I never thought I’d change my mind on this issue; yet here we are. When I opened up to the future and committed to becoming the best version of myself, I started to re-evaluate some things about myself that have become integral parts of my story so far. It’s something I talk about in job interviews. I never finished my bachelors degree. I’ve written about it in prior post on my old blog, but let me catch you up.
I went to a small liberal arts school for 2 years; got homesick, moved home and went to University of Memphis. I went to U of M for 4 years (that’s 6 years of school at this point just in case you aren’t a math major). During this time I switched my major from English to Philosophy. I also had 2-3 jobs, active social life, a dog, a girlfriend and went to tons of shows. Other than being tired all the time; I mostly enjoyed that part of life. I was a busy man.
Here’s where I started to go wrong: 3 semesters before I stopped going to school, I started to ask myself, “what is the purpose of college?” I answered myself, “To prepare young minds for the real world.” I asked myself a follow up question: “What is the real world that I am being prepared for?” Then in a different voice I answered myself, “The real world is where you have a career and a wife.” (I know I know, very weak logic there) I then stopped talking to myself because the people at the coffee shop were starting to look at me funny.
I realized that, I enjoyed my “real world” the way it was. I made decent money, and I was doing well in the service industry, and thought I might make a career out of it, why not? SO I convinced myself that I didn’t need to go to college. I continued to go to school 3 more semesters. Let me say that again for those of you in the back
AFTER CONVINCING MYSELF THAT I DIDN’T NEED TO GO TO COLLEGE ANYMORE I CONTINUED TO PAY FOR AND “ATTEND” THE UNIVERSITY OF MEMPHIS FOR 3 MORE SEMESTERS…..
Who knows how long I would have ended up in school! After going on Academic Probation twice, I got kicked out for bad grades. Turns out you have to actually go to the classes and actually turn in the papers or the U of M kicks you out. Really?!? well…. I guess that is understandable.
Me getting kicked out of school was one of the many catalysts that led to me moving to Seattle and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I felt God pulling me to Seattle, so he was going to get me there one way or another, I’ve always believed that. He just used a break-up, an expulsion and Caleb Sparks to help encourage me to head west.
Ok that brings us to now. I’ve always said that I would never go back. Why get deeper into student loan debt (of which I have PLENTY… see this blog post) to get a stupid piece of paper that won’t really get me any further down my career?
Now that I’ve left the hospitality industry and gotten into sales, finishing my bachelor’s degree really opens up my career opportunities. Out of sheer curiosity I called U of M to see how close to graduating I was.
NINE CLASSES!! I want to slap my 23 year old self for getting me into all this stupid loan debt. If I had a time machine, one of my first stops would be to SLAP 23 year old Sam. That fool dropped out 9 classes shy of a degree.
Now I get the chance to finish up. I need 3 upper level philosophy courses, and 3 upper division electives. As long as it’s being offered online I can choose courses that are applicable to my life and career as it is now as opposed to a 20 year old guessing at what might be applicable to my future. So I can choose between management courses or leadership courses! Sidenote, the online philosophy degree is a concentration in ethics, one of my favorite movies growing up is Billy Madison, so I find it fitting that I will have to take Business Ethics.
My point to all of this: Be careful when you plant your flag in a situation or circumstance and integrate that into who you. If you are looking to grow and change willingness to question or challenge everything is a necessity. Be open to what life has for you. For a whole decade, I doubted both my ability and willingness to finish something I started. I didn’t believe I could and didn’t see value in finishing, so I didn’t even try. I stubbornly planted a flag in this failure and refused to learn from it. Until now….
Finish what you start, and if you’re paying thousand of dollars for an education, don’t take that for granted.
Wish me luck! I should hear back from the admissions office tomorrow!