A Difficult Decision, and a Life Lesson

As I said a few days ago somewhere (I can’t remember if it was on Twitter or WordPress), I have an announcement to make regarding my life. This life choice was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve had to make in my twenty-five years (I still can’t believe I’m 25…I feel older than that to be honest), so let’s get into that along with some backstory to make it a bit more understandable.

This year I made the decision to stop my college studies. It’s been a rough road for me in the last three years, and at twenty-five, my focus is no longer solely on finishing my studies—it’s more on advancing my life and every other aspect I have around me.

I began my college career at Western Michigan University in 2011, and I was extremely excited to do be advancing my life. Every fiber of me was excited to be off on my own, living on campus, and expanding my knowledge of many different topics. However, my time at WMU ended rather quickly.

After a year of studying, or rather, failing to study, I was dismissed from the University for having below a 2.00 GPA. While I was depressed about this, I accepted what I’d done and moved my studies to a community college a few miles down the road. It was there that I finally felt better about myself; I began going to every class, participating in the discussions, and I actually ended up with a 3.75 GPA after a year and a half of studying at this community college. Then, I put for a transfer back to WMU, going through many different forms of paperwork and meeting with instructors so they could sign off on the fact that I was attending class.

In 2014 I started going to counseling, and was diagnosed with GAD, so I’ve been seeing a therapist for a little over four years now. Overall, I was still loving school, and with it being 2014, I was excited to almost be done with my general education studies and moving forward with my major and minor classes.

And then…well, I fell apart again.

2015 hit and I was taking the highest level creative writing class for my major; this class was one of the final six or seven that I needed to complete to finish my degree, and it was one of the worst classes I’ve ever taken even though I passed it with a 3.5 (or a BA, or B+, whatever you need to understand the grade I received). That being said, I continued going through my studies for another year.

In 2016, my anxiety hit an all-time high, and I fell even more into an educational rut. I stopped going to class unless I was 100% sure I would enjoy the hour or two hours, and that began a downward spiral that I’ve been in ever since. I wasn’t quite sure what I was doing at this point in my college career, but I wasn’t ready to quit. I had four classes left to complete my degree and I was practically forcing myself to finish them.

2017 was another story, and that made it even worse still. In 2017, I still had the same four classes remaining, and I was more focused on a relationship than I was with school (shame on me!). In the end, it’s not worth explaining what happened there, but it ended badly and I was still in a horrible position educationally. I spoke with my brother, mom, dad, cousin, and in the end agreed with them that continuing school was most likely my best option. I decided to take a simpler class than usual in 2018’s winter semester to get myself back into the groove of going to class, studying, and readying my brain for whatever may come my way. I even signed up for autumn 2018 classes!

And now, at the end of the autumn 2018 classes, I’ve made the decision to stop going to class for the foreseeable future. This has been the most difficult decision of my life thus far, but at twenty-five years old, my focus isn’t so much on paying for classes and spending money than it is on my work, supporting myself, and doing what I can in the world to contribute any way I can. There are many people I know that didn’t finish school and are doing well, or they did finish school and are in practically the same position I’m in with their career.

What this means for me is I’ll be working full time, but when I was speaking with my mom a few days ago, she surprised me. She told me, “If this is what you’ve decided I’m proud that you’ve been able to think about it critically and move forward with what you’ve decided is best for your life. And hey, this means you’ll be able to finish revising and re-writing your novel and get it out there.”

That was the most surprising thing I’ve ever heard her say. Sure, she read the novel while I was writing it (I would send her chapters as I finished them), but hearing her say that she’s going to support me in my goal to become published after revising, editing, and whatever else may come made me so happy with the struggles and sleepless nights that book put me through.

 

So, all in all I’m in a better position mentally now that I’ve decided to cut my studies for the moment. I may go back in a few years to finish my degree, but for now I’ll be working full time, revising my novel, and doing what I can to progress my life in whichever way may be possible. But don’t worry—this blog is also very important to me, so I’ll be active here, too!

