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I want to start this blog post off by acknowledging that I realize that everyone is different. Everyone learns in their own way and that is what makes this topic so fun. I get to express the way that I learn the best and maybe, hopefully, some of you can relate. I learn the best by making mistakes. Now, only going into my fourth year of being in my twenties, I can’t claim to be a woman full of wisdom but what I can offer are my experiences leading up to my twenties that landed me where I am now; sitting on my couch watching Real Housewives of Orange County, drinking coffee, and eating caramel rice crisps at 1 am and being completely okay with it.
Where I live, the average age to move out of the rent’s house is sixteen. We graduate high school in grade eleven and are then expected to know exactly what we want to study and become by the end of the short summer that follows prom. Yup, it’s crazy I know. There is so much pressure at such a young age to make decisions about our future that we forget to enjoy those precious years of what should be fun and freedom before we get tied down to the real hard stuff like being a parent and paying a mortgage. I mean whatever happened to the whole trial and error method? Is that not what we were taught in math class? Anywho, I went about my life in an unorthodox kind of way which is what lead me to have the outlook on being a young adult that I currently have. Let me do a little recap for you so you fully understand how I got to where I am now. It will be a much shorter version of the juicy, drama that really happened but maybe I will get to that in a later post.
So, I moved out at sixteen, like most of my graduating year, to the big city about an hour and a bit away from my parent’s home. I was awarded one of the biggest bursaries that my school had to offer to help me with my rent, school supplies, and transportation while I was away at school. I moved in with a close friend of mine and started my journey into what I thought would be four to five years of late night studying and brain numbing group projects. I was mistaken. To keep this post from being a thirty-page autobiography, I will make bullet points of all the things that went astray from the plan and landed me as an official college drop out.
- Falling out with the bestfriend/roommate (Classic, I know.)
- Spent most of my bursary money on unnecessary things that had no relation to education. (Try telling sixteen year old me that Starbucks twice a day was not necessary.)
- My anxiety attacks started to make grand appearances, coincidently at the same time my college classes were scheduled. (Who would have thought that living on your own in an uncomfortable and unfriendly living condition would bring out one’s anxiety? Weird.)
- I didn’t have a solid enough attendance record so I failed my semester and decided to take the following semester off to work. I planned to regroup and start fresh the next year.
- I ended up switching colleges and cities due to loneliness, location, and a false hope at a fresh start.
- I fell in love, welcomed my anxiety back into my life, got dumped, and became what I like to call a second round drop out.
- Worked on that campus, without being a student until I drove myself to have the breakdown that led me back to my mother’s house.
So just to reiterate, yes I dropped out of college twice. (Some may say its because I’m unintelligent, lazy, or just a plain quitter. Whichever of those makes you feel better to call me is cool. I’m finally okay with it and realize that criticisms are just a projection of how you feel about yourself.)
So, after I got all that education stuff out of the way I eventually,
- Moved back to Montreal and worked full time as a waitress.
- Quit that waitressing job to move to Toronto and work for Air Canada as a flight attendant with my best friend. (She is always getting me to do the most crazy and spontaneous things and I can not thank her enough for pushing me to apply for that job. Shout out to you, B.)
- Travelled around the world for about a year and then quit that to move back to my mother’s house. (Yup, back again!)
So, all that being said, I am now a twenty three year old woman, living in the same small town that I graduated high school in. I have since moved out of my mother’s house but don’t worry, she lives less than three minutes down the road and my little brother lives in the same apartment building as me. Unfortunately, or fortunately for you, depending how you look at it, I didn’t get into the deep, dark details of the falling out with the roommate or the boy who crushed my nineteen year old heart into smithereens or the breakdown that sent me back home but those six years were the most challenging years I have gone through in my life thus far. On the other hand, those years have taught me why it is totally, and I mean TOTALLY, okay to be a young adult and not have a clue what the heck you’re doing.
Don’t get me wrong, knowing your hobbies and passions is very important. The younger you discover what makes you tick, the easier it will be to keep your heart happy and fulfilled. What I want so eagerly to express, even at the expense of sharing my own somewhat embarrassing attempt at being a young adult, is that regardless of who is pressuring you to make decisions about your future, DON’T feel obliged. You will be okay. You will survive and if you like caramel rice crisps and coffee at 1 am (I know the Housewives are not as tolerable), then you’ll be just fine.
I have learned so much about myself, what I love, and more importantly, what I don’t love by living and by making mistakes. Dropping out of college twice, falling out with friends, getting my heart broken, and living in different cities has allowed me to recognize so many things. I have such an admiration for people who are currently a student or have graduated some kind of post secondary education. Being a student is no joke and just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean I don’t recognize and admire the people who thrive in a classroom. I appreciate the friends that love me and make me want to be the best version of myself. I now know the kind of love that I deserve and will demand from here on out. I know that I do not like living in Toronto and that even though I have fallen in love with some of the cities that I have been privileged enough to travel to, the country is where I feel most at home. I wouldn’t have known that unless I left and came back as many times as I have.
Basically, the moral of this story is SCREW UP. Screw up as many times and you possibly can, want or need to in order to discover what you love and what you do not love. Not knowing what you’re doing in your teens, twenties, thirties, and so on, is normal. There is no one on this planet that knows what they are doing all of the time and if there is someone who tells you that they do, I wouldn’t want to be like them. I have no clue and I’m doing just fine.