The older we get, the more we realize that rarely anything goes the way that we plan. There is always a bump in the road and as we grow into ourselves, we learn to overcome these obstacles as they come.
I learned this first hand when I was forced to drop out of college during the spring semester of my freshman year. Here are the five things that this experience has made me realize:
1. How much you miss your hometown
As a high school senior, you want nothing more than to get as far away from your hometown as you physically can, but once you leave, you appreciate it that much more. I never realized how much I missed the general Green Bay area until I moved away.
2. How much I love school
Every student would say they would be more than happy to be done with school and to be able to get an entire semester off, but in reality, it's not true. I want nothing more than to be able to go to class every day, to do homework again, and to keep having the college experiences all of my peers are having instead of watching from the sidelines.
3. How to become an adult
Even though I moved back home, I was still expected to fend for myself and to be an independent adult, such as managing my own money, my own time, and my own job. This made me realize that I needed to leave my old high school job and to accept the fact I'm an adult that needs to work an adult job, hence applying and being hired at one of the biggest transportation companies in the country.
4. How much I was unsure of my major
Once leaving school, I had a lot of time to reflect. Like, a lot. And in that time I became very uncertain of what I wanted to do with my life. I pondered about what type of classes I missed being in the most and what courses I would not waste time taking once I returned to school. The answer to these questions had nothing to do with animals, science, or veterinary medicine, but instead English. This ended with an epiphany that made me change my major the very next day and to pursue the path of becoming a high school English teacher.
5. How to believe in yourself
When I had to face the fact that I had no other choice but to drop out for a semester, I was ashamed. I felt like a failure and hated myself for the life I was now living. In reality, it was not a situation I brought upon myself and once I learned to accept that, I learned how euphoric it feels to know I will be solely putting myself through college the next three years. I will never under appreciate the opportunity of being able to go to college and get my degree.
Dropping out was the hardest decision in my life, but looking back it was the best decision of my life. As a result, I now have an amazing job, I'm completely paying for my school myself, I'm attending UWGB in the fall, I changed my major, and I learned to have confidence. Not everyone has the ideal college experience, such as me, but if you don't, then it's not the end of the world. There is always more to come.