About to poop myself as I hit “Publish”

by Katelyn Block on September 19, 2012 · 92 comments

I don’t really want to talk about food today. Or how classes are going or any of that. I want to talk about this thing called life and how important it is to live and love and appreciate every true friend you have in your life.

Let’s be sappy.

I’ve met a lot of amazing people in my life. I’m young, but I like to think that I’ve lived a few lives already, both good and bad. I’ve been through some bad stuff. But the fact is, somehow you always come back to the good, and you are reminded who you are and what you live for.

I know what I live for.

You know, I kind of start typing this stuff and wonder why anyone would want to read it. I’m going to keep writing because it feels awesome.

I want you guys to know that this is what I love. Waking up every morning so freakin’ excited for the day. There really isn’t enough time in a day. I avoid going to sleep every night because I just want to live. This morning I had this conversation:

“How are you today?”
“Ready to get ish doneeee. I’m so excited for today”
“What’s happening today?”
“It’s just a typical day” 

Being inspired, realizing goals (notice I didn’t say “setting”? you realize your goals when they come to you), working my tail off, and constantly surprising and being surprised. Writing, photographing, taking video and sharing it with all of you. Social media is a beautiful thing. Do you have any idea where I would be if it weren’t for the power of social media and all of you guys? Bored. Bored, still trying to figure out where I want to go, what I want to do, who I want to be.

A friend of mine posted this image on his Facebook the other day:

Source

I’m not very religious, but I know I don’t want to walk up to the gates of heaven and see the person I could have been. I want to walk up to the gates of heaven and meet myself. Not the version of myself that I wanted to be, but who I am because I stuck every. damn. day. to who I envisioned myself becoming.

People, you are like a giant clay sculpture and you will change as you subject yourself to different environments, different people, different lifestyles, whether good or bad. But always understand and remember that YOU are in control. YOU decide who you surround yourself with. YOU decide how you spend the precious hours of your day, your evenings, and how you channel your energy.

 

I know I’m being really vague right now, so I’m just going to be straight-up honest with you guys. I’m not about to tell you anything earth-shattering. I didn’t get a book deal or a TV spot, and I most certainly am still confused on a lot of things. But ever since I’ve been back at school, I’ve struggled every day. I’ve said it and felt it in the past, but never really done anything about it or been as brutally honest with myself as I need to be.

The American convention is that you go through grade school, do well, get into a good college, do well, get a respectable degree, and then go out into the “real world” with a job application and promise of working for a large company, opening a small business, supporting a family. This is all well and good, but people, I’ve realized over time that GUESS WHAT.

I’m not conventional.

I’m really, completely unconventional. I can’t hold a “job” for more than two months because it feels boring and pointless. It doesn’t make me happy. And you know what, I am a strong believer that life is too short to do what doesn’t make you happy. THIS makes me happy. Waking up inspired and living life so that others are excited to do the same.

What this all comes to, is that I don’t think college is right for me. There. I said it. I don’t think college is right for me.

And I know I am going to get a ton of backlash for this, because yes, it is such a strong belief that you “need a college degree” to “fall back on” but excuse me, people. Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ansel Adams, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, George Eastman, Joyce C. Hall, Steve Madden, David Neeleman, Mark Zuckerberg…. all wildly successful and happy people that get this: Didn’t finish college. I’m not saying that I’m the exception, special, or that these people are any indication that my dreams can become a reality without finishing college, but I am saying that what I know I want to do…. I don’t need a college degree for. It’s almost laughable how much money is being poured into this education that I don’t even think will help me in the future. I don’t plan on working for other people. I plan on working for myself. I am an asset. I have experience. I want more experience. I stand on my own merit, and like-minded people who see that will come to me and want to make beautiful things happen for this world. Collaboration. Experience. There is no math class in the world that will ever teach me the value of real-world experience. Fact.

So, last night, I was talking with a very dear friend of mine who has been in my place. Seen where she’s wanted to be, considered taking time off from school, and didn’t do it. Her and I are so similar it blows my mind sometimes. I explained my life in high school, last year in college, and where I am now. She sees where I am and wants me to follow my dreams. You only have so much time in this life, and if you’re not going to take your wants, dreams, and desires by the reigns, time is just going by anyway. I think I spent two hours talking to this friend and in the middle of me telling her everything that’s been going on, and she sent me this:

“Make a ridiculously spontaneous and risky decision….and love every second of it”
Hmmm, I wonder what that’s ^^^ from? 

She pulled out a quote from my bucket list and my eyes welled up with tears. I forgot that I had even written that. Then it hit me: The people you surround yourself with are so incredibly important. Never in my life have I met truer friends than I have in the last year. People that get me. People who want to see me succeed and make my dreams a reality. There is really nothing more beautiful than a true friend who sees who you are inside and wants with all their heart that you hold onto that. That you don’t stray from what makes you happy.

There are so many distractions in this life. Boys, booze, money. Who you know and who your friends know. Why is that so goddamn important? Does that make any of us happy? Maybe for a little while, but when it comes down to it….. who are you? What do you love? What makes YOU happy?

In ten years, I want to be with someone I love, having babies and looking back at that time that I was so lost…. and then I made my life happen. I lived it. And leave the best example possible for those around me that life is about love. What and who, and holding onto those things.

I don’t know how I’m going to get there, but I know that it’s going to take time and a lot of hard work and decision-making. I’m not even sure what “there” is, but the beautiful thing is I’ve got time. Until further notice, I am a college student, a training athlete, and a blogger, first and foremost. But know that the wheels are turning. Mountains are moving. Even after this long post, I’m still only beginning to “figure things out”.

Life is so stinkin beautiful. It’s time to start living it.

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Krissy @ Shiawase Life September 19, 2012 at 10:57 AM

I am glad you are getting your thoughts out there, Katelyn – it’s really the first step.

