All my life, I grew up knowing I would graduate high school and move onto college immediately after. Be it the combination of my parents' wishes for me and my uncle leaving for college when I was in elementary school, college was never an option. It was what I was supposed to do, no question about it.
I am in my third year of college and am technically a senior in credits. This semester I changed my major — again. This time, I really thought I knew what I was doing. I could work my butt off and take three 18-credit semesters (and an 18-credit summer) and graduate on time in May 2019. My new advisor did not think I could do it, but I did the math and I was ready.
It is week six of the spring semester. I have less than a year and a half left of my undergraduate career left and — I am lost and confused and so, so scared for the future.
I have always been in-tune with my creative side. From constantly being engrossed in a fantasy novel as a child and writing my own short stories, to now being the EIC of Odyssey at WSU, working a YouTube channel, writing fanfiction for the internet, and writing my own music, creativity has always been a constant in my life.
When I first went off to college, I was torn between journalism and criminal justice. Journalism would allow me to write, but crim j would allow me to save lives!
Week one, I learned my "dream job" as a forensic scientist didn't actually exist outside of "CSI" and "The X FIles." I stuck with it a while but eventually switched to communication. More specifically, I became a journalism student.
Journalism was ... alright at first. I loved the introductory communication classes and being creative again. But then, I began my journalism classes and grew to hate the practice. Nothing against journalists or aspiring students — the field just is not for me.
So I changed to public relations! Which sucked! Just as much!
Week one of spring semester: I discovered DTC, which stands for digital technology and culture. To me, it is as if every English, communication, design, writing, and publication/media course had a love child and created DTC.
Where does this leave me and why does this path of what many say "typical" college kids go through?
Right now, I do not see the point in pursuing this degree or any other at a collegiate institution.
Hear me out.
College can be incredible, and for many practices, you most definitely need a degree. I do not want Jo Blo from Emmett High School performing open-heart surgery on me without a medical degree and hours in the field practicing.
But for a creator? For someone, like me, who wants to take their art form and put it into the world?
What is college doing for me other than drowning me in debt? I could very well attend a writer's workshop and get all the help I need for far less cash than attending a 16-week course costs. I could use my money to travel the world and learn from others who are professionals in my fields of interest. I could put more energy and time into my passions, rather than into mastering how to b.s. another essay — a skill I have developed rather quickly and fluently, might I add.
At the end of the day, graduating from college might be the key to figuring out my career. It very well could lead me to the path I have been searching for my whole life. I have met incredible people and gained experiences I would not trade for the world.
Still, I cannot help but think graduating from college could just leave me with a framed sheet of paper and more than $80,000 of student loans to my name, following me forever.
It is too late to explore the what if's of me not attending college, but it is something to think about before signing away your financial future for something that may not even help you secure a job in the long-run.
Here's to hoping for the best.