Happy Thursday and welcome back to my series about growing up as the “good kid” where I whine and complain about how I don’t know how to adult (seriously though. Thank you for the platform). Today I want to dive into my college experience and how despite being told “college will be the best years of your life”, my college years were in fact, the worst years of my life.
I mentioned in a previous post that I briefly attended Purdue University. It was the only school I applied to and I only applied to it because I hadn’t missed the deadline and panicked about finding a college to attend in the fall. I lasted one semester. I took 5 classes. I passed 1 of them… Big difference from my 3.9 high school GPA, huh?
I attribute this to a lot of factors. The first one is most obviously: I didn’t want to be there. I wanted to be home with my friends. I was the only one of my friends who went away to college so I always felt like I was missing out on things back home. My friends came to visit me often and whenever they did, I ached to go home. I only allowed myself to go home a couple times in that semester because I knew going home would be painful. I had a few friends (all of whom I befriended either during the freshman week activities where we were forced to hang out with our group or from my part time job at Dairy Queen).
Going from being told so straight-forward what was expected of me my entire life to having complete freedom was challenging to say the least. Although there were still expectations, this time I had them being thrown at me from all different directions, like a game of dodgeball where I was the only one on my team and the opposing team was comprised of the other 7 billion people that live on this planet, thus making it impossible not to get hit all the time, by everything. I spent most of my days during the one semester I spent at University laying in bed, not going to class with my part time job at DQ as the only thing I had to live for. I had been used to being passionate about my songwriting and being praised for my academic successes that suddenly being a below-average nobody was a huge shock. I had already been used to suppressing my depression for 6 or 7 years at this point so I didn’t think it would be of any use to seek any form of help (although later on, several people have admitted to me that they were, in fact worried about me).
After one semester and only passing one class (my Spanish class. I already spoke Spanish so it’s not like there was any hard work involved in that. Plus my professor was super cool and kind and made me want to come to class. We even talked a little bit about some of my struggles at one point, I think), I dropped out. I had already attempted to run away during that first semester so its not like I had any hope that the next one would turn around. After dropping out of University, my parents didn’t give me a choice about still going to college. I still had to go to community college and I still had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and was still super depressed about wasting my time and money. It took me two and a half years after that to complete an Associate Degree (that I still don’t use) following the same pattern of not going to class and failing classes and struggling with finding reasons to live-if I am going to be completely honest. I didn’t make a single friend in college. I did later on choose to take some online classes through Penn Foster Career School and I have thoroughly enjoyed those actually.
To this day, I don’t see any benefit in my college experience and I think about it often when I have to make large monthly payments on my students loans when that money could be put to much better use such as traveling or even my wedding, or my mortgage or really anything but the useless piece of paper that sits on a shelf collecting dust. I have a job I enjoy. I don’t think banking is my passion in life but I do somewhat enjoy going to work. The college chapter being closed is probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I don’t want you to read this and automatically think that college is a waste of time and money. It wasn’t for me. I have no concept of who I am or what I want to do. If you do-embrace that!