There’s something bittersweet about being right around that age that nearly all of your fellow classmates from high school are finishing their 4-year degrees and beginning to pave the road for their successful careers. You can’t really pinpoint whether or not you’re jealous, or happy to see everyone doing well in whatever they ended up pursuing after graduation.
Your life, however, consists of waking up every morning whenever the hell you feel like it, throwing on a pair of jeans and a tshirt, and making it just-on-time to your (barely) full-time waitressing job. Here you find yourself surrounded with 30- and 40- something-year-olds that have never found anything they were more passionate about other than slingin’ booze and eats to the entitled, fancy-shmancy, overrated somebodies of the local “business” class, and the local hipsters that just “love the atmosphere and vibes of the place.” The money is great, and you support yourself just fine. Bills are paid, and then some, but you can’t help but feel like your intelligence is declining by the minute.
I dropped out of college because I hit the turning point in my (very early) adult life in which I realized I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to spend the rest of my days doing. I didn’t gain enough experience and adventure in my teenage years to know exactly what kinds of things I particularly enjoyed. The goal is supposed to be to love your job so much that it doesn’t feel like work. But what if you just aren’t exactly sure what kind of job you’d love in the long-run?
Now you’re stuck between the ticking clock and the exhausting, repetitive, excruciating life of a waitress, and it’s been three years and counting since you’ve graduated high school. You’ve finished at the local college, and did a semester at a university, but you made the impulse decision to move out on your own. You discovered the freedom of being able to binge drink and roam the world with no rules or boundaries at all hours of the night, and focusing on school became the last of your priorities. Now you have bills, and a lawn to keep up on, and cleaning to do, and a pet to walk and feed. You’ll go back to school when the time is right. No point in wasting money on a degree in a field you’d most likely end up despising, right?
There are so many people like us. There are so many 20-somethings that were once such outstanding students, and over-achievers that we burnt ourselves out just minutes into that college career. And that is perfectly fine. Society has it drilled so far into our overworked minds that we have to stay on this track of education in order to gain the knowledge that is required for success. While that may be the road for a lot of people, it simply just isn’t for others.
Take those couple years off. Break your back working in a local diner. Save up all of those tips and take an impulse vacation somewhere extremely captivating. Spend one too many nights at the local tavern. Spend tons of time with your family. Spend majority of your nights after work bug-eyed in front of Netflix with an espresso just to keep up on your favorite series. Do whatever the hell makes you happy.
On your deathbed, you’re not going to measure your quality of life by the grades you obtained in school. You’re not going to beat yourself up for taking that extra time off to come up with a better plan for how you want to live your life (and enjoying yourself in the process.) You’re not going to regret all of the friends you’ve made that you would’ve never crossed paths with if you’d have gone away for college. You won’t regret all of the things you do, as long as you always do exactly what it is that makes you happy.