Morning everyone! I have to say… I am blown away by the response to yesterday’s post. I also owe you guys some idea of the game plan.
It’s easy to understand that yesterday’s post caused a lot of support, dissent, and general assumptions, because when I write I always seem to make things sound really extreme. I’m also really vague sometimes. Gotta work on that.
My plan is not to drop out of school. If I were to do that, it would take a lot more thinking, discussion with my family about what the heck I’d be doing, as well as planning. I like to think I’m spontaneous sometimes, but I’m not that spontaneous. I would have an action plan. I also wouldn’t be dropping out of school to blog. Keep in mind, friends, I share a lot with you guys, but not everything. There is much more available to me career-development wise besides just writing blog posts every day. Trust me on that.
So then, what is my plan?! I’m staying at Syracuse this semester. I’m already into my classes, and if I start something, heck, I’m going to try my darndest to finish it. But after this semester, I am going to make a decision about whether I feel it’s right to take time off. This would be just spring semester. I’m about to sound like the dumbest person in the world, but my parents begged me to take time off from school (a semester to a year) to work, center myself, and figure out what the heck I really want to do.
They explained to me this wasn’t because I was a failure in any way (a feeling that comes over me from time to time, for example when I feel “lost” in the sea of majors and programs here), but because they think it would be really beneficial to me as someone who not only has a lot going on (in life and in that noggin of mine), but as someone who has a lot of passions that need time to develop and be channeled somewhere a bit more focused, rather than bouncing from program to program because nothing feels “right”. Time off would be a great time for me to develop all of the projects I have going on outside of University, travel, build connections, and become a little bit more comfortable with the fact that this is where I am now and where I need to focus my energy.
One thing I want to make very clear is that I am so, so incredibly fortunate to be here. Sometimes when I have feelings like I have the last week, it nearly makes me sick that my parents are paying so much money for a University when I’m not 100% sure it’s going to help me in the future. Please understand that I am not ungrateful. The issue is not that I feel comfortable to “throw away” an education. I am so fortunate to have it, but it’s expensive.
The price of an education in America in this day in age is disgusting. If I could go to school for less money in another country and not go crazy banana sandwich on everyone, I would, except I would miss America too much. A semester or two away, great, all four years, I would probably cry. Back to the point. An education is expensive, and to have the feelings inside that money is constantly being poured into school (hundreds of dollars every day…. gives me a sick feeling sometimes) and not sure if I really need everything I’m being put through here is hard. It is. It’s a struggle. And I feel like a lot of students get this feeling, not sure if this is where they’re supposed to be, and results in a lot of internal confusion.
I have very strong opinions once I decide on something, and I’ve realized that mentally I am in “different place” than I was in high school. In high school, I was able to apply myself, work hard, even though a lot of the classes seemed pointless, knowing that college would be like the Promised Land of some kind, where I’d be able to take classes I actually care about. But like the message explained in this video sent to me by a reader yesterday (thank you, Brooke! I watched it before bed last night)…. surprise! What we look forward to on the horizon is almost never what we anticipate it to be. So a lot of students struggle with finding a place in the sea of students, the cornucopia of programs, whether to study or go out, etc. I know that feeling out of place in classes and programs is not unusual.
So hopefully, if I decide to take a semester off from school, I’d return knowing myself a bit better. Right now I feel like college often holds me back, which doesn’t sound great, but I really do. I have dreams, goals, projects that have been swept by the wayside. There is so much time I wish I had to dedicate to other things I care about besides getting a good education and preparing myself for the future. My parents understand where I am mentally and career-wise, but they are also very passionate about me taking the time to get an education, even if it seems mundane at the time. And they’re right.
A lot of you were able to tell me your stories, give advice, and offer some moral support. I was following comment updates all day yesterday from my iPhone and was absolutely blown away by those of you that had gone to school despite it feeling “wrong” and having it turn out great for you, ending up building your career around your degree. Others of you went to school because it felt “right” and lived lives that were “supposed” to be right, just realizing in the last few years that you were on the wrong path. Both cases speak so strongly to me. The plan of action I’m taking is one that will allow me to take a hold of what I am passionate about now — while trying to utilize an education to my best advantage.
Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment, e-mail, tweet, and send supportive text messages. And when I say supportive, I mean all of you. Although not everyone thought that my reasoning or feelings were “right”, you all took the time to offer genuine advice and moral support, which means a lot to me.