Updated: Apr 7, 2021
Don't get me wrong, from an outsiders perspective I may look like I have my life together. But on the inside, I'm VERY much a mess. The only thing keeping me sane is my trust in the lord...
Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
Seriously! If my life were completely in my own hands, I'd be a complete wreck. But, that's the beauty of Christ... he gave us free will, while still watching over us and giving us strength.
Now, some of you may be thinking "why is she confused and a mess? What's driving her insane??" and here's my answer... COLLEGE!
I have had a "set plan" for college about 7 different times now, and each time I think I'm set and know exactly what I'm going to do and where I'm going to go- something changes. It all started out when I convinced myself that I was going to SFSU straight out of High school. It was a Cal State and more affordable than most other options, it had Broadcast Journalism as a specific major, I was familiar with the area, and I had lots of family living up in NorCal. It seemed PERFECT. Butttt, my parents didn't want me to go anywhere except a community college. I thought they were SO mean and "taking away my college experience" when I had this perfect opportunity right in front of me. In reality, it wasn't as perfect as it sounded... I was absolutely settling for a school that was not everything I thought it was. I didn't even apply to my dream schools when I was a senior in high school out of fear of getting denied... Fast forward to three years later and I'm saying the very words I vowed I would never say... they were right. I didn't end up in San Francisco, but I ended up at a CC. I decided to work during my first two years in college so that I could pay for it without any student loans. With that decision made early on before I got myself into any debt, I set myself up for a much safer path than most people. BUT If you're reading this and you already took out student loans, don't worry, I'll talk about a solution for that in another post.
Moving on, I then convinced myself that I would transfer to UCSB because it was a school I had loved for the past 6 years. I had grown up going to CADA camps there and it always held a special place in my heart. To top it all off, my best friend and my boyfriend lived in Santa Barbara. I felt like it was a sign from God that UCSB was the place for me. Weirdly enough, as confident as I felt in that decision and as close as I was to moving (filled out paperwork for housing and EVERYTHING) I started to get the feeling that I wasn't making the right choice. I suddenly started to have feelings that I should be going to college in LA instead of SB, because it was more of the hub for job opportunities in broadcasting. I had to awkwardly explain to my best friend that I wouldn't be her roommate anymore, but she took it well and I ended up putting my focus on USC and UCLA. I started researching these schools while I continued to live at home and go to school for free. And we all know what happened next... COVID-19.
As the pandemic took in person classes away from everyone I knew, I was STILL at home in my parents house, doing online school as normal. It was frustrating, because I wanted more than anything to be experiencing life out of the nest. But, It was like God saved me from making a life changing financial decision just before the world went absolutely bonkers. So, I continued living for free, going to college for free, and eating and drinking for free, at home while the pandemic continued. And then I found The Master's University. It was in LA, perfect location, and a private Christian College! With in person classes DESPITE Covid! It wasn't the big school I always imagined myself transferring to, but it met all of my criteria. It had the perfect major for me that combined all of my interests into one degree, it's in LA where the opportunities for me are, AND its Christian- so I could pursue my love for the Lord and school all at once. Sounds perfect right??? Yeah, I thought so too but here comes the curveball...
Throughout all of this college deciding madness I was attending MSJC, working at In-N-Out, and working as a birthday party entertainer. I have always been a saver, but during these two years I was straight stock-piling cash so that I would NOT have to take out any loans when I transferred. Working so much and not spending time or money on myself was hard, and I was getting so burnt out. One day, I decided to suck it up and treat myself to a Submarina sandwich. I drove to the sandwich shop, and what are the odds my Uncle, Pat, was there. I sat with him while I ate my sandwich and complained about how OVER my jobs I was and how I wanted something new. I was just so overworked and over it! Pat randomly suggested that I work for my Aunt Susan as something new. She is a Real Estate Broker Associate, and has lots of people who help her out, even my cousin. Pat explained that "all my cousin did was call leads everyday and that he made about 3-4k each month." That sounded SO easy to me, almost triple my current income, and definitely more fun than burgers, so I scheduled a meeting with my Aunt about possibly working for her. Fast forward a bit to that meeting, I found out I couldn't actually work for her without getting a Real Estate License of my own. I figured, okay why not, it'll only take a few months and then I can start working for her until I go to college. I would make more money and enjoy myself more this route. So, I did that. I got my Real Estate License about 6 months later, and I waltzed up to my aunt and said "I'm ready to work for you." And here comes ANOTHER curveball.
