Why I Never Asked (PS: I Dropped Out)

Sorry, Mum. 

For the past month or so (read: actually several years), I’ve been going through a mid-life crisis. At age 22. But aren’t we all?

I’m 3 years into a 5-year degree that – when I’m completely honest with myself – I have no interest in whatsoever.

I’ve considered quitting for a long time, but I’m the kind of person who likes to finish what I started. But aren’t we all?

But for the past month, alarm bells had been ringing. The thing that had kept me motivated to stick with this degree – an overseas exchange in the horizon – has been and gone. And what an incredible experience it was. So incredible, in fact, that I neglected my studies hard and failed a subject. Sirens. 

But if the prospect of studying in South Korea was what kept me dragging my feet to class- what motivation is there now that that’s over? Graduating to become a successful architect/engineer with a stable career and comfortable income? God, I hope not. 

So where does that leave me? As a university dropout with a camera in her hand and a bemused look on her face, I’d imagine. That’s probably not something that would appeal to most, but to me it sounds perfect. 

So… why didn’t I decide to do this 3 years ago? Well, I’m prone to asking too many opinions and tend to value the word of others too highly compared to my own.

And so I often find myself trapped. Between what I really, deep down want to do – usually the scarier option – versus what is logical and safe to my well-meaning friends and family. 

So this time, I didn’t ask. And I’ve never been so sure of what I want as I am now- with my decision completely untouched by anyone but me. Yesterday was census date, and as of today, I’ve officially deferred with no undo button and no option for anyone to talk me back from that ledge. 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to be turning to friends and family on a regular basis, because their advice is killer. But when it comes to gut feelings that last for several uncertain years- I’ve learned that as someone who is so easily influenced by the people I trust, sometimes it’s best not to ask. 

I don’t really know what comes next – ideally not bankruptcy – but it’s already looking a hell of a lot more exciting than it did before. Terrifying- but I’ve always liked a challenge.

I wrote this over a year ago now – and am stoked to report that I’ve never been so sure of myself as I’ve become in the time since writing this. Stumbling across it was a blessing and a much-needed reminder to trust my gut, because it takes me to some incredible experiences.