It's Okay to take Time off of College

It's OK To Take Time Off From College

My one year has turned into three but I'll be fine.

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Like every other 18 year old is told to, I thought I had to leave and go to college right away to get ahead. I thought I'd just graduate, get my job, and be good. But it didn't really turn out that way. I went to my public state university, and while I'm glad I was able to get away from my hometown, I didn't really enjoy myself. Grant you, I met some of the best people I've ever had the privilege of meeting and made two lifelong friends, but I didn't really get anything else out of my one year away at school. I changed my major three times in that first year, and still had no idea what I wanted to do after college. I grew depressed because I felt like I was wasting my time and money and felt so lost. My grades were far from what I am capable of, and I ultimately made the decision to leave, and live on my own. I got a full-time job and an apartment and started over. It's now been almost three years.

All of my fellow classmates are seniors this year, and most of them are moving on to Grad School after this, and yes at times I feel a little left behind but I know that it was better for me to figure out myself and what I am comfortable with doing for the rest of my life. We expect children to immediately make the decision of choosing a career when they are in fact just children. With the cost of college rising every minute we're also asking these children to put themselves hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt before they even have the chance to become apart of the working world and know if that is what they actually want to do for the rest of their lives.

If you're not happy doing what you're learning about while in college, don't waste your money and your mental health on something so empty. There are plenty of jobs that you can have that make good money and don't make you miserable. Find something you enjoy learning about. It's okay to take the time on something that is basically going to affect the kind of life you want. Instead of putting myself through the anxiety and stress and financial strain of going to college when I don't know what I want, I decided to take the time to figure it out. Granted, it has been longer than I had planned but out of that, I ended up moving across the country and starting my life completely over in some place that is making me so much happier than where I was. I've had the opportunity to really sit and think about what I want to do in my life, so now when I go back I'll be ready and I will give it my all.


Still not looking forward to all of that debt though...


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A Letter To My Freshman Dorm Room As I Pack Up My Things

Somehow a 15' x 12' room became a home.

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Dear Geary 411,

With your creaky beds, concrete walls, and mismatched tile floors, you are easily overlooked as just another room we were randomly assigned to— but you were different. Inside your old walls, I have made some of the best memories of my life that I will hold on to forever.

Thank you for welcoming my neighbors in with open arms who quickly became friends who didn't knock and walked in like you were their own.

I feel like an apology is needed.

We're sorry for blaring the music so loud while getting ready and acting like we can actually sing when, in reality, we know we can't. Sorry for the dance parties that got a bit out of control and ended with us standing on the desks. Sorry for the cases of the late-night giggles that came out of nowhere and just would not go away. Sorry for the homesick cries and the "I failed my test" cries and the "I'm dropping out" cries. We're sorry for hating you at first. All we saw was a tiny and insanely hot room, we had no idea what you would bring to us.

Thank you for providing me with memories of my first college friends and college experiences.

As I stand at the door looking at the bare room that I first walked into nine months ago I see so much more than just a room. I see lots and lots of dinners being eaten at the desks filled with stories of our days. I see three girls sitting on the floor laughing at God knows what. I see late night ice cream runs and dance battles. I see long nights of homework and much-needed naps. Most importantly, I look at the bed and see a girl who sat and watched her parents leave in August and was absolutely terrified, and as I lock you up for the last time today, I am so proud of who that terrified girl is now and how much she has grown.

Thank you for being a space where I could grow, where I was tested physically, mentally and emotionally and for being my home for a year.

Sincerely,

A girl who is sad to go

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When Was The Last Time You Were Alive?

If you can't post it for everyone to see, was it truly a remarkable moment?

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Being alive is an essentially effortless act.

In theory, as long as you're eating food, drinking water, and performing as a human, assuming no major health conditions, most of us are living.

The tragedy I see most often is so very few of us are alive.

Now, I'm not suggesting you drop your textbooks and sprint up a mountain, or go broke trying to find yourself in new activities and events.

That's the illusion pressed onto so many of us. Social Media, more importantly, FOMO, has taught us that in order to truly be alive we need to make sure we travel far and wide, eat gourmet and unique food, and essentially, immerse ourselves in something phenomenal. However, regardless of what you do- don't do it without an audience and the value of your experience will only be justified by the number of likes you accrue on your #bestvacation ever because you #lovenature. With your back to the camera and wispy hair flowing in the beach air, you hit all of your angles, how else will you prove that you're alive to Instagram?

I fell for this too. I spent so much of my life constantly trying to get to the next phase life had to offer. High school was fun, but I was counting the days until graduation. Growing up in a small hometown wasn't awful, but I had sticky note calendars until my next vacation. And day in and day out, events would happen all around me that were just too "normal." I wasn't alive, but I was living.

Setting your soul on fire and truly living is so much more difficult than you could ever expect, but not because you have to drain savings and take along a buddy to snap all the perfect moments.

Choosing to be alive is realizing how important it is to be in this moment or phase in life and accepting it for all its worth. Instead of racing to the finish line or trying to sprint into your next season of assumed happiness, take time to notice all the beautiful and small things that make this moment so important. There is so much life to be found in simple moments.

Semesters are ending, we are all racing to summer. Perhaps in the process, take note of the routine cafeteria worker that constantly smiles at you and says hello. Or perhaps, giggle at the fact that in just a few short weeks that bus driver you see every single morning won't be apart of your morning routine.

The farther I get from what used to be my normal, the more I miss that season of life. I haven't lived in my hometown since I was eighteen, but I miss the simplicity that came with my drives to high school listening to Kanye West and the coziness of a small town opening its doors to start a new day. I never stopped to be alive in those moments, I was just simply living.

Wherever your next phase of life might be, it will always be there. You will always have something else coming. However, once this moment is gone. It's truly gone. Don't waste beautiful views trying to capture just the right picture for Instagram, take in the moment.

Living and experiencing life can be as simple as trusting that you're exactly where you need to be in life. Cherish each moment as you're in it. The next moment is coming whether you're ready or not.

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