I shook his hand and ran to the Registrar's office to drop the class. At the time, I was taking an Art History course (to fulfill my fine arts course requirement) and I loved it. On a whim, I declared Art History as my new major. I knew it would provide me with little to no job possibilities after graduation but I stuck with it because I was passionate about it. After graduation, I set out on a path to work in the marketing world and haven't looked back since!

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