When College Doesn’t Fit Right.

Happy Monday, my friends!

It’s graduation season! I’ve seen so many posts online of people at their graduation, it’s really heartwarming to see people whose hard work has come to fruition. I love it so much, especially when people are really passionate about the field they’re going into. They’re so alive with their potential and the possibilities that their college degree has granted them. It’s so strange to think that I started college three years ago, in August of 2016. I feel simultaneously as though that was ages ago and partially as though it was yesterday.

I’m writing this post having only recently made the decision to take some time off of school. Which isn’t something that I can admit without a slight tinge of embarrassment. I do feel quite embarrassed about it, honestly.  I overworked myself, tried too hard to be perfect, and as a result, I wound up severely burnt out. And I’m at the point where I’m questioning what I even feel passionate about. All the things I feel passionate about aren’t necessarily something you can get a degree in, trust me, I’ve tried. I’ve been an education major, an English major, and most recently, a Child Development major. And they’re all logical choices. I’ve always wanted to have children and I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Then where does the problem lie? Why can’t I seem to stay committed to one major?

And honestly, I don’t know. It’s something that I’ve been praying about a great deal. What am I meant to do? How should I live my life? Where is my life taking me? Why can’t I just pick a dang major and stick with it so that I can graduate? Why!

Every fiber of me feels the need to graduate college in four years. Even the thought of taking time off of college makes me feel ill. Despite being a slightly strange child, and an even stranger teenager, I’ve always been very concerned about doing what I thought was expected of me. My people-pleasing ways strike again!

And I hate saying that I don’t have goals for the future, but I just can’t say that they coincide with academia. Which again, isn’t to say that I don’t like learning. I love it, I always have. I just can’t seem to find that zest for knowledge within the walls of college.

And I do think that a rather large part of this has been the burn out. I’ve tried to do too much throughout my college career which resulted in me feeling as though I could do nothing. I had no desire to learn, because I knew that I couldn’t show what I was learning with my professors. I am terrified of people finding me lacking, especially when it comes to intelligence.

I am at perpetual war with myself, my free-spirited tendencies clashing with the practicality deeply embedded in me. I want to do what I’m told is normal, but it causes such great unrest within me. I’m not motivated by success, I suppose. At least in the sense of wanting a career. I was drawn to an education major and a child development major because it mirrors what I want, but not enough. And the same for my English major.

If I had my dream world, it would involve me being a mother and also being a writer. Those have always been the things I’ve held closest to me. If y’all can tell by my slightly obsessive writing schedule and my need to hold every baby that’s within a couple feet of me.

Again, all of this is so terrifying to say. I don’t want people to think I’m too idealistic or lazy or unintelligent, because believe me, I realize that this all sounds kind of strange. But I know that there must be people out there who can relate, and maybe by sharing this, they won’t feel as though they’re alone. Alone in what, I don’t even know. I felt compelled to share my story because I know what college does to people. Even for people who have these grandiose visions that require years and years of schooling.

We all have different paths, so why do we feel as though we’re required to accomplish our goals the same way? Four years in college, grad school for some, but for the majority, right into the workplace. That can make even the hardest of workers go mad. I think it’s important for us to push ourselves so that we can evolve as people, but not to the point of exhaustion. I’ve talked about this several times, but I don’t think we should be living these fast lives. Of course there are some people who thrive with such lives, but I am not one of them. I’m a hard worker, but I am not a fast worker. I cannot work at a fast pace without compromising the quality of my work. That’s just how I’ve always been. I’ve spent much of my life trying to change that, but it’s who I am. And that’s okay.

I long for a world where people aren’t turned into numbers. They’re not defined by how long it took them to graduate college, how much money they make, or even how many hours they work a day. It drives me crazy! And I totally understand that people will disagree with this, but as always, I can only speak for myself. I have no desire to live a fast-paced life in the hopes of becoming a billionaire.  All I want is a comfortable life surrounded by those I love. My goals may seem small, or perhaps like I have no drive in life, but I don’t think that’s true. I think that my goals are worthwhile and I think that they’re important. Not everyone can be the same, the world would be unbalanced if this was so. We need dreamers, we need doers. We need people being true to themselves. People who are working hard, but are remembering that they are an individual.

I realize that I’m extremely privileged to be able to go to college and that is not lost on me. I am extremely grateful for all the options that I have, but because I have so many options, I feel it would be wrong for me not to utilize them. It’s a wonderful thing to have a choice and I realize that not everybody has one. I’m so thankful that I do. And none of this is to say that I won’t go back to college. Perhaps once I’ve taken some time off I’ll realize that I do want to pursue something that I haven’t even considered yet. I don’t know where life will take me. None of us do! Isn’t it exciting? 🙂


Mattie Mae

4 thoughts on “When College Doesn’t Fit Right.

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