Because I Can't Recall the Taste of Strawberries

Comments (12)
Chasing the Geese

I'm more than a month behind in posting pictures to Flickr. As of this morning, I'm completely out of clean underwear. There is a solid inch of dust on my coffee table, and I can't tell you the last time I set aside time to exercise.

For several years, I've put up with these things because I've been working really hard to establish a quality portfolio at my job and to finish my degree through DeVry. Both of those things are important to me, and I exert every ounce of energy I have to be successful at both. But I have to admit that I've really been worn pretty thin this year, and the constant drain on my mental energy is having a negative impact, specifically on my performance at school.

So I think I'm going to cut myself some slack. I'm anxious to be able to spend more time taking care of myself, so I can in turn be a better friend, sister, daughter, etc. The best way I can do that is to pull out of school. And that's what I plan to do.

I hate admitting that I can't do it all, but I'm so excited by the thought of what I can do without the mental, emotional, and financial burden of school. Making this one decision will force me into moving forward with my life in a lot of ways (hello, student loans that I can't afford to pay off with my current job), but I'm excited about that, too.

Anyone want to tell me this is a super great decision? Leave a comment and remind me later to give you a hug.

gRegor

gRegor

Well, I certainly think cutting yourself some slack is a good great decision. I know it has been an ongoing struggle for you to balance everything. I know you've thought about pulling out of school before, so I'm sure it's not a decision you made lightly. It sounds like you're just doing the best thing you know to do right now. I support that. :)

Also, happy birthday! <3

Thursday's Child

Thursday's Child

You know my thoughts on the matter. I'm quite pleased to see you finally make the decision.

Well done.

Rachelskirts

Rachelskirts

I feel like I should've clarified that I will be going back. I love school, but I don't have time to love it or succeed at it right now. Still, even just walking away from it for a little while is super hard, so thanks for the encouragement along the way. :)

Mel

Mel

Only you can decide that it is a good or bad decision for you. :) For me, stepping away from school for awhile had been a bad thing...I ended up coming back to it and choosing a degree to just get me through -- business. I ended up hated my life. I was lucky to be laid off so I could go to grad school and do what I really wanted to do. Occupational therapy.

And things have gone smoothly. :)

Any way you can go back at part time status??

Rachelskirts

Rachelskirts

Full story: I've been in school since 2004. I spent one year in Texas, one year back home, one year back in Texas, one year home but not at school, and then have been back in school at home from 2008 through now. I switched majors at least four times in there but have finally found what it is I would like to stick with through the end.

Because I switched schools and majors so often, I really didn't make it very far through my degree until I started with DeVry's online program. If I stayed at a full-time pace there, I'd be done in a year (at a pace of roughly eight credits per every two-week session). If I switched to half-time, it'd be another two years. Honestly, I cannot succeed at a full-time pace, and thinking about living this quasi-life for another two years makes me borderline depressed.

So to scramble back to a point: I think half-time is a good option for me in the future, but it's not an attractive option right now. I'm hoping my fabulous portfolio (now overflowing with work from the past four years) will open at least a few doors for me, even though I acknowledge that a few might shut in my face because I won't have a degree.

(Confession: Your story is the sort of argument that half of my brain has been making all along, the part that is worried that I will sincerely regret this. The other part of my brain just wants more time to sleep and, eventually, do laundry.)

bethany actually

bethany actually

I started out my college education right after high school, on a full academic scholarship. I met my husband when we were both RAs during my sophomore year, his senior year. He graduated, was commissioned in the Navy, and moved out of state. By the second month of my junior year, we knew we didn't want to spend the next two years apart while I finished school, my academic scholarship be damned. We got engaged in October, I dropped out of school in December, we got married in March and moved across the country. That fall I transferred to another school.

I continued going to school for the next two years while dealing with being a newlywed; learning how to be an adult who grocery-shopped, cooked, cleaned and paid bills; working part-time; and adjusting to living hundreds of miles away from all my family and friends. Just before my fourth semester, my husband left on his ship for a long deployment, the first six-month separation of our marriage. Then my godfather, one of my dad's best friends, suddenly and unexpectedly died.

When I was back home for the funeral, I was talking to my mom about how stressed out I was with school. For various reasons, I just wasn't happy there, and the parking situation of all things was making it completely unbearable. I got a stomachache just driving onto campus. I dreaded going and avoided it by skipping classes whenever possible. My mom gently pointed out to me that the world wasn't going to end if I didn't get my degree in four or five years, and in fact if I never got my degree at all, the world would keep spinning.

That was a REVELATION to me. I dropped out of school and was so much happier. I do plan on going back to school eventually to finish my degree, but I've been totally okay in the last ten years without it.

Rachelskirts

Rachelskirts

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I mean that with all of my heart. I tried not to be too wavery when writing this post, but let's face it, this is the kind of decision that can really affect one's future in a pretty big way. There is a lot of potential for regret here, and while I don't have much regret in my life now, I can't help but fantasize about the hundreds of different ways this choice could come back to bite me in the bum later.

I'm coping by telling myself that I can finish my degree later, that I have a portfolio that is almost too fabulous to be denied, and that I have a wonderful support system of friends and family members should this turn out to lead to an even more stressful time in life. (Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out.)

All the same, this is a path that almost none of my friends have chosen (or chosen and liked), so I'm glad to hear your "success story," so to speak. Although really, you're way too fierce to be held back by anything, so color me not surprised. ;)

bethany actually

bethany actually

You're so welcome! I'm glad I could help you feel a little better. And you know, really, if you figure out that this path isn't for you, all you need to do is re-enroll. Easy peasy. :-) (Would it also help to know that one of my mom's best friends went back to school when she was 35, worked for seven years to earn her B.A. at the age of 42, and has since worked as a teacher and gone on to earn her Master's?)

phampants

phampants

After the word "underwear," I misread "inch" for "itch" and was wondering where you were going with this.

"Every great wizard in history has started out as nothing more then what we are *now*. If they can do it, why not us?" - HP

brooke

brooke

I'm glad you recognize your limits and are able to step back and take some time to take care of YOU. You've been doing the school thing for a super long time, and sometimes you just need a break. I dropped out of college one three-term science sequence away from a degree, and I haven't regretted it for one second. :D

Erini

Erini

*HUGS* I'm right there with you, although my decision to take a break from school really wasn't prompted by me. If you ever start getting the "omg what did I do?!" feeling, contact me any time. I'm hear for you with hugs and chocolate, and if my apartment was cleaner (and had a couch) I'd invite you over for girls nights and ridiculous movie/tv marathons (with more chocolate).

I've seen your portfolio and I think it's great. You've got so much talent I know you'll go far and do great things. But it's so important to take care of yourself! I've been neglecting that myself and I think it added to my break down. Getting to see everyone at the summit made me realize how out of touch I feel with my support group... and it's something I need to fix. I'm going to be in better contact with my old church, and start going to Meeting here in the city.

I'm glad you've got a good attitude and are excited about this break. I'm happy you're going to take care of yourself.

Also, related and maybe unrelated: you want to go camping some time this fall? I think there's a trip happening with some of my creative/school friends at some point.

Erini

Erini

*here for you. (we'll ignore that writing was part of my undergrad major...)