Hello! For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Monica. I have another blog at www.senseoutofchaos.wordpress.com That’s the one I use for pleasure writing mostly. This blog is going to have an entirely different purpose, which I will explain later. First however, I need to explain the things that happened to lead me to start this blog.
By the time I was a sophomore in high school, I was sick of school. By the time I was a senior, I loathed it but never really thought much of it other than to complain. There were still at least four more years to go in college, so I just figured that I would have to get over it.
As a senior, I had to figure out what college I was going to go to. I knew that I could go to most colleges in my home state of Oklahoma and the price wasn’t really going to be a problem. I graduated salutatorian with a 3.98 GPA and a 30 on my ACT. My senior year alone, I was the class president, student council president, academic team captain, on the newspaper staff, and had received various awards like the ones at curriculum contests and those goofy ones they give out at the end of the year assembly. Colleges like these things, so I pretty much had my pick of any college in Oklahoma for almost free, excluding OU, OSU, private schools, and a few others.
I lived in a college town (well, right down the road) but I wanted to get away. It’s that thing that everyone does whenever they get old enough. I wanted to explore the world and myself and figure things out on my own. I wanted to see if I could make it. So, I chose to go to Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. I picked this college for the two reasons I mentioned: price and distance away from home. The honor’s scholarship that I received paid for all but about $500 a semester and it was 3 hours away from home; not too far to drive if I wanted, but far enough.
There were a few things that I really enjoyed about being there. The first and foremost was the people that I met. I made some really good friends that I care a lot about and had some really good times with. The people that I met there will always be in my heart. They’re the people that I will look back upon when I’m old and smile about. Something else that I enjoyed was learning about people. I learned a lot about how people work. I learned for the first time that everyone has a different way of viewing the world and of going about doing things. This diversity excited me when I discovered it, and still does. The last thing that I will mention that I enjoyed about being at college is how much I learned through experience. The main thing I will mention is that college is not like high school. You have to be responsible for yourself, or you will fail. Don’t want to do your homework, show up to class, study for a test, get your business in line? Fine then. Don’t. Nobody cares whether you do or not, so it’s completely on you to get it done and if you don’t, you’re the only one who will suffer. That showed me how to take care of things myself, prioritize, time manage, have self control when it comes to telling people no when I have responsibilities to take care of.
Other than that, I hated college. I hated the summer camp feel of the dorm life and classes. You’re just one of many. It made me feel like a product off of an assembly line. I hated the slow pace of the classes. I hated that I could learn everything they were taking an entire semester to teach me by myself by reading books or researching things on the Internet. I also hated the town, where there was nothing to do. The more thoughts like these that I had, the more dissatisfied I became, and the more I looked for alternative. So, I spent hours upon hours upon HOURS Googling things like “Do you have to have a degree to be successful” and evaluating adults and the jobs that had and whether they had a degree or not and if they actually used it. What I found was this: unless you’re going into a technical field, a strong portfolio is a good as a degree. There are exceptions of course, but most employers want to know that you have a degree simply because they want to know that you’re the type of hardworking, smart person who can obtain one. However, if you can gather a portfolio and show that you run a small business online, are a member of your city council, and other things of this nature, then that can speak of you and your value as a worker just as much as a degree can.
So, after learning this, arguing with myself and trying to find all the holes in my plan and figuring out solutions for them, I threw away a $40,000 honor’s scholarship and withdrew myself before the semester was even over. I finally got to the point where I realized what I wanted to do, and the next day, I just did it. I didn’t talk to anyone about it. Not my boyfriend, parents, best friends. I just did it. As scary as that was, I didn’t feel like it was a mistake, or I wouldn’t have done it, of course.
There are many stories as to what has happened since then, but I’m going to leave this there. That was my thought process and the events that led up to me quitting college and beginning to work out my career in order to achieve what I consider to be success. No, I don’t regret it and I never will, no matter what? Why? Because I don’t consider success to be having the most money or being the most famous or the boss of most people. What I consider success is being excellent at what you do, and always striving to be better. And that’s something that I will always, always do.
We’ll see what happens from here, and who knows: You may learn something from my actions, mistake or good decision, along the way.