i know, i know: it’s the stereotypical thing to do at the beginning of the year. well, outside of going to the gym for three weeks before giving up. BUT i didn’t do that, because gyms freak me out, so have this post instead. also i didn't captialize anything because this is my space, so fuck it, no captials today.
like most years and most people, 2015 was a whirlwind of change, chaos and challenges. oh boy, where to start ...
well, for starters i'm officially a drop out from university (although, between you and i, i much prefer the term "extended sabbatical"). YAY, maybe?
yep ... even been paying off my student loans already (whoooo hooo ... oh boo, being an adult sucks). hell, i've made 7 payments towards them so far. but its not nearly as bad as it seems: i personally choose to make this jump in my life, rather than being forced into it. fact of the matter is that i left with fairly okay standing grades (i mean, they're standard grades and would have easily gotten me to the next semester without any problems), and only three semesters left. a lot of people give me shit for that, honestly.
you should have finished!
why the hell did you stop?!?
you're pretty much fucked for your future until you finish. just fyi.
so when are you going back?!
yeah yeah, whatever. dicks. your bemoaning of it doesn't help; hell it only makes the decision hurt even more, so thanks for that.
truth be told, it was probably the hardest decision i've made. period. so far the closest thing that i've got is my decision to start putting offers down on houses, and thats only because $250k is a hell of a lot of money. but i'm not ashamed to admit that i cried. i spent more time on the phone with family than i ever have. hell, i basically* flew across the country to see my sister just to talk about it all week (thanks sis, really does mean a lot).
\* - i say basically because i had already planned the trip, it just happened to coincide with when i was making this decision.
as it turns out, a lot of my perception on the world was/is shaped on the thought of college. from 9th grade on (hell even back in middleschool it was this way as well) they grind it into that college is a necessity. you have to have it, or else you will fail and you will die. period.
welp ... guess i'm gonna die now, bye!
but really, its drilled into you until its dripping out of your ears. and not only that, but it can't be some cheap community college. NOOOOOOO. its got to be some ivy league university, otherwise you are not going to have a good life, and you will die.
now don't get me wrong, i don't think college/university is a bad thing. in fact i think quite the opposite, but i also think that its not always the right choice for everyone ... me included. and i /really, really/ wish someone told me that was okay before i got myself into this mess. also, if that person could also tell the quote making people from above to chill their asses down, that'd be great.
see, college teaches you some really great skills: social skills (nearly all of my current friends are from either work or college so ...), soem good life management skills (just because you have one class today doesn't mean that you are actually free the rest of the day), responsibility for your actions, and best of all: how to hold your liquor. okay, maybe not the last one, i think thats more of a side effect of college rather than a taught skill.
when you are aiming for a career in engineering, or medical, law or politics, then i think university makes a massive amount of sense. hell, i'm glad that university for those fields is a requirement now days.
why? because those fields have so many intricacies and specializations and requirements to actually know the damn stuff that you literally cannot learn it on your own or through a fast pace program without fucking up. next time i go into a doctor or hospital and need some procedure done on me: i want to know that a) this person is accountable, which having a degree helps a hell of a lot, and b) this person actually knows (hopefully) what they are doing.
because. of. college.
so no, its not some end all evil that i despise. hell, i work with someone who has a phd and not only are they pretty great, but they're wicked smart and i'm pretty convinced they aren't the devil*. but at the end of the day: that life isn't for me. or, better put: it isn't for me right now, right here at this point in my life.
\* - well, that is besides their undying love for cats. cats *are* the devil.
i love programming. i literally dream of. and for some reason i am, as i've so been told, pretty okay at it*. i don't know how, and i don't know why, but its played well with the rest of my life. i started messing around with code pretty early on (~10 years old i think?) and eventually -- through a lot of pure luck mostly -- landed myself here today. to this point, i was royally bored with most of my classes, because they were just going over the basics that i had known about for years now. sure there are interesting classes out there that i want to take, but i can't because the system says i have to take these boring ass basics before hand.
\* - although it does remain a possibility that those people where lying to me
well, i don't like sitting around on my ass doing nothing and being bored, so this plan of having to sit through 3 more semesters of basics had me pretty obviously wound up.
i can't remember how many times i cried, how many times i thought "i am a complete failure and fuck up." heh, i'm watering up right now just thinking back about this. it had been so drilled into my head that college is a must, that without it i will die and be a complete failure that i had to not fight society, but my own self. i learned pretty quickly on that society doesn't give two shits about you once your in the real world. not unless you are some super star, politician or someone with a boatload of money. but have you ever had to break your own image of life? its hard. pretty damn hard.
i had to break myself from thinking that this step would mark me a failure; i hard to tell myself that the world would still be around tomorrow, and i had to remind myself that half of my friends (who are older than me, which is slightly important) don't have degrees, or they have degrees in a completely different, unrelated field than what they work in today. and most importantly: they're all successful by my terms.
i still get plenty shit about it today, even from some family members. but its always the same:
you're a fucking failure in life until you finish your degree. and even then, you'll still be a disgrace to society, a shit stain on its carpet.
at this point i just ignore it. whatever. its like a piece of dust on my glasses: sure its still there and it still annoys me, but its not going to be the end all of me either. at the end of the day i can just take out a cloth and wipe it away, no harm done.
after the spring semester finished, i talked it through with myself if i wanted to return or not and decided not it. not this time, not today, but don't count the future out just yet on that.
now days i tell myself that if i let others pull me down, if i let them succeed at grinding my puny existence into the earth, that they've won. someone like that doesn't deserve to win, not over my life and not on my terms.
so, i've got that going for me.
BUT its not all sad put downs from here on out. that decision originally took shape as taking my universities "one semester leave" policy that allowed me to take a break, to focus on work full time rather than balancing the two, and to give me some space from school to think about the direction of my life. that was for the spring semester of 2015. the last time i was at school was in december 2014. over a year ago. time flies.
you see, i've got a pretty awesome gig going for me: i get to work with great friends, doing programming (which, i FUCKING LOVE if you couldn't tell) and better yet: I GET TO BUILD THINGS! HELL YEAH!
and not only that: it pays super well, which i am fully grateful for.
the only down side is that since i still live in my college apartment 52.4 miles away*, so i end up spending a little over 3 hours a day commuting to and from work. that said, i am actively trying to fix this situation because drivers around here are awful.
\* - 52.4 ISH miles away. ISH.
so yeah ... i think i'm done writing for now. this originally started off as a little over 4000 words. obviously i've trimmed it down since then, just because i don't feel like rereading those other words; what good are they anyways? outside of that, i heavily considered if i should post this or not, because words can't describe the internal turbulence i went through to get this far and to feel this okay about the direction of my life. i've sure as hell tried to express at least a little bit of that here, but i don't think i captured it well at all. in addition, like every other personal post out there: it has the potential for my views on these subjects to be interpreted in a variety of ways, many of which don't reflect my actual thoughts. and honestly, that kind of does freak me out a bit, but what can you do in todays day and age?
there is a lot of other shit thats gone on in my life this last year. both good and bad stuff, happy and sad, confusing and more confusing. but, i'll leave that for another blog post, another time, another place.
until then, thanks to everyone that has stood by my decisions through this year, and thank you for the support in helping me get control over a few internal demons and telling me that everything will be okay and work itself out in the end; i greatly, and deeply appreciate it more than i can possibly express <3
- sister, father, mother
- IRC friends