Getting Through The Disappointment Of Not Graduating College

Getting Through The Disappointment Of Not Graduating College

Adulting stole the joy and wonder I had with college.
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I find it ironic that my counselor told me I sounded a lot more positive about the future. That's the furthest from what I feel. This is the week I was supposed to FINALLY achieve my Bachelor's degree. But this past August I was told I had exhausted any kind of financial aid available. So I had to drop out.

I hated high school with a passion. But I knew I wanted to go to college. Not just to learn more about writing and find my place in the literary world, but to prove to people that I was smart enough to do it. I was degraded all through high school. Achieving a higher level of education would finally put an end to the claims of my intelligence. Could a stupid person achieve a college degree? I don't think so.

As the years after high school flew by, I began to wonder if it was worth it to prove my intelligence to anyone.

Adulting stole the joy and wonder I had with college. The four-year deadline for a Bachelor's passed and I became even more lost. There's no guidebook on how to handle life when things don't go the way you planned.

You're just expected to weather the storm and eventually, things will shake out. But with it now being eighteen years after high school for me and I've yet to achieve at least a bachelor's degree, it's hard to imagine that to outsiders I sound hopeful about my future.

What I have been doing since August is applying for grants and scholarships online wherever I can find them. No matter the amount rewarded or where an award is coming from, I'm applying to it. I knew it was a long shot; since the majority of any kind of financial aid is given in the spring for the next years' enrollment, but I wanted to try. Now it's December and no luck has been had with this route either. On Saturday my graduation date will pass, and all my hopes and dreams for a better life will pass as well.

It used to be that a high school diploma would help you succeed in life. Then it became an associates degree would help you succeed. After that, a bachelor's degree was the minimum needed for success. Currently, a Master's Degree is the minimum required to live a comfortable life. Lots of places won't even hire you without either experience or a Master's Degree in the field. I could've achieved a better life ten to fifteen years ago when the entry-level education required was an Associate's Degree.

However, I would've had to have succeeded staying on the four-year track of getting my Bachelor's Degree right out of high school. Without getting that minimum, my hopes of a better life diminished by half.

So here I am, waiting for life to pass me the torch of luck so that I can finally live comfortably. I don't know if my unending patience with the hands that life has dealt me transfers to hope in my counselor's eyes, but I'll take it.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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If South Carolina Colleges Were Characters From 'The Office'

Who's Jim and who's Meredith?
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"The Office" is one of the best shows on the face of the planet. Don't believe me, you obviously haven't watched it. It has a character for everything, including all of the South Carolina colleges.

The Citadel

This one is probably the easiest. Creed Bratton. Hands down. Military all day every day. No one knows what really goes on behind closed doors, except the people there. Just like Creed's mind.

Coastal Carolina University

Consistently voted one of the top party schools in the nation. #It'snotcollegeit'sCoastal.

Winthrop University

Winthrop is the place for future teachers. We all know that Meredith is the mother/teacher figure in the office, which is kind of scary in and of itself.

Columbia College

Erin just seems like the type of person who would go to an all-female college.

Bob Jones University

At what other school do you see people wearing things that could be from the American Girl large colonial dolls Spring line?

Wofford College

The pearls, Greek Life, and Southern fashion are so real.

Furman University

Let's be real. Pam is a bit of a nerd. But at the end of the day, she does know how to get down. I mean she WAS on the party planning committee. And who doesn't want that Ring By Spring?

College of Charleston

Nard Dog is definitely in an a capella group in Charleston, taking in the city and the history while dressing like a frat star.

Medical University of South Carolina

Andy isn't alone in Charleston. Dwight is down there becoming a doctor. Yes, someone who can save lives and is able to do surgery. Although, who else would you expect to be a doctor?

University of South Carolina

There would be no South Carolina without the University of South Carolina. There would be no office without Michael Scott. The later seasons prove it. They're large and in charge.

Clemson University

While Michael thinks that he runs the office, it's no secret that Jim is the mastermind behind the operation. The office would fall apart without him. I'll just let that sit.

Cover Image Credit: YouTube

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Your Brain Is More Than A Bag of Chemicals

In David Anderson's 2013 Ted Talk, the Caltech professor discusses the downfalls of mental healthcare in our society, opening a discussion to wider societal issues.

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David Anderson, in his Ted Talk "Your Brain is Not a Bag of Chemicals" dives into the world of treatment for psychiatric illnesses, of scientific research, and of fruit flies. His goal, to explain the flaws in current treatments of mental illnesses and present how this downfalls could be resolved is clear throughout the talk. Through presenting his research, and speaking of novel contributions such as the actual discovery of emotion in fruit flies, Anderson displays the flaws in mental healthcare and demands more of the scientific world to resolve these downfalls.

As Anderson explains, the traditional view of mental illnesses is that they are a chemical imbalance in the brain. He states, "As if the brain were some kind of bag of chemical soup filled with dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine." He explains the difference for typical treatments of physical ailments versus psychological ailments. As he describes it, physical ailments presented to a physician will lead to blood tests, biological assays, and various other factors to gather information about what is going on in the body so that a treatment plan can be well-suited to that issue. However, for psychological problems, the patient is often handed a questionnaire to assess the issues. These questionnaires, as he suggests, are insufficient in understanding the complexities that surround mental illnesses.

Of medication prescribed for mental illnesses, Anderson states, "These drugs have so many side effects because using them to treat a complex psychiatric disorder is a bit like trying to change your engine oil by opening a can and pouring it all over the engine block. Some of it will dribble into the right place, but a lot of it will do more harm than good." Anderson uses the example of dopamine and the model organism of fruit flies to explain this concept. He explains how in certain illnesses, such as ADHD, there is not a complete understanding of why there are features of learning disabilities and hyperactivity. Without this understanding, the treatment of just increasing the amount of dopamine in one's system is lacking.

Anderson suggests that pharmaceutical companies and scientists should do more research to not only discover the disturbances of neural pathways, which tend to be the real cause of mental illnesses, but to also develop new medications that attempt to resolve these specific pathways and specific receptors, rather than simply increasing the amount of a certain neurochemical. These new medications could and do revolutionize the way that mental illnesses are treated, and the efficacy in their treatment.

As a society, there is a general view of mental illnesses that varies greatly from the view of physical illnesses. Anderson, without directly discussing it, acknowledges this exact problem. He discusses the differences in treatments, but also the lack of resources that are put in to truly understand how to better treat mental illnesses as disturbances in neurophysiological components. Without, as a society, acknowledging and respecting mental illnesses for what they are, we are short-changing the 25% of the world who is directly impacted by these illnesses, and the countless loved ones who stand by those impacted. A shift needs to occur, and the research and ideas that Anderson presents are a wonderful scientific starting point for these shifts. However, if we as a society do not support the principles behind this science, do not support the concept that mental illness is much more than just being a little emotionally reactive, we are doing a disservice to the majority of the population.

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