Sunday, April 21

The Path I Chose To Follow

Not having gone to University straight out of High School (or at all yet) is a bit of a sore spot for me. Not so much sore as insecure..makes me uneasy. When people who don't know me well ask me when I head back to school or where I'm studying I get a little weird and feel a bit ashamed when I have to tell them that I never went. This June will mark four years since I graduated high school (HOLY OLD FUCK) which means that many of those I graduated high school with are now graduating university. This definitely makes me a bit uneasy.

I have always felt judged for not going to university and I have always had serious insecurities about my intelligence in general since way before I graduated. It wasn't until recently that I realized I have nothing to worry about. Though I don't have a degree, I have certainly accomplished things and experienced so much since I graduated High School. On top of that, I don't judge anyone else for not going to university - why worry about if anyone is doing it to me? Those who know and care about me know that I will do it when it's right for me. If it never is then fine - it doesn't mean I won't be successful.

To those of you graduating, from the Class of 2009 especially, I'M SO PROUD OF YOU! I know how hard you have worked and I'm so excited to see what's next for everyone. My friends have all chosen crazy different paths even when it comes to school. One friend tried a few different colleges, found one she liked, then finished out her diploma while raising a baby and she is honestly the most amazing mother ever. Now she has her own business. Another friend tried college then decided to travel across the world and have crazy adventures and is now in college kicking ass and taking names. I have a friend who is moving to the other end of the country to further her degree and that is going to be such an exciting and scary adventure. And another who is graduating this year and plans to travel to Africa next year. They all tried different schools, they all chosen different paths, they are all amazing and im so proud of each of them.

The thing is that Im not just proud of how far they have gone with their education but of the kind of people my friends have grown to be, whether they went to school or not Some have never been to school yet, some have dropped out, some went late and some went directly after high school and have graduated and began their careers. Either way, they are amazing people who's worth I have never measured by education and realizing that helped me realize that people probably don't give a shit whether I went to school or not. These people in my life are amazing students and hard workers but also amazing friends, amazing girlfriends/boyfriends, amazing mothers and fathers now and some will soon be amazing husbands and wives. These are things that I could be proud of and being a hard worker, a good friend, girlfriend, some day mother and someday wife don't seem like bad ways to define myself if I never further my education.

Since I graduated I have volunteered in two orphanages, I have seen 7 new countries : Guatemala, Costa Rica, Panama, Nicaragua, Honduras, Cuba and Mexico and made countless friends during those travels. I have learned Spanish and lived with a Guatemalan family. I have had my first real relationship and traveled across the continent twice for love. I have worked my ass off as a waitress to do everything I do on my own. I have experienced the happiest and the most sad feelings of my life, I have experienced heart break and freedom and betrayal and I even lost my virginity. I now have no debts to pay and so many good memories & this little spot on the internet that makes me way happier than it should.In summation : I do not regret not going to school and I will not let it be a point of insecurity for me anymore.

 I have learned so much about the world and discovered so much about myself since high school and is that not knowledge? Also the amount of things I have learned form my friend who are in school (especially weird shit about the human body - Thanks Tam and Maddy) is a whole other story - I learn so much from the people around me. In many ways I am more lost then the day I graduated and had no idea what was coming my way but maybe being lost isn't so bad. Aren't we all a bit lost?

So whichever path you choose to travel - travel it with pride. Follow a path that makes you happy. Follow a path that scares the shit out of you. Follow a path that makes you feel alive. Make it worth it, whatever you do. That's my plan.

A little grad photo action to finish it off right :

Big Love,
Bailey J

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  1. Agree. Good post. I struggle BC I went to college, but now don't work. I'm married, and babysit for friends, but don't have a 9-5. Society isn't kind to me either. People aren't really sure how to handle that I don't work or have kids. I'm still trying to figure it out.

  2. Love this post. Good for you! Being a college graduate and not using my degree, all I managed to do in the 6 years it took me to graduate is add major debt to my life. My husband on the other hand got his GED, never went to college, has a great job and is one of the smartest people I know! (it's crazy what you can learn from youtube and the history channel! ) :) Don't let anyone make you think you are less of a person because you didn't go to college, sometimes it's the best route to take!

  3. Although I loved my college experience and don't regret it in the least. It seriously sucks being saddled with the amount of debt that I have. Hubby and I don't get to travel and we both work our asses off. I don't think college is a one-size-fits-all kind of deal. And I certainly don't think that college right after high school is right for everyone. You just gotta do you ;)

  4. I think that everyone needs to carve their own path and sometimes... that path doesn't include college and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that! I went, but I went to four years of community college and got two associates degrees instead of getting a bachelor's degree. I was super self-conscious about it for a long time but then I realized that it ended up being one of my better life decisions. I've been able to do all the things I've wanted to careerwise thus far AND I don't have any college debt.

  5. Love this post Bail! Got me thinking how things have changed drastically for so many of us and its awesome to hear so many from our class are doing great, college, university, travelling, all of it! Your absolutely right, we are all a bit lost, but that's what makes this growing up thing fun and interesting! I would have never guessed when I graduated that I'd be living in Alberta working in Oil Sands, but I'm happy I got "lost". Doing things that scare the shit out of you is what its all about! And I'm super proud of you for following your heart and doing what makes you happy! Much love XO

  6. College and University don't have to be important. There are plenty of people who are successful without them.

  7. I also didn't go to university and it's something that I sometimes wonder whether I should have gone or not but then I realise that if I really wanted to go, I'd have gone. There is always the future too.

    I, like you, have worked my arse off to get money, traveled to different countries and had some cool experiences as well as some sad ones too and I don't regret anything because it's the path I chose to take because it felt right.

    Be proud of everything you've done so far in your life and be excited about the future because if you've done all that since you left high school, just imagine what the next 40-50 years will be like.


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