Back to School, Part 9

My name is Rachael, and I’m here to write great shit.

I started this blog awhile back but it’s been well over a year since I’ve written anything. That’s about to change.

I’m 31 years old and I’m going back to school for an English degree. When I was 18, I did what every new graduate is supposed to do – I went to college. Then I dropped out. A year later I went back to college again. Then I dropped out. A year after that, cosmetology school. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to guess what happened next. In total, I’ve gone to college and dropped out eight times. So why the hell am I going back to school for the ninth time?

Because I survived my 20’s and all the uncertainty that came with them. Because I’ve developed a career path that involved lots of time in the field and no degree. Because I did all my drugs and hard partying in my late teens, and too much drinking through my mid-20’s. Because I’ve had a lot of time to work through the expectations of society, and decide what my expectations are for myself. Because I’m in a place where I don’t need a degree – I want one. I have the wherewith-all to give a shit now.

There have been several points in my life where I did things because I thought I’d get approval from people I cared about. Maybe, just maybe, if I do this thing, that person will love me. A lot of my 20’s were spent walking the line between “fuck it” and caring too much. I learned a lot about other people and even more about myself. I learned some valuable and painful lessons, met some people who weren’t good for me, and met others that I’ll have in my life forever.

My education is more important to me now than it ever was before. It’s the logical next step for my life. Personally, I don’t think people should be forced to go to college right out of high school. There are so many people that I know who just partied, got a degree they don’t care about, and went through the motions because that’s how things have always been done. Why bother with that shit if it’s not going to add value to your life? If I could go back and tell myself not to go to college out of high school, I would. I’d tell myself to travel and see how other people live. I’d tell myself to learn carpentry and how to garden. I’d tell myself to worry less and be in the moment more, and that there are few people who know better than you what your best interests are.

I’m going back to school because I want to. I’m earning a degree because I want to. And it feels damn good to have the kind of power to decide where, when, why, and how.