Sunday, May 24, 2015

When You're the One Not Going to College

As I mentioned in my last post, my senior year hasn't exactly been your cookie-cutter experience.   I didn't go on any college visits, nor did I go through the process of applying for and selecting a college to attend.  I didn't apply for any scholarships, I didn't check the mail every day for acceptance letters, and I didn't even write a single essay.  I didn't stress out about my class rank or GPA.  I didn't apply for housing, try to find a room mate, or choose a major.  It's because this fall, I'm not going to college.

I think that after high school, college is just the expectation.  In fact, I know it is, especially as a high honors graduate.  I've heard it hundreds and hundreds of times this year.  "Oh, you're a senior!  How exciting!  Are you ready to graduate?  ... and where are you going to school?"

My response is always prideful, but somewhat shy:  "Well, actually... I'm headed to Ft. Jackson for Basic Training.  I enlisted in the Army Reserve.  I'll go to Ft. Gordon for AIT after that and then who knows where I'll end up."  And then, nine times out of ten, it's right back to where we started "Oh, you're going to get your school paid for!  Nice!"

Ya don't even know how much this one gets to me because for me, joining the military is about so much more than the money, so much more than the benefits, and so much more than the pay.  It's about serving a country that I love with my whole heart and her people.  It's about promoting freedom, liberty, and everything that is America.  It's about defending what I love and working for something greater than myself, and I love every aspect of it.  When I raised my right hand and swore to support & defend the Constitution, the Montgomery GI Bill was the last thing on my mind.  For some reason, I always throw in the "I'll be earning college credit while at AIT" bit.  I shouldn't feel like I need to, but I do, and that's part of the problem.

And then occasionally, there's the one that gets me the most: an empathetic smile with a "that's okay".  Why does it get me?  Because I know it's okay.  In fact, it's more than okay.  It's absolutely fabulous.  I don't need affirmation that my decision not to head straight to college is okay, because I know it is.  I'm confident that what I'm doing is right for me, and at the end of it all, that's what's important.

And y'all, I'm not undermining the importance of education.  I'm a firm believer in the fact that working hard and learning as much as you can is the way to get the most out of life.  I admire every single one of my peers who has made the decision to engage in some form of post-secondary education.  In fact, it's a part of my plan sometime in the future too.  I know it's become the expectation for this generation, and I know it has it's benefits.  But there's so much more to life after high school than heading straight for a four year degree.

We're all unique, so our futures should be too.  How boring would life be if we all did the same thing?  Please always remember that expectations are not boundaries.  I know first hand that doing something different can make your feel inferior.  Trust me, I get it.  But don't let it stop you from doing what you want to do.  Remember that.

I'd like to end by saying that I'm also indescribably blessed with amazingly supportive family & friends.  For every person that has critiqued my decision, another has stood by me 100%, and it's those people who remind me why I'm doing what I am.  I'll never forget when my dad told me to "never tap out in life", and I think part of tapping out is giving in and conforming to someone else's idea of right.  I'll always fight on for what I stand for, what I do, and who I am, and that just reaffirms that what I've decided to do is the right thing for me.

I hope you make your future everything you want, and I hope you never let someone else set your path.  The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams, and the path less traveled will make all the difference.  Go get 'em.


  1. Oh my gosh ! This kind of came as a shock...I've been following your blog for a while and I just want to say congrats! You've found what you want to do in life many don't find it this soon but you have and you're happy and as you said: fabulous (which is literally ALL that matters). I wish you lots of luck and prayer from me because what you've chosen is not only going to be fun but dangerous. So, thanks in advance for first of all making such a tough (or maybe easy) choice and choosing to defend this country of ours. But you have to promise you won't stop blogging! Haha

    With lots of bloggy love,
    {{{Kadasia}}} from

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement and support, Kadasia! I hope to continue blogging my way through life and hope you choose to do the same! Keep in touch!


  2. Great post! I think it's fabulous that you chose a path that you believed in instead of just doing what society expects of you! In all honesty, I should have taken a year in between high school and college to figure out what I wanted to do, but I wasn't thinking about what was best for me. I wish you the best of luck in your future, and I appreciate your willingness and passion to defend our country :)