Don’t let anyone (except me, of course, haha, in this comment) tell you what is right for YOU. Only you know. So, take this time to absorb any and all advice, guidance and wisdom that your friends, family and readers are sure to ‘bestow’ upon you.

And you’re so right. The main message here is LIVE YOUR LIFE. <3

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Julianna @ Julianna Bananna September 19, 2012 at 11:01 AM

getting your thoughts out always helps everything!!

i love all the quotes you included in this post! :)

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Casey September 19, 2012 at 11:02 AM

Go for it! You are the only person who can know what is right for you and you should do everything you can to chase down your dreams, even when it’s scary or unconventional or no one else gets it. As I was reading your post, a famous e.e. cummings’ quote kept coming to mind: ““It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” Be brave and know that everything will turn out how it is supposed to in the end.

SPA Love,
Casey

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Courtney September 19, 2012 at 11:03 AM

so good, girl! Way to be honest with us and most importantly… yourself. Some decisions are hard, but right. Follow your heart and your passion. #getafterit girlfriend!

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Aditi September 19, 2012 at 11:08 AM

Even though all those successful people did not go to college, think about the thousands of other people who are holding down minimum wage jobs because they dropped out of college. Those are the exceptions because they had a product, family money, invention or sheer genius to get them where they are today.

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Ari @ Ari's Menu September 19, 2012 at 11:13 AM

I feel like it is SO important to go the direction that is right for you. If one day you decide “Hmmm, I wish I had a degree” then you can go to school THEN when you really want it. You are so right about needing to do the things that make you happy–good luck as you figure things out on this part of your journey!

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Jessie September 19, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Beautiful words, Katelyn! Nothing feels as terrible as looking back and saying, “I wish I had trusted my gut and just done it.” Do great things – you’re well on your way!

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Kelly@LeafyNotBeefy September 19, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Oh, I hope you don’t get any backlash! Certainly not from me! I went to school for 2 years, just got an AS degree, and then did something else that I wanted to do ……I say if it’s your passion, just do whatever you feel is needed to get to where you want to go..and it sounds like that’s exactly what you’re doing :)

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Lisa (Mom to Marathon) September 19, 2012 at 11:18 AM

You are young enough to do whatever you want and still have time to start over and do it again. All those conventions will be there if you ever decide that is what you want. For now, go for it and find your “fall back” later. Ah…to be 20 years younger. But even so, I changed my path after age 40, so really, it is never too late.

Good luck!

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Brad Gouthro September 19, 2012 at 11:19 AM

D-E-E-P…and soooooo coool. Love people with this attitude towards life. Thanks for sharing.

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Jessica @ Busy Living Healthy September 19, 2012 at 11:20 AM

Loved this post!! :)

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Kasey @POWERCAKES.net September 19, 2012 at 11:21 AM

Girl, we are the same person. I decided, at 23 years old, to start my own business. I’ve been working with people around the area and using resources to further my dreams! As much as I loved college and had the most amazing experiences being an education major and teaching; being a Phys. Ed teacher wasn’t for me. I am still “teaching” while being a blogger and doing what I love. Right now, it’s super hard work. Trying to make ends meet while working with deadlines and working jobs to make extra money before this all takes off; but in the end I know this will be worth it! I’m doing what I feel strongly about and I wouldn’t change a thing! (maybe just the amount of sleep I’m getting) ;] but you get the point! LOVE YOU and keep doing what you do!! <3

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Jenna September 19, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Good for you!!!! Follow your dreams and dont look back!!! You have your whole life to do the whole degree thing if you’re not ready for that yet! You have to be happy and where you want to be!! Keep us posted! Spa love!

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carlyn September 19, 2012 at 11:31 AM

I think that you leaving your job earlier this summer PROVED to you that you can take risks and it WILL be okay. We put WAY TOO MUCH pressure on going to school and getting a degree. I went to 4 colleges in 4 years and ended up with a 2 year degree. YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT YOU WANT AT 18! It’s crazy we’re forced into this way of thinking/acting all our lives.
No matter what you do YOU WILL SUCCEED. You are strong, smart and determined.
xoxo

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Molly Ritterbeck September 19, 2012 at 11:28 PM

CARLYN IS RIGHT! You got this girl – be strong and rock on…do what you know you want – not what you think is right!

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Your little sister September 19, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I love you <3 Do what you feel is right.

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Avery September 19, 2012 at 11:36 AM

I would think long and hard on this before doing something like dropping out of college. I got to my junior year of college and (thought I) decided that college wasn’t for me, that I would take a break and follow my dreams, etc. So I did. I took a semester off, essentially deferred for a few months, and tried to figure things out. What I figured out in the end was that without a degree, sooner or later (unless you really are the exception, and they’re called exceptions for a reason) there’ll be a wall to come up against, and I’d need that degree. Or maybe I’d run upon hard times and, like someone else said, wish I wasn’t working my ass off in a minimum wage job. So yeah. I went back to school, and I’m in the process of completing my junior year. Just in case. It’s only a small chunk of time in the grand scheme of things, after all.
Please don’t take offense at this. You’re so right about life going by quickly. So, so right. But at the end of the day, what’s two, three years? Finish school, take summer classes so you can finish earlier, and then take that life by the reins and live it up for all it’s worth.
This is just my .02. Take it for what it’s worth. You seem like you have a good head on your shoulders.

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Kacie Phillips September 19, 2012 at 11:38 AM

Katelyn! You are so dang inspirational. Your drive and determination to discover and LIVE your passion in life is truly admirable. Not to mention the fact that you put it out there is such an eloquent and finely-crafted manner through your blog. I commend you for finding your way, and wish you all the best of luck. There is no doubt in MY mind (as a complete and utter bystander) that you will undoubtably find success in whatever path you choose to lead. Best of luck, my dear! Keep us posted (as I know you will). Keep on keeping’ on and hold on to that beautiful thing called… happiness.

