Tuesday, March 13, 2012

"i quit"

I just did something crazy and totally unKatie-like.

I dropped out of graduate school.

And it felt great.

A little over a year ago, I applied to my program.  I thought I had wanted to be a counselor since I was about 16, so it seemed like a good idea.  But honestly, I had my doubts about if it was really what I wanted to do.

A couple of months went by, and I thought that maybe I hadn't gotten in.  And suddenly, I was devastated.  I didn't know what I wanted to do with my life, and what seemed like my only option appeared to have vanished.

But, alas, I did get in the program, after all.

And I stepped off the plane from our honeymoon feeling completely hopeful about the experience.

Then school actually started.

And even though it was the hardest thing I have ever done, I could have handled that and more if I'd actually enjoyed what I was learning.  But the further I got into the program, the more I doubted my choice.  I liked it less and less every day.

I passed the first semester with flying colors [albeit an abnormal amount of tears].  And the euphoria from the highest GPA I've ever gotten in my entire life was enough to get me to sign up for the next semester.

Two weeks after the semester started, however, the euphoria wore off and I realized my mistake.  I didn't like what I was learning.  And even worse, I was getting more sure by the minute that I didn't want to be a counselor.

It was too late to drop without serious financial consequences, so I decided to try waiting until the end of the semester.  But I was miserable.  It's never taken so much work and effort for me to be happy every day.

Which is what lead me to the decision to drop out after the 60% deadline [where I would still have to pay back my loans, but I wouldn't have to pay them all back right away].  And even though it took an insane amount of debating with myself, an incredible amount of talking with Tim about it, and a badly-needed amount of prayer to make this decision, once I'd made it and taken steps in that direction, all of my agonizing and heartache about the whole situation were simply gone.

And now?  I don't regret the last semester and a half at all.  If I'd never tried it, I'd have always wondered if maybe, just maybe, I would have wanted to be a counselor.  And now I know.

And who the heck knows?  Maybe five, ten, fifteen, twenty years from now, I'll want to go back to school for something similar.  Or maybe I won't.  Maybe I'll want to go back for something different.  Or maybe I'll be content enough with wherever I'm at to never go back to school.

I'm ok with all of those options.  Because I'm ok with where I'm at now.  [In fact, comparatively speaking, I feel ecstatic.  Although I will miss the amazing people I met along the way.  That is for sure.]

For now, I'll just see where life takes me and enjoy the [crazy, unexpected, exciting, never-a-dull moment] ride.

And so, in the words of the Herman Cain: Bad Lip Reading video, "I'm gonna teach you an expression. 'I quit.'"

Or, if you're a big fan of That Thing You Do [like I am]:


Dawn said...

Good for you! I did the same thing last year and once I followed through with my decision to quit/postpone/change my mind later, it was like the weight of the freakin' world was lifted off my shoulders!! I say, enjoy being a newlywed and just watch for what's around the corner waiting for you!

katilda said...

"i play a lotta cards. i'm from erie, PA." ....but for reals, congrats again.

Alexis Kaye said...

That movie is the best ever. And seriously, I have no doubt that you did the right decision. Like you said, it's not like you. You're not a quiter. You wouldn't have done this if this weren't the right decision. and I think the increased effort to be happy is God's way of telling you something! Maybe he has something else planned for you! I'm excited to see what comes next! :) good for you!!

Emma Frances said...

Seriously, GOOD FOR YOU! It is so not worth it to go through something that you do not enjoy and is causing that much stress! Life decisions like that are always hard to make but THANK GOODNESS for prayer and supporting husbands! :] I hope you just LOVE wherever life takes you from here!

karajean said...

I know this must have been a beyond stressful decision. Congratulations for having the courage to make it! I know in my life, it's forcing myself to make decisions that is the most difficult part. After that is done, following through and being happy is a piece of cake. Good luck!

Fran said...

It seriously is the worst thing to be in a program or doing something you don't enjoy, so good for you. Too many people stay doing things they don't enjoy and are completely miserable - not a good life!

Rebecca Elizabeth said...

That Thing You Do is such a great movie! But I am sooo proud of you for following your heart in this decision!! Good for you, girl!!