I “announced” on twitter that I had some pretty big news that I’d share with you guys. I mean, the word “announce” makes it sound all big and important and probably made you think it had something to do with you, and perhaps it does. Maybe the decision I have been going back and forth with for quite some time until finally coming to a solid conclusion, will help you make yours. Let me start by going back to the early days of elementary school.
I was a nerd. I was THE nerd. I was THE teacher’s pet (not as annoying and never the person constantly raising their hand up to answer every question, because I was shy and awkward) but I just did my work, I got really good grades, and I had great relationships with my teachers. That’s really all it was to me. School has always been my safe place. I can do school, and I can do it well. I can spend hours of my time color-coding my notes and adding page numbers and a table of content to my notebooks because I’m a weirdo, and I think it’s fun. I can spend days and nights living off of coffee and little to no sleep, just studying. I was the ideal candidate for university because I pretty much fit all the criteria. That was, until I got here.
I’ve told you guys before that I once had a plan for myself. I was going to finish high school, do my undergrad, my masters, my PhD in Clinical Psychology, and then go straight to work. That plan, as you all may know if you’ve read my posts from time to time, has fallen apart over the years. Clinical psychology seemed like the perfect route for me. I’ve always wanted to pursue a career where I could live my life to help others while also being able to pay my bills and this field hit both the check-marks! Kind of perfect, right? Wrong!
Over the years, I’ve begun to understand my love of learning about people and watching people (okay, it sounds creepy but all you people-watching lovers should get where I’m coming from). I used to be a really quiet person and I’ve always been a strong listener which has helped me throughout the years because I’ve learned that being the person who always has something to say doesn’t necessarily make you more knowledgeable. I think it’s more important to have to hear what others have to say and take it in, understand it, and take time to digest the information before deciding whether you agree with it or not. Listening gives you perspective and I think that’s also helped me as a writer. Observation can take you places. You heard it here first, folks!
Now, let’s just jump into the subject of part-time jobs. I have always hated working. For some reason, going in to work has always given me great anxiety. It doesn’t matter if I get along with everyone there and the work environment is great – I just don’t like it, or I guess, I didn’t like it. Then again, I’ve only really worked at fast-food joints and restaurants. Despite my hatred towards going in to work, I have always been a great worker. I am someone who loves working while I’m on the job, however, going in to work (like that 20 minute time frame before clocking in), I panic. If I were to paint a picture for you, imagine what a person looks like when they are experiencing a heart attack, and that was what it felt like in my brain. So as a result of that, I called in sick quite often and gave most of my shifts away. As much as I loved working while I was there, the pre-panic attacks were not worth it. Maybe a part of it was the “people-pleaser” in me that gets anxious that I might screw up and everyone will hate me and I’ll become the worst employee. Another part of me simply hated the routine lifestyle that it promoted. So I moved around a lot from job to job. Having a job was never much of an option for me, only because in short, I needed to survive and help my mom pay the bills. So recently, when I got a job at my favourite clothing store, Urban Outfitters, I was giddy and excited, but cautious at the same time because it was likely that this will be yet another temporary gig, meaning that I should still keep copies of my resume at hand.
Then, something happened. Instead of that panic moment, I began to feel excitement with going to work. I walked in to an environment that embraced creativity and freedom of expression. I don’t work with people who constantly nag me about what I’m going to do with my degree. Instead, the topic of creative passions always seems to arise. I get to talk about my writing and they talk about their passion of strumming the strings of their acoustic guitar or the feeling they get when they colour a page with delicate strokes of a brush. I work with creatives and with that, I learned that my one stop for everything in my wardrobe was also my one stop at finding my kind of people. The environment is hectic and you have to constantly run around, completing different tasks as you go. Every day is different and you never really know what you’re going to have to deal with when you go to work. It’s busy and chaotic and overwhelmingly exciting. It’s my element. With that, Urban Outfitters has become my home. It’s a place that offers opportunities in not only retail, but also other departments. A place that has visual departments, craftsmen, fashion, music, and the one thing that’s dearest to my heart: writing.
With my internship, working, and full-time school, things have been more than chaotic lately. I get to fall in love with writing each day as I make my way through my internship. I get to surround myself with creative people at work. School however, has become less and less important in my life. It’s not to say that I haven’t learned anything from it, but it’s more than I’ve found something better, and I almost feel like school is holding me back from going further into what I want to do with my life. School is routine-based whereas I’m looking for a beautiful mess to conquer.
I saw a quote recently as I was scrolling through my pinterest feed that said “You did not wake up today to be mediocre,” and it hit a nerve. I feel that right now, school is the only thing stopping me from becoming more, from doing more. For someone who loved school, I know that a lot of that love came from the safety it gave me. I know that as long as I’m in school, even though I’m accumulating debt, I can put the real world on pause. But school is boring for me. The content is interesting and something I would enjoy doing if it weren’t so structured and rushed.
In a post I published a while back, I mentioned that I wanted to remove all backup plans in my life so that with whatever I decide to pursue, there is no option but to succeed in it, and I think my time at school is coming to an end. From wanting to continue studies until my late 20’s to finishing up this year and graduating early, it’s probably the greatest risk I’ll ever take. I hold a lot of importance to education. I think it’s a great base for knowledge, not only about the world, but yourself. At the same time, I think learning by actively doing something is also very important. I think taking risks are important. Most of all, I think listening to your gut is important. I don’t think school is for everyone, and I learned that as much as I want it to, it isn’t for me. I like being busy. I like running around. I like having tasks thrown at me to complete for a deadline. That’s what I get at my internship and Urban Outfitters, but not university. I don’t like sitting in lectures for hours at a time because I’m a fidgety person and I need to constantly be doing things. I don’t like reading books to be rushed and forced because it’s something I otherwise, naturally enjoy doing. I like busy. I like chaos. But I despise structure, and that’s what school really is. That’s why I think it’s great for some people, but I’m not one of them.
Maybe jumping into the real world and figuring things out when I have no plan at all is the worst idea and will lead me to great distress. Or, maybe it will be the best decision I will ever make. Either way, instead of completing 4 years, I’ll finish up after my 3rd (this year) and work full-time, keep writing at my internship and blog, find other writing gigs, and basically just see where life takes me. Every individual that I admire is someone who has taken great risks in life and it led them to great struggle but then, great success. I have no idea what I’m doing, but for once, I think I’m headed in the right direction and I need to trust my gut on this one. In order to have great things come your way, you have to believe that you deserve them and have the confidence to just go for it (or do what I’m doing and fake it ’till you make it!)
This year is going to continue being tough because I have a lot on my plate, right now. But, I hope you guys will stick around for this exciting/terrifying adventure I hope is coming my way.