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Kim September 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM

Take it from someone who is 27 and still trying to figure out what she wants. If you have the support and know what you want to do seize it! Don’t wait for everyone to question you, or until you are in a position of inability. Just make a plan and run with it! At least you can say you tried!

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Erin (Running Tall) September 19, 2012 at 11:39 AM

That quote about the one life is amazing. New favorite. Glad you’re working things out and being productive instead of sitting back and saying “meh I’m not happy but I guess this is what I’m suppose to be doing right now so I’ll keep doing it”. My BF is having the a similar, but opposite thought process as you right now – he got a job right out of high school and now 6 years later, he’s decided that university is where he’s suppose to be. Everyone has a different path, what matters is if we listen to ourselves enough to follow it.

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Lisa September 19, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Follow your heart and your gut, my dear…. Do what makes your heart sing, not what the world says should make your heart sing.

Obv we have discussed this stuff at length (over s’bux……btw I could use a re-do of your bday evening!)…

Whatever you do is the right thing.

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Brittany @ Barr & Table September 19, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I’ve heard so many people recently say that a conventional job is not for them. And I’m one of those people. School was never for me and this 9-5 desk job isn’t for me either. I think social media has broadened so many horizons that people never thought possible, and while you still can, take advantage of everything that it has to give. Push yourself to make your present and future everything that you want it to be. Do what you love.

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hillary September 19, 2012 at 11:44 AM

As a grown up who runs her own business…you will make a huge mistake if you don’t get a degree. People will not take you seriously. It may suck but it’s real. My sister is a chef. She could have just done 2 years of culinary school; instead she did 4 years of real college and then 2 years culinary. Know what? She makes DOUBLE what a lot of her 2 year friends do. If you have parents willing to pay, stay in school. Might not sound sexy or fun or exciting but just wait until the real world bites you on the ass. Because it will.

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Liz September 19, 2012 at 10:30 PM

This, this, this. I have a four year degree from an awesome university and I am still struggling to find a job. I didn’t enjoy being in school either and probably changed my major four times but I stuck it out because I knew it I’d want a degree to fall back on. If you do decide to quit think long and hard about it. You can always go back, sure, but it will be more and more difficult as time goes on.

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Krystina September 19, 2012 at 11:47 AM

I dropped out of college the spring semester before my senior year. I was in a shitty place and thought it was the best decision and would allow me to “live life” and be happy. Now, I have no degree, a job that I love but makes me a depressing amount of money and a lot of bills rolling in that I can’t pay.

If I could do it again, I wouldn’t. I regret my decision so, so often and I wish that I finished school. If nothing else, to get the degree that I worked so hard for up until the point that I thought I didn’t need it. I now realize how immature and rash my decision was, and I wish I could go back and change things. However, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to go back and finish sometime in the future.

You’re young; it’s easy to make rash decisions. But you haven’t really been in the real world and you haven’t really ‘lived’. Living isn’t as fun as you make it sound – life isn’t a party and it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. This healthy living blog/exercise thing probably won’t carry you through the rest of your life. When that is gone, what will you have to fall back on?

Unless you’re 100% sure that this is what you want, without any regret, then I wouldn’t do it. Don’t make the same mistake I did.

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Jennifer September 19, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Great post, girl!!

I did the whole college thing.. Bachelor’s, Master’s.. and you know what? I want to do something completely different than what I “wasted” 10 years and $40,000 in student loan debt for. Love that you want to do what is important to You!!

SPA <3

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Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile September 19, 2012 at 11:58 AM

This gave me the chills. I can honestly say, I’m in the same boat. I’ve transferred schools three times, and tried to find my “niche”, but college just isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be in my eyes. I am still going to get my degree, but I really just can’t wait to be done and get on with my life. Great post, girl. <3

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 19, 2012 at 12:55 PM

I transferred twice, Brittany, so I know how that feels! My college years were definitely not “the best years of my life.” I think it’s kind of silly if that’s how people feel…you still have so much more to experience!

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Sara @ The Foodie Diaries September 19, 2012 at 1:06 PM

Just like it’s okay that some people may not see college as the best years of your life, it’s also okay that people do see it as that, like myself! My four years in college changed my life. I made my best friends, traveled the world, and went through so many experiences that have turned me into the person I am today. I discovered who I was through my college experience, and I think that experience something so important that everyone needs to do (not college, but discovering who you are wherever/whenever that may be). At this point of my life, I can honestly say college was the best years of my life because those four years shaped me into the person I was meant to become. I’m not naive, I know I have so much more to experience, and when that time comes THOSE will be the best years of my life. I feel like everyone has that “ah-ha” moment when they realize who they have become and where they want to go with their life. I had that moment in college, which is why those years are so important to me. BUT other people may realize it at other points in their life. When they find their significant other, when they have a family, when they have a job doing what they love. It differs for everyone, but it’s not as if either is less important.

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alyssa September 20, 2012 at 8:01 AM

My four years in college were probably the worst of my life, but I appreciated them, learned from them, and wouldn’t have traded them for the world. College teaches you a LOT about yourself and, no matter what, I think it’s something that everyone (who is fortunate enough to be able to attend college) should experience.

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Caroline September 19, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Woah, I didn’t see this coming.. but I love it! This post just made me seriously, seriously happy. (Thank you!) I think I’m very similar to you and you just said things in this post that I’ve been trying to put into words for over a year now. I think I didn’t realize all this until after college (but if I had realized it IN college, I probably would have stayed in school and started up my business on the side – I know tons of people who have gone this route) when working for a big marketing research/consulting company. I quit after 9 months and now I’m starting up my own photography business while taking some photography classes. It scares me everyday, I doubt myself usually twice a day, but I’m so much happier than I’ve ever been.

