Here I am, free from the trenches of a 12 year sentence since the early stage of my life, wondering what is next to do.
High school was quite a crazy ball game. I always imagined it to be fun, exciting, almost like how they portray it on TV shows & movies like “High School Musical” & such. Boy was I wrong….
Part of me wishes I could actually go back a bit. Just to change some events that took place as well as creating some sored of personal drive to always show my true potential.
I was never that “Einstein” student in my classes during school. Nor was I that A+ student making honor roll every year, valedictorian, or any of that nature. I was once a knucklehead who goofed off with friends & caused disruptions, then changed to a silent student who would have the potential to excel but lacked the drive to becoming that excel student, often settling for what I earned by not being fully motivated to do the best. My father always told me it is not always good to just settle.
Teachers have always said I have the potential, my parents & family always said it was well, though my problem was when I’d show it, I would not maintain it. I find it funny because I’ve noticed that the only time I would ever properly maintain it, was when I’d get my things taken away because of my poor performance & placed on punishments until I redeemed myself. I’m sure my folks noticed that as well.
Procrastination later became my big downfall as I’d try at the last minute to pull myself back after being pushed by all things I kept holding off. I almost didn’t make it because of that.
Though, despite it all, I completed my one major goal, get through all the hell within those 12 years, & get out with that diploma in hand. Never was held back, never failed a grade, nor did I ever have to do summer school.
What an absolute great moment it was indeed.
But for a while, I’ve been asked “whats next?” And college is what so many are hoping for. I just shrug my shoulders every time, unsure how exactly to answer that as I am undecided on what to do with my life.
But when it comes to college, here me out.
I sored of made the attempt for college a bit difficult for myself as I only applied to 2 colleges that were in reach from my home Wilmington, Delaware. Yeah Wilmington, the city that leads the nation in the highest % ratio of youth gun violence if you knew. Its hell out here, I’m just glad I’m nothing like these people who I am to call “brothas”.
Drexel & Widener university were the two colleges. I had a little bit of high hopes for Drexel as I went to their open house & was interested in computer engineering, but of course I was aware of their high standards & demand for excellent students which little by little jabbed at my hopes until I finally received word that I was declined.
Just like with Drexel, I thought Widener would be the same though chances could be a bit higher due to its smaller size & a tad bit lower & lenient recommendations. Hopes then changed as I was contacted by their admissions director for an interview about my application. I still followed the interest in computer engineering, yet I unfortunately did not meet their criteria for that course. But fortunately, I could be accepted as “undecided” & be under the “exploratory studies” program which gives me the opportunity to search for a new major.
My first ever college acceptance. Everyone was thrilled to hear, I was happy within myself for not losing faith. I would be the first child in the family to attend college.
Then this little thing called reality kicked in. Yay I got accepted into college! So how am I going to pay for a $40,000+ tuition cost? How will I get to & from there? I do not have a license yet, I can’t rely on my family for reliable transportation, they’ve got lives to live still. And we are a bit too far from rich to even afford a quarter of it.
Do I take out loans? What do I do? I don’t want to set myself & my family in serious debt for the next 10-20 years of my life.
We received a financial aid package of roughly $35,000+ in financial aid. It was indeed a good package, almost a full ride. But it’s just that other little bit left to have to pay….
I don’t come from a family that’s rich in wealth to be able to afford most things for their child. Especially paying for college.
This is where being that “Einstein” & showing my fullest potential would’ve paid off as I’d be awarded possible scholarships & grants to assist this matter.
That is why part of me wishes to return, but its already too late. I gave the effort I choose to give & now this is the result.
I want to be successful in life. Everyone insists to take the college route to light up my future ever so bright with a college degree. I want to go, I want to try & find a way to get there. The cost is too much for the likes of my family & I. But there’s always alternatives, community college. Much more cheaper & can spend time there earning credits to transfer at a much lower cost.
But my selfish thoughts wanted to get straight into a university & start right away. I wanted the full experience by living on campus & being away from home. In my state, that just isn’t likely to happen.
