It’s April, the time of the year when all of my friends are freaking over the ridiculous amount of exams, projects and essays they have coming up.
This time last year, I was trying to perfect my final portfolio, jammed with poetry, short stories and manuscript excerpts. I was hella excited to get out and enjoy my summer but I was also panicking about the marks I’d get and what life would be like the next year if I wasn’t a student anymore.
So I wanted to do a ‘Lessons I Learned’ post today, all about the things I’ve missed since leaving and how my life/routine has changed since not being in a classroom all day.
I feel like there’s a stigma in society about being a young person and not being in school so if you’re reading this and debating yourself whether it’s time to take some time off, then keep reading! I hope the pros and cons I’ve experienced can help your decision 🙂
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Following Your Own Schedule
Living an hour away from my college, if my class was at 8am, I had to be on the train for 6:45am. For some people it’s a piece of cake annd I salute you! Now that I’m out of school, I actually find getting up earlier to be easier because it’s my own personal schedule rather than getting up for that random Humanities class I had no choice but to take.
I feel like the grading system – especially in an artsy program – to be so tricky. If art is subjective, then how can we grade it accurately? I loved my creative writing classes and getting as much feedback on my portfolio as humanly possible. And even though I did really well in all of them, getting to just write freely for a year without fear of fitting someones grade was really cathartic!
Saving Money / More Time
Buying meals downtown every day and getting textbooks every semester along with tuition definitely added up for a girl working part-time. So this time off really helped me to get more hours at work and put some money aside!
I also got to focus on my writing (and this blog!) in a way I literally cannot remember having the freedom to! Getting to work pretty much full-time on my quick draft and a few other exciting opportunities like my mentorship with Talespinners has been seriously amazing and would never have been possible with school in the picture.
Like I said earlier, it’s like society has brainwashed us to think not being in school is the same as wasting time or something. Well let me tell you – that’s bull. Degrees aren’t a necessity in all careers and there are so many ways to get an education these days. Getting an education is not a ‘one size fits all’ curriculum. So when these thoughts of worry hit you, just remember why you decided to take a break!
As someone who actually liked school (so long as it didn’t involve math xD), I started to actually really miss being in the classroom. So that’s why I started looking for more workshops and even looked into online classes. While I didn’t find any online courses that were in my price range annd what I was looking for, I did take a workshop back in November about editing a manuscript and in two weeks, I’m taking another called Techniques in Fiction Writing! There are a ton of ways to keep learning during your time off that don’t require being a full time student, whether it be taking a class/workshop on a whim, or even using things like SkillShare.
A lot of people (namely parents) like to suggest that once you leave school, you’ll never want to go back. Fortunately, my parents have never pressured me when it comes to my studies. No one knows what’s best for you but yourself, you know? But there is that fact that you know how hard you have to work once you go back and it can be intimidating to throw yourself into that again. My advice for that? Go back because there’s a program that truly excites you or an ultimate goal that’s driving you. Don’t go back because someone is telling you to or you feel like you have to. Then that ‘stuck in a rut’ feeling will hit you like a ton of bricks and you’ll end up hating it. Over the past year, I’ve debating going back to study game design, script writing and eveen getting certified as a paramedic. Though the latter is super far from any sort of writing career, the idea came to me anyway and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind since – it’s something I’m becoming more and more passionate about the more I research. But, I’m not rushing into anything until I find the right program for me!
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That’s it for me today! But now I’m curious…are you in school? Taking time off? Let me know in the comments down below! I hoped this post helped you out if you’ve been thinking of taking time off – if you’re heading into finals, good luck, YOU GOT THIS <3