• Emma

The Future Awaits




Last week, I made a big decision about my future. It wasn’t an easy decision per se, but it has been something I’ve been mulling over for weeks, months even. If my irl friends are reading this, you know how horrible I am at making decisions. So this is a big step for me; it’s a big deal. Now, you’re probably shaking your computer telling me to, “Get on with it! Tell us what it is already!” Alright alright. Take it easy...

I have decided that I am not going to go back to school in the fall. Let me give some context before I explain why. As some of you may know, I am currently enrolled in a College program called Carpentry and Renovation Technician. It’s a two year program that would earn me a diploma at the end. At the present moment I am halfway through my second semester, nearly done my first year, but I have decided not to continue on. I’m not going to do a second year or get my diploma.

And this is where I’m going to get the, “Why on earth would you do that?” “Post secondary education is so important!” “What about your future?” “You won’t get a good job now.” Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. Blah. I get it. I understand the stereotype of the dreaded college dropout. Please hear me out. I’m not doing it because I hate my college. It’s a great community. I’m not doing it because I have no friends. My friends are great and I am going to miss them severely. I’m not doing it because I can’t afford second year or because it’s too hard or because I’m lazy. I’m not giving up. I’m not quitting. I’m letting go. I’m letting go of a dream I forced myself to have. I’m letting go of the pressure people put on you to go to university and college. I’m letting go of the fear that I can’t excel on my own.

The truth is, I’m done with school. I’m done with learning in a classroom setting. I’m done with staring at a smart board and listening to teachers drone on and on, with dreading waking up every morning because of what school entails. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I love school and I love learning, but I’m tired of it. I’m going to be 20 this year. It’s scary to say it, but what’s even scarier is that I’ve spent 16 of those years in one institution or another, from pre-school, to primary, to high-school, to college. Sixteen years where I spent most of my time at a desk, trying to absorb everything my brain could, because my future depended on it. No more. School has it’s place, but I’m done seeing what it can teach me. I want to see what the world can teach me, what experience can teach me, what I can teach myself.

I’m not going to get my college diploma and that doesn’t make me a bad person. And it doesn’t mean I don’t still like carpentry and construction. I do, but I think that if I’m going to pursue it further, I just need to bite the bullet and apply for a job in the field. Textbooks can only teach you so much and theory is only as good as the practice. I feel like if I stay in college any longer, I’m going to lose my passion for it. The assignments and the pressure sometimes sap out your reason for being there. And that might sound like a complaint, but it’s the truth. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve experienced it. I loved math as a child. In high school I took the most advanced level and couldn’t wait until Grade 11 when I would get to take math all year. Fast forward to the end of Grade 11 – maybe even halfway through – and I hated math with a passion. If there’s one thing I want to thank college for more than anything, it’s restoring my love of math.

But anyway, I just want to say that if you’re lost in your life, your map is coming. You’re going to find your way out of the ‘mess’ you’re in. And I want to say that it’s okay to change your mind about your future, as many times as you like! You don’t know how you feel about things until you try them, and it can take a long time to figure out what you do want to do and then start doing it.

Even I don’t know exactly where I’m going from here, but it feels like the whole world has opened up to me and I can’t help but smile at the thought. The possibilities are endless and it’s an amazing feeling to know I can do anything. I feel like people say that all the time. “You can do anything, be anything.” But not all of them mean it and not all of us believe it. You can hear that your whole life and then one day, you just feel it, you understand it. I can do anything. The month of September is no longer my deadline for fun. I can travel the world, write a book, start a business, get a full-time job. Do anything.

I can do anything and I hope someday you realize that so can you.

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