I struggled with indecisiveness for months before making my decision to leave. If I could go back and talk to myself at that point in time, I’d tell myself that nothing is permanent. I can always go back to the “business world” like you can go back to school. There’s no point in stressing (I don’t think you’re stressing, but I certainly was!) over it, it’s a waste of energy. Figure out what you want and just go for it.

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Brittany @ Little b's healthy habits September 19, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Good for you girl! You have to do what you think is right for you– college will always be there if you need to fall back on it!

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Abby @ BackAtSquareZero September 19, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I love that you’re thinking big. Find what is best for you and go for it.
Being brave is beautiful!

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Lea @ Greens and Coffee Beans September 19, 2012 at 12:12 PM

I love everything about this post. Your positivity and optimism is so inspiring!
And as for college, there are so many successful and intelligent people that didn’t go to college. If you’ve got the drive and you are sure of yourself, you can really do without it. Some of the most successful people I know didn’t go to college. Not to mention, college will always be there for you if you need it, you can always go back to college if things don’t work out it’s not a now or never kind of thing!

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Christy September 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

Personally, looking back at my college years, I can say there were many experiences which shaped me into who I am today, but the school part of it? Um yeah, no. I’m 25 and still no signs of a career in the field I graduated with a degree in. It’s absolutely amazing how I thought the world would all fall into place by having that framed bachelor’s degree. I agree with you. I think if you have enough determination and skill you can honestly do anything and don’t need that degree to validate crap. Go for it girl!

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Harold September 19, 2012 at 12:21 PM

As someone who their whole life chose to do what they were supposed to do and missed out on the opportunities that life truly has for us – take a chance! If you fail, pick your ass up off the ground, wipe the mud and stuff off your face and start again. It takes more courage to be different and do different than it does to be a part of Metropolis.

Your measure of success is different than what is expected of you. Do what you need to do, not what others expect of you.

BTW – I have taken my own advice and it is scary, but I am loving life more than I ever have! Don’t be old like me when you finally do it. :-).

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Jessica September 19, 2012 at 12:22 PM

Although I’m not one to try to deter someone from following their dreams, what says you can’t do that while covering your bases? I know college can suck. It’s expensive, time-consuming and filled with obligation rather than exploration and instant reward, but it also opens a lot of doors, ones that you may not have seen or connected with without my degrees.

And just so you don’t think I’m biased. My husband doesn’t have a degree. And he does well. But he has a very specific technical skill set that he’s been fostering since he started an internship at 15, at at time when the market was good in the industry (IT – during the dot com) and there were few people doing what he was going into.

Even with his skill set and my TWO degrees, we’ve had to work SO hard. I’m talking 80-90 work weeks, coupon-clipping, no vacation ever kind of working — and at 30, we’re just now seeing the light. Like I said, I don’t want to deter you, but you can’t just dream, you have to have several plans, a back up plan, and some cushion.

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Patty September 19, 2012 at 12:23 PM

Thank you for writing these words. There is an idea i’ve been pondering and I think its time to do more to put it into action! Very inspirational…you do have a gift for this!

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Dawn September 19, 2012 at 12:40 PM

I loved college, but in the end I went because I loved learning about what my degree was in. Once that’s all said and done, so far, my degree hasn’t done me much good. I’m actually looking into jobs that don’t require degrees, just passion. Sure, it’s a cut in what I’ll make in income.. but I think life is about being happy, not about slaving away to do what society thinks we are to do. I work with youth and I flat out encourage them to follow THEIR dreams. Want to work on cars, do it. Test out college? Do it. Your dreams are fulfilled by YOU. Not by society. Best of luck to you (and myself.. as I graduated many moons ago and I still don’t have this ‘life’ figured out. Still searching for my happiness.. So never give up!)

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StoriesAndSweetPotatoes September 19, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Always do what feels right to you. For what it’s worth, I think a college education is disproportionately valued in today’s society. I didn’t realize that until after I got my Master’s, a degree I will never use and would rather not have. Follow your heart.

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Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy September 19, 2012 at 12:54 PM

Oh, Katelyn, I was in your place not too long ago. I started at one university freshman year, transferred to another sophomore year, and took a semester off junior year. I started second semester of junior year at yet another school, and I ended up graduating from that school. I liked school (but my college years were not “the best of my life”), and I’m happy that I finished my degree, but am I using it now? Not so much. I’m 24, married, and still trying to figure out my “perfect” path. If college is not for you, listen to your heart. You can always go back later (even if people say that you won’t, you will if you want to). I’ve had a couple of friends tell me that I was courageous for following my heart and my instinct, figuring out what was right for me. Don’t stay put because it feels safe — and I think you are brave for expressing your thoughts, that’s the first step you have to take to make anything happen!

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Sara @ The Foodie Diaries September 19, 2012 at 12:58 PM

This might be my favorite post you’ve ever published. I remember talking with you at HLS and you were so PASSIONATE about blogging and health and fitness, and just “so-so” about college. And that’s okay! For me, college was a time I spent figuring out who I was, where I wanted to go, and how I was going to get there. It seems to me you know who you are and where you want to go. Now the question is, how do you get there? And if the answer isn’t college, then you’re right. College ISN’T for you. AND THAT’S OKAY! Everyone’s path is different, but if the path they take leads them to happiness, then what does it mater what road we took to get there? Spend your life doing the things that make you happy, with the people who make you happy. Everything else is irrelevant :) love you, and I’m so proud of you!!!

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Annette@FitnessPerks September 19, 2012 at 1:22 PM

Live with passion–and that does not ever mean living like anyone else. My husband is a great example of this and has inspired me. YOU go girl!

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Sarah September 19, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Some of my strongest character traits have been developed through doing things I didn’t want to do. Sometimes there are activities, experiences, etc. that aren’t FUN and INSPIRING but instead they are pieces of a puzzle that I know are required for my success. And just getting through things like that have been vital to me developing perseverance, persistence, and determination.

