That One Time I Dropped Out of College...
This post was written by Ashley from House of Dorough, my guest blogger. I missed putting up her post last week so I wanted to put it up today!
When I was younger, I really struggled with what I wanted to be when I grew up. As a young child, I wanted to be a teacher. I had an entire classroom filled with kid chairs, stuffed animal "students" and my chalkboard. I would teach my students daily and I absolutely loved to use my imagination.
When I got a little older, we moved to a bigger house. My teaching situation got upgraded. I got an actual dry erase board (thanks to my stepdad who took me to Home Depot and bought it for me) and I started typing out lesson plans on the computer. I would hand out worksheets to my imaginary students, including my little brother who wasn't imaginary. I had a very obvious underlying drive for being creative and doing unusual things that most other kids didn't want to spend time doing.
Fast forward to... high school. I REALLY didn't know what direction to take in my life. Did I really want to be a teacher? No. I was terrible at academics (except for the ones I was truly interested in) and the idea of going to school for more school and to be consumed by school for the rest of my life made me abandon that plan completely.
I started diving into more creative things. I did theater and acting and loved it. I started putting on concerts for my friends bands at local venues and fell in love with that. Before I knew it, I was a 16, a college promoter and doing shows for bands like Underoath, As I Lay Dying, and Haste the Day. You probably wouldn't be familiar with any of those bands, but they were big during my day! After a year, I stopped and thought that maybe I should focus on high school a little bit more. I tried my hand at modeling during my senior year of high school, and I was the youngest plus size model to be signed to a big agency in Atlanta. I didn't realize that I would need to be constantly available, and because of school and my after school job, I wasn't. Unfortunately, I had to draw away from modeling and get back into the school grind.
My parents insisted that I try college, so I did. But I had no sense of direction. I switched majors 3 times my freshman year, and struggled a lot to stay motivated. After a year of college, I was 19 and completely lost. I dropped out and decided to move to a city where I had never been before. I found a nanny job in Philadelphia that would cover the cost of living and then some, and I made the plunge. My parents were really concerned and absolutely did not want me to go. That year I spent in Philadelphia was life changing. I got inspired to live, dream, and be successful.
I moved back home after a year, because I started to miss my family. I had new aspirations that I wanted to act on. I made a game plan: I moved back home and enrolled in community college. I wanted to major in journalism. Only this time, I found it really hard again to focus on school. I still had some core classes to complete, and it was so incredibly hard because I frankly just didn't want to be there. I had a rough semester full of highs and lows. My GPA dropped to a 1.7 and I was back to square one. The following semester, I went through a series of things that led me to what I felt was hitting rock bottom. And one day... it clicked. I needed help. I went to a psychiatrist who found me the right medication to help me focus. Three semesters later, I had a 3.9 GPA and was graduating. I transferred into the college of my dreams that I never thought would be possible: The University of Georgia. I'm not sure how I got in, but I'll just give that one to the man upstairs. There, I got into the journalism school and followed my dreams. I studied Telecommunication Arts (basically film & tv production) where I had a blast making short films and writing scripts. I had finally found my place, but it just took me awhile to get there. I also met the love of my life my senior year of college, and we are now married with a baby girl.
I struggled with ADD my whole life, but no one noticed because I was a daydreamer, not a hyperactive kid. Once I proved to myself I could succeed and taught myself how to focus, I weaned myself off of the medication with the help of my doctor. I'm not saying that medication is the answer for you. Learning how to focus and succeed is key. I still struggle with focusing and ADD in my every day life.
If you're feeling lost, confused or frustrated... know you're not alone. Take a step back from everything that everyone else wants you to do. Pray, meditate, or just focus on your dreams. If you don't have any dreams, open up yourself to the world. Travel. Find yourself. Be smart. Better yourself. Think of the person you want to be when you're in your 50s. What will you have accomplished by then? I promise you, you won't regret it.