I could’ve done at lot better, I shouldn’t have just settled for those average grades, I should’ve had some sort of permanent motivation to keep me to do better.
Boy do i feel the pain….
But then, another thought hit me.
When it comes to computer engineering, the only think I think of is building computers. More so gathering the parts, & the putting them together myself. It doesn’t necessarily take rocket science & a college degree to know how to do that alone.
A big talent I have had since about 2nd grade is writing. Writing is something I have grown increasingly passionate about as it was originally what I wanted to do in college. More specifically, creative writing. I would write my own fantasy stories in composition & notebooks as if they were chapter books & novels & would dream of them being published one day.
But as said before, it doesn’t necessarily take rocket science & a college degree to know how to do that yourself.
Why does it seem like going to college is a guaranteed path to success in life?
It isn’t “guaranteed”, especially when it all depends on what you choose to major in. There is no guaranteed success with a major in Creative Writing. It would be based off the content you create & offer, & the attention you grab. Its not like you’ll walk out of college & a high paying job will be put right in your face with that major.
Computer Engineering is more likely to guarantee some success as technology is the future of the world. That degree could get you in various places & you could really build yourself from it. But for me, its just all about building my own computers. I’m aware of the parts required & how they operate. I’ve done tune-ups & fixes on my own computers & laptops before which saved me a lot of money from just buying new things & it didn’t take a degree to know how.
Not to mention, the amount of money needed to be put up to be able to attend those 4+ years. Some say its worth it, some say it isn’t. I’m just very mixed about it.
I’m sure college offers a lot more than one would think. But behind the beauty of attending college, theres always some dark truth that people tend to not pay attention to & understand. Its pretty much the reason why I’m reluctant to even try to go.
Yet, trying to build up from a normal life takes much more time & effort. Having to get a job, then a car, a home, learning to pay bills, file taxes, etc. I feel like you’d definitely be working a lot more & harder trying to maintain your life than when at college.
Then you may hear the “I should’ve went to college” cry from people who believe had they gone to college, everything would be much easier. But I don’t think so. Not if you went for a creative writing major.
Some have even said they have not learned a thing in college to make it worth all the money, stress, & risks.
And why am I to take all these classes while I take the course I choose to major in? I want to be an author, so creative writing will be my course. Why am I taking calculus? What in the world does chemistry have to do with me improving my writing?
You see what I mean? Those are unnecessary classes that are irrelevant to my major. But I have to take them for what reason? Oh to earn credits as you did in high school. So I have to worry about my major course on top of all these other classes that really do not contribute to what I want to become. Feels like a bit of a waste of time to me. I’d probably be more focused & stuck on finishing work for calculus than I would for writing.
All this stress for what? A diploma. Just like the one from graduating high school, only this one is far more “powerful”. More specifically, a piece of paper. Signifying that I am an official college graduate for this major & should be able to succeed in the world. Right? After all the stress, work, & money that was well put into these 4+ years, I should get something great out of this right?
This piece of paper is suppose to get me places, get me into high paying jobs, & is suppose to be my ticket to a more easier life. But no, the career I am passionate about will not guarantee that. Because the world we live in today are not looking for people with creative writing majors. Which means I have wasted my time doing something I wanted to do & then receive little to nothing to help my life. I have to follow what everyone else in this world wants to be successful, & I do not like that one bit. I can’t be myself & do what I desire because it won’t take me far.
That is why I grow more & more closer to turning my back to college.
I have this feeling inside that I can find a way to succeed without it. It has been proven by many, so it is absolutely not impossible to achieve. I feel like college is just a trend that keeps spreading around to get people to follow the bandwagon & wind up in debt to pay off student loans for the next 10-20 years of their lives. It would be even worse if I myself didn’t gain much from it either, even after all the strings I’d have to pull to even attend.
Thoughts about life really did not hit me this hard until after graduation. To follow the trend & go to college for success just as most would hope for me, or to find success outside of it on my own. That is the biggest decision I face.
Still, it’ll be quite a long time before I figure out what the future will be for me…..