Also – there are people who will bring you up and play a role in your eventual success and those people want to see commitment and perseverance as well. Only holding a job for two months and only completing two years of college are not things that exemplify those traits.

Finally, I’ll include an anecdote about a girl in my sorority in college that seems similar to you. She was so passionate about fitness, exercise, and became a personal trainer in college. She KNEW she would make her career out of this and wasn’t too hot on classes and academics. Regardless, she understood the value of a college degree and worked her ass off to get a degree in business in three years so that she would have a strong foundation of business knowledge to get her own fitness company running upon graduation. Further, lenders and financiers of her business were confident in lending her money knowing she had an education. She is ultra successful now, has a thriving business, multiple other ventures, and she’s only 25 years old.

So the point being, buckle up, deal with some of the things you might not like about college, make the best of it, and all the while knowing that you are doing something that is vital to your success in the future. Develop character traits of commitment and dedication.

There is so much more I could say. I know you didn’t ask for advice and it’s your decision but damn, dropping out of college because you don’t love it is probably one of the most asinine things I could think of.

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Molly September 19, 2012 at 6:06 PM

I agree so so so much with this comment and also think it was extremely well-articulated.

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Laura September 19, 2012 at 10:02 PM

I 100% agree with this comment. Finish school, not because you love it, but because it’s a necessary means to making the REST of your life better. I think this decision is short-minded and I honestly think you would regret it. I know little to no people that are successful today without a masters/PhD let alone without a bachelor’s degree. I’m sorry if this sounds harsh but I was so shocked when I read this post. There are millions of people who would kill to be getting an education from Syracuse- appreciate it.

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Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut October 6, 2012 at 11:32 AM

I just wanted to say that I am so glad I read this post AND the comments like this one because I have been in the same boat! School isn’t as awesome as I thought it was going to be! I even waited awhile to figure out what I wanted to do before starting school. I went to community college for 3 years and now transferred to a university for a Dietetics degree. And holy moly the Chemistry is kicking my butt!! Just for this fact and the fact that I have another 3 semesters of Chem classes to look forward to has made me reconsider if this is what I want to do. But really when I think about it, I need a degree. And now is the time to do it….not 10 years down the road when I am busy with a full-time job and kids. The only reason I wouldn’t get a degree is if I had no ambitions and wanted to just live off of someone else like my parents or a future husband and that is NOT what I want to set myself up for.

Also, I’m 25 years old now and let me tell you, it is a little awkward at times being a 25-year old with a bunch of 18 and 19 year olds in my classes. I am more focused than I would have been right out of high school, but it is a little tough to meet people and relate to them. If you only have two years left, you can do it!! It’s only TWO YEARS!! (I am telling this to myself too as I type) You will be so proud of yourself because you worked hard and persevered!! And so will your blog readers!!

Again, so glad I read this comment from Sarah because it is 100% true. Please reconsider your decision girlie! And we can both complain about school together and get through it like rockstars!! :)

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Ali @ WHOLEistically Fit September 19, 2012 at 1:58 PM

Great quotes! I think we as humans (myself included here) often tend to place a lot of pressure on ourselves to make the “RIGHT” decision. The truth is that we can’t see the future and what I am coming to learn is that in many cases there actually is no “RIGHT” decision – there a several good decisions that will lead to different outcomes. I think in making big decisions like this, it is important to take time to seriously think them through, accept the fact that you can’t know the future, and make a heartfelt/educated decision. College will always be there as will all of the other things you are contemplating doing instead. Just because you finish college now doesn’t mean you can’t pursue these other things down the road and vice versa. Good luck in your decision making & don’t forget to enjoy the journey! ;)

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Abby @ Abz 'n' Oats September 19, 2012 at 2:03 PM

I love this Katelyn. It is so evident how passionate you are about social media, CrossFit, etc. You are so talented! I am in a very similar place right now. I am not passionate about my job at all and I feel like I am just going through the motions most of the time when I am there. I just don’t know what route I want to take to do something different. It sucks to feel stagnant.

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Jessica September 19, 2012 at 2:44 PM

I have never commented on your blog before, but I just wanted to share something with you after reading this.

I am 24 and graduated from college right after turning 22, so I am also super young and really identify with the things you’re saying — I would not settle! I would be different! I would be unconventional!

Then reality hit. I needed a stable job with benefits — one can only stay on their parents’ health plan until 26! — and I ended up working where I work now, which is at a magazine publishing company. Yes, a desk job. In an office. One of the very things I said I’d never, ever do.

I have good days and bad days, and holy crap I’ve wanted to quit MANY times, but I have become stronger and learned a LOT about patience and perseverance by sticking it out. Sometimes you have to slog through the tough stuff to make it to the other side — that was a tough lesson to learn, but it’s priceless.

I say all of this to encourage you to finish college. You are SO blessed and fortunate to be able to even make such a choice — think about that. I have actually never encountered someone who regrets finishing their college degree, so maybe keep that in mind, too. Best wishes to you!

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Jess @ Truly.Into.Fitness September 19, 2012 at 2:45 PM

wow – just wow. Your confidence, passion and maturity honestly blows my mind. You are by far a very inspirational woman on her way to do BIG things. I send you all of my love and positive thoughts and wish the very best for you. This is just the beginning <3

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Irina @ Chocolatea Time September 19, 2012 at 3:01 PM

Thank you for being raw and honest. You should never, ever fear telling people what hopes and dreams lie within you. It’s not anyone’s place to judge what you want out of life!

It takes a lot of courage to face the truth about your life – figuring out you are unhappy and want more is a huge first step and one that many people are unable to take. I feel like I’m reaching my own personal tipping point in life (I will NOT permit myself to be unhappy for the rest of my life), and reading this post is very comforting :)

Best of luck to you, Katelyn!

