As a 22-year-old, I’d like to believe I’m exactly where I need to be, which by some standards, I guess I am, but by others, I’m probably not. This rant is for those people who justify everything they do—*insert emoji with girl raising hand.*
I went to community college right after high school and I remember being very embarrassed to tell anyone. When I did let people know I wasn’t going away, the admission would be quickly followed by “…but I’m only going for two years and then I’m transferring to a four-year school” or “I’m just going to save money”…honestly, no one cared either way, but because I thought they did, I made these horrible excuses to justify myself. They were all valid reasons for staying home, but it was completely unnecessary information I was giving them.
Here I am four years later with an Associate Degree in Humanities (which, to be honest, I’m not even sure I know what that means) and lots and lots of bills (well, a lot for a girl in her early 20s).
So why am I telling you all this? I don’t think you should be ashamed of yourself, of your experiences. I’m constantly asked if I regret not getting “the college experience”— the truth is I don’t. I don’t regret one decision I have made in the last four years, because I know that I’m where I’m supposed to be. I could sit around and feel sorry for myself and focus my energy on all of the things I haven’t accomplished yet, or I can focus on the things I have, the things I am proud of. I know how tough it is to balance real life, school, work, a dog, trying to save money, paying bills. Maybe, for me, it’s like when restaurants have a soft opening…maybe my adult life is having a soft open. I know my older sister left school and was smacked in the face with enormous loan payments and a race to find a job in her major or anything she could make money doing (unpaid internships are cruel), but my experience is different and I’m not ashamed of it. By no means am I saying people who work part-time and go to school are better off, but I am saying that you should never justify your life to anyone. My older sister is extremely proud of her experience at college: she was V.P. of her graduating class at Ithaca College and she’s literally the most responsible, compassionate, and caring person I know. That’s all because of her experiences.
Be grateful for everything you have and be grateful for everything you experience, no matter what stigmas you believe are attached to them.
Shannon Willis says: I enjoy playing guitar, my perfect dog, and making people laugh. I teach ballet and tap part-time and am a full-time café worker. Aspiring to perform in front of people, but for now stage fright is too real. I love music… but not screamo or heavy metal. Also, I have an identical twin.