The last time I really shared what I was doing on my blog (or anywhere really), was in my UPDATE post from December of 2016. I thought maybe it was about time I updated you on what I am doing now.
In case you didn’t already guess from the title, I am no longer in school.
Deciding to leave university was one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make in my short 20 years of life.
I started to dislike school about a month in, after sitting through lecture after lecture about how its impossible for social workers to help anyone. To say I was a little discouraged is an understatement. Why was I going into social work if I couldn’t do any good with it once I graduated? I decided to stick it out, I had paid a lot of money to go to school and I wasn’t going to waste all my hard work. I kept my head down and finished my first semester. The second semester was a little easier, I had made a good group of friends both in my program and outside of it. However, I was still spending all my grocery budget in coffee shops bribing myself to write papers and study.
I finished off my year working hard and keeping my grades where I wanted them. I did well in all my classes, wrote the three hour social work entry exam, and got offered a spot in the school of social work for the fall of 2017. This is where it got tricky because I had been secretly hoping the whole time that I wouldn’t get it. Not getting into my program would have made my decision much easier – if I hadn’t gotten in I would have had a good excuse to not go. In true Whitney fashion, I left the decision until the last minute, only officially deciding that I wasn’t going back the day I had to confirm or decline my offer.
The natural choice after my gap year was to go to school, that was always the plan, and that’s what I did. Being in school felt like what I was supposed to be doing, I had already taken my year off to figure things out… but I obviously hadn’t. I don’t know if I ever really wanted to go back. I had spent so long asking myself “what do I want to do” and in the end, I settled on social work. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with social work, or that in the future it won’t be what I’ll do, but I picked it because I felt like I had to pick something. Deciding to leave school felt like quitting, and in a way it was. I’ve spent a long time struggling with the decision, spending hours having the same conversation over and over with loved ones.
I’m still learning to be okay with quitting things that aren’t working for me. I know that this wasn’t a rash decision, and if I’m being honest I knew months before that I didn’t want to go back.
One of my favourite songs sums my feeling about being twenty up well:
“We’re just loving life, we don’t got it figured out.
Running scared, running free, full of light, we got no money. Yeah, that’s us, twenty-somethings.”
Twenty-Somethings by Judah & the Lion.
Sometime’s I look around and feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t have it figured out – like I must be the only one struggling with my decisions, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I think most of us are just pretending, with carefully curated social media pages and poker faces. The reality is, most of us have no clue! I don’t know what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life, I don’t even know what I’ll be doing next year. But I’ve decided to lean into that discomfort, learn to be okay with not knowing, and trusting that one day it’ll work out.
So, now that I’ve quit school, what am I doing now?
These days, I spent most of my time changing diapers, wiping snotty noses, and singing “The Wheels on the Bus”. I’m a nanny. It is both a messy and beautiful job. I get to watch a tiny little human figure the world out, I get to watch him learn and grow.
Of course, it has its moments, like when we are both very sick and tired, but even with those days come blessings in the form of cuddles and long naps. It comes with perks like having actual time off where I don’t feel like I’m being crushed by the weight of anxiety that I should be studying. I’m also taking some night classes – this fall I took Sign Language and Pottery! I’ve also gotten back into reading and have decided to start blogging every week.
I’m filling my life with things that I love and enjoy, and not just blindly following the path I think I am supposed to be taking. So thats it, thats my life right now. I may not have it figured out, but I’m happy where I am and that’s what matters.