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Kristen @ Be Fit with Kristen September 19, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Always go with your gut and follow your dreams. It didn’t figure it out until I was 30 but when it hit me that was it. I had excitement and purpose in my life. I left the corporate world and went to work for myself. Sometimes I do miss the money but you know what? Money isn’t everything. Somehow I always make it through with a smile on my face. I wish that for you too. Good luck!

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Alyse September 19, 2012 at 3:24 PM

You go, girl! Way to stand up for how you feel and do what’s right for you. There is no one way to happiness or success, and admitting to yourself that the path you’re on is the wrong one for you is the HARDEST thing. I went through the same thing with grad school – decided it wasn’t for me and dropped out. Admitting to my friends and family that I was miserable was way easier than I expected: it was ME that was the roadblock to happiness.

Quitting turned the best decision I ever made.

I can’t wait to see what you do next! :)

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Laura September 19, 2012 at 3:29 PM

LOVE this post! & your courage! Keep following you passions :)

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Donna September 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM

I teach a freshman seminar about getting used to college., one thing that I always tell my students on the first day of class is if college is not right for you now, only you will know. Because if you decide sometime in the future to go back college will be there. In fact, it is a waste of money to go when your heart is not in it. Good luck!

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Kaila Lydia September 19, 2012 at 4:16 PM

That’s so great! Since you already have a year and a half of school out of the way I bet you could even just finish an AA at a community college if you really wanted to, and then call it! But whether you do or not, that’s so brave of you to go against the grain like that, and you’ll save so much tuition money. Thanks for being an inspiration :)

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Lisa September 19, 2012 at 4:18 PM

Do what makes you happy, not for anyone else. I learned that the hard way. I don’t feel college is right for me. I went for almost 3 years, and didn’t get a degree because I didn’t have passion for what I was doing. I know I’ll find my passion soon, but right now I’m not sure. This is a great realization. Follow what your heart wants and where your passions lie. Whether that includes college or not.

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Emily Gage September 19, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Well, that was just incredible. You’re such an amazing writer. That’s all.

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Sara September 19, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Finish college. You are so blessed to be able to attend.

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Gabriela September 19, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Katelyn, I have to commend you for taking the time to think about what it is that YOU want and questioning whether you are on the right path in life. College is certainly not for everyone, and it’s a LOT of money to spend if you don’t think it will benefit you in the long run. That said, I really think you should think this decision through THOROUGHLY before you make a choice.

While I never considered dropping out of college, it definitely wasn’t my favorite experience. Especially once I got into blogging- I wanted my life to be like the women I saw whose lives revolved around health and fitness and positivity. I was SO SURE that that was my passion! Fast forward two years, and while I’m still interested in the health world, it’s no longer my dream career path. Remember how young you (and I!) are. These are the years when we change the most, and it’s important to experience that change to the fullest. For most people your age, that means going out, having fun with friends, and learning- both personally AND academically. Actually, I think blogging kind of kept me from experiencing college to the fullest, because I was so distracted by the blog/health/fitness world. And I regret that, a lot.

At the end of the day, only you know what’s best for you, but remember that education is a privilege, and it will never be as easy or fun to go back to. Very few people are the same at 19 as they will be at 22- use these years to grow and don’t lock yourself into anything too quickly :) Good luck with everything!

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alyssa September 20, 2012 at 7:55 AM

I have to second this. Katelyn, you definitely know what’s best for you, but a blog is certainly no reason to drop out of college! And your bigger dreams? They’ll still be there in 2 years once you have a degree. I promise!

I hated HATED HATED HATED college with a passion. I almost dropped out (due to health issues, but nonetheless) and, looking back, my whole life would have suffered from abruptly ending my education. Believe me, you are younger than you think you are. There is so much time to do what you love, pursue what you love, make things happen, and become the person you so badly want to be. And a LOT of your dreams will change. And this is okay! And normal! And to be expected! Think long and hard about your next step before you take it. We all want to see you succeed.

I know that college can seem like a waste of money if you’re not happy, but I promise it isn’t. It’s one of the best investments you can ever make.

Excited to see where life takes you!

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Pavement Runner September 19, 2012 at 6:44 PM

You gotta do what is right for you. I went to college, met my (now) wife and don’t regret a second of it. I earned my degree and have a job today because of it IN my studied field.

and yes, I know I started my sentence with “gotta” — it’s the internet, I can write how I want. LOL.

It’s your life, you live it. Just be confident in the direction you go and give it your all.

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Jasmine September 19, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Good for you, girl! I graduated from college in May 2011, and I wouldn’t say I regret it but I don’t know that I would do it again. I don’t think a college degree is everything, especially now. I have a degree with excellent grades and internships, and it is still nearly impossible to find a job in my major! I think you will definitely find what you’re “destined” to do. How many years of school do you have left? I had this same epiphany but by that time I was already a second semester junior so I just decided to finish rather than waste my money even more. We have the same mindset too! :) Sometimes I hate being in my twenties- full of so many decisions to make while remaining mostly lost in life haha. If I’ve learned anything, definitely take one day at a time. You’ll get there- we’ll all get there!

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Danielle @ Clean Food Creative Fitness September 19, 2012 at 8:01 PM

This post got me thinking and I love it!!!! So much to absorb from this! Just taking it all in!

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Julissa September 19, 2012 at 8:49 PM

I needed this today – thank you. Also, good luck to you!

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Britannie September 19, 2012 at 9:19 PM

I don’t care what anyone says–you do not need college to have a successful life. If you’re not happy, you’re not happy and homegirl, it takes GUTS to follow the instinct of your dreams.

College wasn’t for me either, but hey, were young! I’m only 20 and pursuing a dance career, which is hard, but you know what happy and struggling is better than miserable and “successful”.

