Lately, I’ve gotten a lot of those annoying, what are you doing with your life now questions that lead to awkward conversations and unwelcome advice!
Let me start off by just pointing out that someone else’s education is none of your damn business anyways. However, that doesn’t seem to be a well respected idea or socially accepted norm… so here’s a few things to mull over.
I was on track for the 4 year plan. Private university, living in a dorm, eating in the caf, doing work study… the whole 9 yards. I left that track. I’m now living at home, going to community college and working real people jobs.
I feel good about that choice.
People now are so judgemental and nosey! I keep being asked, “Oh are you still at Saint Leo?” or “Wait, did you go back home?” and the answers are no and yes.
Yes, I lost that “experience” that college brochures try to sell you, I suppose. What I did gain though, is far greater in my opinion.
I actually have more freedom now.
I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Dade City… but it has a pizza place, a tavern and a BBQ place. That’s it. A couple cute thrift shops though (so if anyone wants to tag along- I’ll be going soon!). When you live on campus, you either stay on campus 24/7 or you drive 15+ minutes to wesley chapel. You can only eat BBQ so many times before you start to feel a little stir crazy. Or maybe that’s just me!
I’m NOT broke now!
I’m not constantly stressed over having no money. For me, the 4 year pan meant counting on my parents for large chunks of money, hoping the alumni keep funding scholarships and worrying about all the loans I’ll have in the future. That doesn’t even reflect the feeling of stressing over spending $5 on starbucks if I’m there studying. (Again though, that’s a 20 minute drive!) I work real, non-work study hours and I make real, adult money. Actually, I just had a starbucks date with a friend and got a pedicure and my gel nails filled this morning. I can afford that because I am not a totally broke, 4 year plan college kid. I’m not living on ramen, I can promise you that. I also will not having 40k in loans when I graduate with my bachelors!
My parents aren’t drunk at 4 am waking me up, blasting music or bringing boys in my room.
Honestly, two of the best roommates I could ask for. They also come with two dogs, a washer and dryer, and advice that doesn’t start with “yolo”. I live with two people who want nothing more than my success. You can’t find that very often! Just yesterday I needed a little pep talk about not knowing what I want to do with my life. I got lucky and got the parents who respect that I’m 19 and want to live a little. I usually check in as a courtesy, but they’re treating me like the adult (yikes!) that I legally am.
My food is actually good.
Not eating in a cafeteria for 3 meals a day means I actually get fresh salads, some variety and food with actual taste. I also don’t have to deal with greasy, gross food or making sure I’m only hungry during meal times.
I am not a crowd kind of person!
The 4 year college plan seems to include a lot of crowds! From the hustle and bustle of the caf at lunch to stands full of people at basketball games… yeah, no thanks. Not my circus, not my monkeys.
I am getting experience.
Experience is worth it’s weight in gold! I’m learning how to be a working, functioning member of an actual society, not just a campus. So yes, I am glad I got the “college experience” but no, I don’t need 3 more years of it.
Last but not least, I am happy.
When people give me their judgmental looks or the questions they think are polite but aren’t, no one really asks how it makes me feel. I guess all those psych classes are paying off because I’m bringing up my feelings! I. am. content.
At the end of the day, that’s what matters.
Thanks for reading, my loves! Stay tuned… Next up is a post about actual good things at Saint Leo, now that I’m not so mad. 😉
Take care of yourselves! xoxox.