I thought I’d go to my grave before I would ever go to college or university. I honestly thought I was going to be the girl who could prove to society that university is not needed to make it in the world.
For the record, I still think this. I still believe that your education does not determine your value, and that your grades and your degrees and your certificates and your diplomas do not determine your worth. I still believe your schooling does not determine your future.
But four and a half years after graduating from high school, I found myself humbly applying to college. I was terrified. I thought, “I have been standing on my no-school soapbox for years! And now I have to meekly climb down and admit that maybe I didn’t know the things I thought I knew?” Admitting you might be wrong, or that you might think something different than you once did, is not my most favourite past time.
I have come to the conclusion that my life felt stagnant. All of my eggs were in one basket, the basket labelled “Get My Novel Published” and I felt as though I was not growing or flourishing like I hoped I would. I’m certainly not giving up on my novel. I’d just like to be writing other stories too.
It really came down to this: I realized that I want to better myself. By not going to school, I was missing out on an enormous amount of learning that I could use to broaden my skill set! It’s almost funny how it took me, quite literally, years to realize this. (It often takes me awhile to understand things.) So I decided to take active steps toward getting better at the things that I love, and the things that I’m good at.
I was always scared to admit that I was good at something, in case that automatically doused me with arrogance. This is another thing I’m learning: it’s okay to be good at something. And it’s okay to want to continue to get better at it.
I always thought I wouldn’t go to school so I could stick it to society and prove that they couldn’t tell me what to do. But then I went to Africa and grew a little older, and hopefully a little wiser, and I met people and I went places and I heard stories I longed to write. I’d like to make a difference, you see. And three weeks ago that meant applying to Journalism four and a half years later than my friends did.
It’s okay to be good at something.
It’s okay to want to be better.
It’s okay to do things a little late.
It’s okay to change your mind.
I mean, here I am, a girl who swore she’d never go to school.
And then this morning I got accepted into college.