Awesome post :)

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Anna September 20, 2012 at 1:58 AM

I agree that you do not need a college degree to have a successful life–HOWEVER, in order to enjoy your life (which to me is a huge component of ‘success’) some form of higher education is necessary. You have to ignore outside opinion and judgment to an extent; if you didn’t follow your passions and trust yourself, we wouldn’t have ChefKatelyn. The devil is in the details, though. As of right now, a college degree makes more money and earns more respect than ‘some college’, even if you feel you learn and perform best in other settings. College isn’t for everyone, and there are plenty of problems with the system of higher ed, but the boring/dry process of school is one that can be quick and painless if you know you’re getting it done in order to go on to brighter and better things. As someone who spent two years and a lot of money floundering in school before discovering my true passion, I can say with certainty that the whole experience is what you make it, but as everyone else has said, it’s kind of essential if you have the opportunity to do college.

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Katie Heddleston September 19, 2012 at 9:23 PM

Plenty of people have already commented and while I commend you for your honesty (and just laying it all out there and that is probably what helped you the most), I think you should stick it out and get your degree. You are blessed to be going to college… and I have no idea who is paying for it but if you are getting help from your parents for tuition, etc – dropping out of college isn’t really a choice you can make without them (in my opinion just based on my experiences).

Good luck with whatever you decide!

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Jenna k September 19, 2012 at 9:27 PM

God I love this so much. I went through so much anxiety and depression junior and senior years of college because I wasn’t happy, and I knew the path I was going down was somehow wrong. My grades were terrible because I couldn’t function, friendships suffered, and I gained over 15 pounds. School is right for me- lots and lots of school is right for me. But not the way I was going about it. I struggled so much trying to figure that out and convince the parents of it. It’s unreal how much happier and content I got once I realized what was actually right for me. I’m SO happy for you that you’re figuring it out a few years earlier than I did. I’m a huge believer that every person has a different path to travel, and that life is too short to spend even one damn second being miserable, discontent, or even just a little unsure.

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Brooke September 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM
ashley September 19, 2012 at 10:38 PM

I’m only slightly older than you and took the “unconvential” route. Now, I’m going back to school and I have a LOT more on my plate than I did at 18/19/20. Take a minute, and do a job search online. All require some degree. not even in the field, just a degree. Sorry but you have to work a job for more than 2 months to survive. My parents did not support me going to school, I had no finances to go to college and have worked full time since I was 16 to satisfy my parents so I couldn’t go. You have it SO good. You live at home and your parents support your education and I don’t think you even have to work. Whatever you want to do if its fitness well you won’t be able to do it forever. God forbid you could have an accident and not be ale to do fitness anymore. Degree is something nobody can take away from you.
I heard this at 18 and 19 and didn’t listen because I knew it all. I hope you don’t make the same choice.

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Sable@SquatLikeALady September 19, 2012 at 11:22 PM

I have been a casual reader of yours for a long time, although I’ve never commented.

Today, I need to.

I dropped out of college at age 18. I didn’t have the safety net I imagine you have, but let me just tell you – once you leave college, going back is always much more complicated. You’ll wind up getting yourself into some kind of financial obligation – rent (even if your parents will let you stay with them, unexpected things happen – you could have a BF you want to move in with, etc) or a car payment or debt from opening a small business, etc. And then you can’t survive on student loans alone, so you have to go back to school while working. I’m not trying to be a debbie downer – I’m just hoping you’ve thought about every possible unforeseen ramification this can have in the long-term. I know it can be hard to anticipate things like that when you’ve never been out on your own in the real world before.

Big hugs, whatever you decide!

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Kate September 20, 2012 at 1:05 AM

Good luck! This is exciting – don’t let go of that ‘on the edge feeling’ – go for it!

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STUFT Mama September 20, 2012 at 3:14 AM

Oh BIG hugs to you friend!!!!! You have got the rest of your life to go back to school if that’s where it leads you. I know I’m much older than you, but I had the feeling that working full time wasn’t right for me anymore. I still want to barf when I think about the fact that I really don’t have a steady income right now, but it was time to take a risk and follow my heart and my dreams. Oh man………. sending good thoughts your way.

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Lynn September 20, 2012 at 6:49 AM

All news articles now seem to say that a MASTERS is the new bachelors. There are so many highly qualified candidates out there bc EVERYONE Pretty much goes to college that without a bachelors, youre not even looked at it.

The blogging train isn’t going to last forever. The HLBS will fall to the wayside in favor of the next trend. Crossfit will succumb to the next exercise cult trend. You need to seriously think about what you are doing because this post sounds juvenile and ridiculous, not earth shattering as many people seem to think.

Did I hate school at times? Yes. Did I finish because I knew I needed a degree to even get looked at for jobs? Yes. Because I knew my parents would really want me to do this do I would succeed? Yes.

If you only had to work a job for two months… Then you really have no perspective on the real world. Sometimes the real world is working a job you hate for years just to have insurance. We can’t all charge our lives on our cc or parents like a Monthly membership to Crossfit. It doesn’t work like that.

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Molly September 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM

I totally agree with this comment. I just graduated from law school because I knew that a bachelor’s is much less than it used to be. Am I “passionate” about law? I’m not really sure. But to forever have a “Juris Doctorate” on my resume (and also to have had an amazing time with my friends in both college AND law school) is something that can’t ever be taken away from me, and IS something that I am “passionate” about.

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Eva @ Committed2Nutrition September 20, 2012 at 9:15 AM

I commend you for this post.There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. But listen to yourself and follow your gut.. you can’t ever go wrong doing that.

