Clearly I’ve been slacking with the blog posts as you’ve seen with all the photography section posts. Unfortunately, I’ve been having a bad week. I started to work on the first part of a twelve part series I really want to bring to you and then things just got difficult with my issues so I had to take a little break from it. I’m feeling better now though. So, the series of posts I’m working on is:
The 6 European Union Countries I’ve ALREADY seen and the 6 I STILL need to see.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that I truly love to travel. I started late in life though. It’s hard to travel when you come from a lower middle class family and feel like you have to go to post secondary school to improve your life even though you actually hate school, along with not knowing what you really want out of life.
That is what I am talking about today: Finding yourself and the slacking school system in assisting children with this process.
Now at the age of 28, I wonder how I was expected to know what I wanted to do with my life 10 and a half years ago, when now I still sometimes question my goals. My goals are set to see as much of the world, start my own business, and eventually own a one or two bedroom condo. Sometimes these goals are at odds because seeing the world requires a lot of free time and time away from home. Therefore, as everyone else I then have to decide what is more important. I have chosen the last 4 years that traveling was the most important. Now at 28, two years from my 30’s that is changing. Wanting to start my business and get financially stable is the top priority, but I do still want to travel which is why I want to own a small condo in the future and not a full house.
Even still though, I debate with myself if I truly want to become financially tied to one place like that. Maybe I should just keep working a 9 to 5 job so that I can just enjoy life with my friends and leave when I want to go half way across the world. Or maybe I should try to get a job that would allow me to see the world like being a flight attendant. Sometimes I even wonder if I should go back to school to learn languages so that I could get a job with an airline or as a translator that could take me anywhere. If these are still the thoughts I am having at 28, how can a 17 year old who has barely even left their own city and didn’t have the money to try a bunch of different activities growing up know?
I was basically bullied by my high school teachers and guidance counselors that post secondary was the only option. There was no discussion for my entire high school experience that it was okay to do anything other than college or university. When I finally made it to senior year, it was just assumed that everyone was applying to universities. I sounded sure of what I wanted because for 3 and a half years I was told that this was the next step so I just picked something that interested me.
In 9th grade, I would say a lawyer because I wanted to make money but grew out of that because I used to get extremely nervous when it comes to talking in front of a large number of people and I have always had issues with authority. At that point I considered being a chef or a psychologist because of my interest in both topics. However, I worked in a restaurant one summer and I was too tired to cook for myself after cooking for others so that was out of the running. Which left my option for psychology, I thought it was a good choice because I enjoyed it and I was extremely interested in understanding the criminal mind. I ended up going to university and double majoring in psych and criminology.
It was the wrong choice. I spent two years there, just bored out of my mind. It wasn’t the subject that I was bored with, it was required electives. Those courses that I had to take before I could take the information that actually had to do with what I wanted in my future, that made me realize that 8 to 10 more years of school just was not for me. I thought maybe if I switched to something that interested me more or was more of a challenge that would fix the lack of motivation I had when it came to the school part. I decided on interior design. I got that advanced diploma. I mean it wasn’t exactly a waste of time, but it was a waste of money. I found what I was truly interested in while I was in college. I am great at business, numbers, and leading. I am also extremely detail oriented. The creative part was not something that came naturally to me, but the logic and fine details were what I enjoyed the most. I could hand draft and render for days. The business plan I created with my group was genius. Being part of the leading team on a massive project for our project management course was the task that spoke to my soul.
High School is all about following authority. You have absolutely no say in anything that is required from you. There are no blurred lines; every project is straight forward with points of everything that needs to be done. How is someone with an authority issue supposed to realize that their problem is because they need to be the authority? I am not built to follow orders; I’ve realized it is probably the biggest cause to the problems I had with my parents growing up.
I need to be my own boss, teacher, and guardian. I feel as though, I have learned more practical information in my own time than I ever did in school. I have learned more about myself in my mid 20s, than I believe anyone with my background can find out about themselves before they finish high school.
I did not even know until 2 years ago that I could enjoy writing and that I’m not completely horrible at it. Senior year I had actually signed up for creative writing and the first week was poetry so I switched out of that real fast because I am most definitely not a poet. However, I think I’m pretty good at writing about the things I feel. I’ve even surprised a couple friends mine with some of my short stories and the book I’m working on.
Building a website, writing 8 chapters of a book, teaching myself about running a podcast, learning about video creating, creating multiple unique business ideas, writing a script to make your own YouTube comedy, and losing 70 lbs even if it all got gained back. These are all things that I never thought I would do or even consider doing when I was in high school. Meeting friends that would actually move across the world with you; I never thought it could happen. Actually wanting to learn French even if you don’t have the discipline for it because there are a 100 other things you are trying to complete, this is the one I am most surprised by since I absolutely despised it in school.
This may come off as a ramble post, but it’s all about finding yourself and how if anyone in a authority role had said to me “it’s okay to take time off and work for a bit to finance trying some new things by taking individual classes or just reading on your own outside of your job before you decide if college is for you”; then I probably would have done that. The words I ever heard come from a teacher that might have told me post secondary was not for me was, “university won’t be as easy, it will take a lot more time to do well”. All that did was make me want to prove her wrong about me. She said it because she didn’t think that I had it in me to complete post secondary. Which by the way to that history teacher who I actually loved for her personality even after she said that; I have an advanced diploma for Interior Design so suck it.
I feel like it’s teachers and guidance counselors’ jobs to suggest to you when you maybe do not know yourself as well as you should before spending 10 grand on school. However, that will never be the case because a lot of the funding they receive is based on graduation rates and post secondary attendee’s.
Honestly, I probably wouldn’t know my best friends right now or be living in New Zealand for a year if it was not for the path I took. One of my closest friends I actually met the first day of university, which is kind of awesome. These are the things I am grateful for, I just also would not be in such a large amount of financial debt right now had I skipped the university years because over half my debt is from school and 2/3rds of that school debt is from the 2 years I spent studying something I did not finish. Maybe I also would have never worked at Sutherland Global Services and developed depression on top of my existing anxiety and therefore be a healthier functioning human being.
I would NEVER trade my friends and the experiences that I’ve had with them for better financial situation, but when you are in debt; it can be extremely frustrating.
To sum it all up, schools needs to give more options than just continuing your education and if you are truly not a fan of something than you should listen to your gut. Try the real world; learn who you are without the weight of massive financial requirements and only being able to do what someone who experienced your age 20 to 40 years ago tells you to. If you are sure of what you want from your future than go and follow the process the government wants. What I am saying is not the case for everyone, but if you have doubt than take the time.
I hope you liked my story and experiences. If you did than don’t forget to like it and sign up to follow by e-mail. My next article will be the first installment in the 12 part series, my time in…………