And that’s my life right now!!

 

Thanks for reading!

Alexie 🙂

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “A Difficult Decision, and a Life Lesson

  1. Best of luck with the decision man.
    Education isn’t quite what it used to be, nothing is guaranteed just because you have a degree anymore. I know people who got a 4 year degree only to go into a different field anyways.

    Experience is still very highly valued by employers, and if you decide to go into any specific field experience can be more than enough to climb. The hardest part is getting that entry level experience somewhere – after that it gets much easier to move around. 3+ years experience in a field and you are pretty much guaranteed employers will pay attention to your resume.

    I also know people who started working and got their education later on through their employers. Do what you think will work for you, and try to leverage that as much as you can. Even learning what other people do, or how the company you work at operates can be leveraged into a job somewhere else.
    I used experience from an old job at a very large warehouse to my advantage when applying to a much smaller operation – even if I wasn’t anyone special at my previous job, I had a good understanding of how they operated, and my current employer wanted that knowledge.

    Just my two cents on the topic.
    Again, hope things go well for you!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Yomu! I’ve had management at my current workplace hounding me for about a year now to apply for a management position of my own, but when they were doing that I was more focused on my studies than work. Now though, I may take them up on it if it’ll mean advancement opportunities and whatever else 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember when I made the decision to stop going to school (mine was at age 27, I’m 31 now) I received a lot of heat for it. My ex-husband was probably the most vocal about it and how it equated to me being a failure. I was super excited to go to school and university and obtain my BA. It had been a life-long dream of mine. But when I entered college, my depression and anxiety (that I didn’t realise I had at the time, hadn’t been diagnosed by this point) became so exasperated, I started to fail my classes. I left before the college could kick me out. The plan was to take a semester or two off. I tried going back, but didn’t even finish the semester. I’ll admit that I felt like shit for that period because I had felt like I was being a failure in some respect. People make SUCH a big deal about college and getting degrees that when it didn’t happen for me, I felt like I was some kind of societal outcast. I focused my energy on separating from my abusive ex, and then working on understanding and treating my mental health illnesses. I haven’t been a college student for years now, and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so happy and relieved. College can be a wonderful thing, but it’s definitely not a one size fits all journey, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

    Reading your story sort of brought all of that back for me. I am currently attending a community college so that I can facilitate my desire to master the Japanese language (I’m trying to get JLPT certified) and while I do look at BA programmes and ponder if it’s something I want to invest in, I keep myself open to the strong possibility that I won’t want to go down that road again. I love the freedom of learning about subjects that interest me on my own, and I love the freedom to focus on, as you also mentioned, focusing on supporting myself, my work, and any other aspirations that I have.

    I also think it’s so amazing you have your mum’s support! Having a decent support network can make a world of difference when you make tough choices like the one you made. I’m super proud of you, my friend, and I wish you so much joy and success in life with whatever your pursue. Thanks for sharing your story. I strongly believe it will help other people out there who may be struggling in the same sort of situation. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the support! When I brought it up to my mom I was so afraid the stigma of “not finishing college” would be the first thing in her mind considering it’s been seven years, and I broke down, feeling like I’d let her down, but she was so supportive and accepting of my choice of it made that fear of disappointment disappear. I’m happy I had the chance to share this story, and happier still that it can resonate with others. So, again, thank you for the massive reply and support! 😁💙

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much! I believe it will all work out somehow. My world has a funny way of doing that… Just have to make the best of it! 😁

      Like

  3. I congratulate you on reaching the decision. It’s wonderful that you have such a supportive family. Good luck on your novel, and I’ll be happy to help read/proofread it if you ever feel like putting it out on your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Moya! I doubt I’ll ever post any snippets of the novel on the blog, but thanks for the offer! It’s sort of my prized possession and I want to keep it under wraps until I’m ready to get it out in the world. Luckily, I already have someone who is willing to help with that!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s