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Carrie@familyfitnessfood.com September 20, 2012 at 9:38 AM

There is so much great advice already given. This must have been a difficult decision and while I’m so excited for you to be following your dreams, it does sound like you haven’t fully identified that dream yet. My suggestion would be to continue doing what you are doing while you are also putting a finger on your dream. Then map out a plan. I agree that a college degree is key to have to ‘fall back on’. As a SAHM for 12 years who is now looking for a job, I see how many traditional jobs require a degree. I have a friend that is also job searching and she doesn’t have a degree and the differences in our potential salaries is rather stark. Continue to think, be passionate and make the best decision for you. Good luck.

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Catherine September 20, 2012 at 11:05 AM

I really loved this post ! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it’s really inspirational. :)

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Kristi @ lifesprinkles September 20, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Beautiful. Courageous. Love it.

Get it girl! ;)

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Danni @ Healthy Kitschy Vegan September 20, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Katelyn, all I can say is good for making this post! In my opinion, there is no more important thing that a person can do for herself than live a life that she feels proud of, no matter what that may be. College isn’t for everyone, I know that one personally! Just this summer, I went through a very similar realization. So on the seat of my pants, I transferred back to a community college to just finish up an associates degree and started studying to get a personal training certificate (and soon after my associates, classes from Integrative Nutrition!), rather than getting some degree from some “good college.” Do what you love, girl. You’ll find your way. You’re driven, I can tell. You will achieve what you want :)

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AlexandraFunFit September 20, 2012 at 1:13 PM

I’m the age of your parents so am speaking from that generational perspective when I say, consider really hard before quitting college. You can certainly pursue your dreams and live while getting your degree. Whether you want to work for yourself or not, you will be glad for the respectability and entree that a degree will give you. For example, if you want to open your own catering business, the bank will see you as more of a risky guarantee if they think you’re a quitter. Having a degree in anything makes you look responsible, able to delay gratification and able to plan for the long term. I’m not saying to stay in just to stay in, especially if you’re miserable, but you are young and things do change. No matter what is right for you, I wish you much success and enjoyment.

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Purely Twins September 20, 2012 at 3:33 PM

we support you all the way!!

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Carrie September 20, 2012 at 7:24 PM

How nice to have parents to subsidize a “really, completely unconventional” life.
Best of luck to you.

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Amber @ExSoyCise September 20, 2012 at 9:04 PM

AMAZING post. Congrats to you for going after what makes you happy and realizing we don’t all have to fit into this cookie cutter mold that society tells us we have to follow in order to succeed. You are going to be great and I’m sure you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams! I recently quit my job as a hotel manager to follow my dreams. I moved to NYC and worked SO hard for this job and for a while I thought I loved it until one day I realized that it just wasn’t the right fit and my true passion was health and fitness. It took me about 5 months to get to a place where I could quit my job and now I am HAPPIER then I’ve ever been and in October I will start my one year program to get certified to be a holistic health coach. It is an amazing feeling :) I wish you all the best!! xo

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The Road Less Travelled September 21, 2012 at 12:23 PM

One of the best books to read if and when you have the time (maybe in December break) is M. Scott Peck – THE ROAD LESS TRAVELLED. Training the ability to get through the hard parts of life is like your workout. But then, a workout is over in only one hour and many life events can be years. So How do you persevere? How do you take something that seems like a burden and let it be your golden ticket? How do you take what you have right now and run with it? Like the quarterback catching a bad throw……how do you make a touchdown anyway (or do you blame the other guy — that was a crumby throw)? You are on the field and what will you do now that you ARE in the game? RIght NOW, this is called thinking on your feet. How can you strategize now while you are still on the playing field?

HOW you play the game doesn’t have to be the way everyone else does. Taking time to figure out what you are doing is good but does that mean you have to leave the playing field and the team or just the team?

Use all your resources, all the free counseling at your school. Get someone to take you under their wing and not let you slip through the cracks. Take your education into your hands. At N.Y.U. there was a school called Gallatin — the school without walls. Many of my friends made their own degree programs because they were already DOING things beyond their peers (like running a dance company). Is there a school without walls in your University? Check it out.

I certainly had to persist through first and second year classes with graduates who were not much older than myself trying to teach in private university with no training in methods of teaching at all. But at the end of the day, even though I felt I could “grade” them — the “grade” was on me and my future. Learning to deal with people who are you boss or teacher who may not be the best is going to be an education in itself. Dealing with difficult situations and people takes a special person with persistance and stick-tuitiveness. Learning when you have had enough is also important. But it is easy to leave and harder to stay but — make things work FOR YOU.

I am wondering if a school that allows you to create your program may work best for you as then you get to shape what goes into your program. If you can find that where you are or get the counseling every week while you are there at your University to help you on your career path please do! And, switch counselors if one doesn’t seem to be guiding you where you need to get answers and really make them work to help you find the best fit for you.

Take the ball and run, but remember to keep one foot on the playing field.

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Wayne Schoeneberg April 26, 2013 at 8:24 AM

I have lived a life that many people envy and many people criticize. It is funny how others view us. It is important how we view ourselves. I remember sitting on a bench on Broadway in NYC one morning when I was in my 50′s. It was up near West 154th Street. I was waiting for my then very young actor/model/bartender girlfriend to get out of bed. I had flown there for the weekend to visit from my home is St. Louis. I was just sitting and thinking. I was dreaming about what I would do in the future. What kind of adventure I would have when it was time to start having adventures? Then, I realized that this moment is the adventure. I looked at the things I had done, the places I had traveled, the accomplishments I had achieved. I mean here I was sitting in NYC on a weekend jaunt to see my young, beautiful girlfriend who loved me, I had not a care in the world, I had the money to do what I want, a profession that served me well, had traveled to many countries, spoke different languages and yet I was failing to recognize that I was living the life I wanted. I realized I was living the adventure. Each day IS the adventure. Now I wake up each morning loving the new adventure or treasure that the day will reveal. I wish you the perspective you need to enjoy every minute.

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