My Aunt met with me and explained all the ins and outs of being a Real Estate agent, and how to be successful. Come to realize, it was not at all as "easy" as Pat made it sound that day at Submarina. But, that was perfectly okay with me because I like a challenge and Real Estate sounded like it would be a great career opportunity for me. I was excited to take on this new job for the next year until I went to college, when my Aunt all of the sudden made a statement that would change my entire life as I knew it: "where are you planning on going to college? Because I don't want to train you just for you to up and leave in a year- I need you for at least three before you can go off on your own." Whoa. Did I say curveball? More like a curveBOULDER. Those few words just changed the course of my life entirely. I didn't have a set plan for sure yet, but I was certain that I would be moving somewhere for college by August 2021... and now I had to make a choice. Real Estate or going away to college.
I had to take a step back and really envision my future and what I wanted for it. To me, a successful career doing something that I loved, not being in debt, getting married, buying a house- all of that was what I dreamed of. I didn't dream of having a college experience. But I did dream of getting the heck out of my parent's house. I realized right away that I wasn't disappointed about not being able to go off to college. It was more that I was disappointed about the idea of going off to college. It was my excuse to finally move out, to finally catch up to everyone else who had gone straight off to college from high school. I felt so alone in small town Murrieta, tired of being under my parents rule, and had such big dreams and ideas for the future. I wanted to feel independence, meet new people, and start over. There is no rule that the only way to do that is to go to college though- I'm sure I could move out and experience independence here for a few years while I make money and learn the ins and outs of being a real estate agent. I mean, all of the colleges were online anyways due to COVID... so instead of going off to college I need to figure out a plan for moving out and becoming independent here for now.
As for the degree aspect, I really needed to think about what I wanted for my career. I love public speaking, and my dream job is to be a public speaker. Whether that be via podcast, television show, live audiences, TED Talks, who knows!? I can talk about almost anything- but some topics I really enjoy speaking about are finance, Christianity, real estate, career planning, anything self improvement. I want to educate people and help them reach their goals! I would LOVE to be a Ramsey Personality one day, and I know they wouldn't throw out my application just because I didn't have a 4 year degree. And even if I don't become a Ramsey personality, I can start my own platform. Social media is a huge tool for what I want to do, so starting my own podcast is a great way to build credibility and work on myself. When COVID ends, I want to start speaking at High Schools, Community Events, and other small local places, and build my way up to something bigger. It was all becoming clear to me- I didn't need a degree for this. But I would need a LOT of self discipline and motivation. In the meantime, while I build up my platform, I could learn so much through my Aunt Susan and team "Susan Johnson and Associates" in the real estate world. I could make and save up money, while educating myself through this job as a replacement for college. Education can be achieved through experience! Why don't more people think of that? As Dave Ramsey says, "Focused intensity, over time, multiplied by God, equals unstoppable momentum." With that in mind, I totally knew I could make something of myself- with or without a college degree. I pretty much knew where I stood on this choice, but I asked many people for advice, anyways.
Proverbs 11:14 "Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety."
The Lord calls us to go to multiple counselors, it is stated multiple times in the Bible. I talked to my college pastor, my descipleship leader, and a few other wise people from my church. I spoke with my parents, my boyfriend, and my friends. Honestly, I spoke with anyone who was willing to listen. This was a huge choice! To possibly NOT finish college?? I NEVER DREAMED that I would do that. I used to be highly judgemental of people for not going to school, as it is totally something the culture has conditioned us to deem neccesary for success. But if you have goals, set your mind to them, and work hard, you can be successful with OR without a degree. What's best for someone else may not be best for you. It was such a hard choice for me to make, but I really feel confident in myself. I have the Lord on my side, and... if I look back at this and laugh at myself because I made the "wrong" choice... I can ALWAYS go back to school.
All of that to be said, I made the choice to take the path less traveled by. I don't know what's next but I have HUGE dreams and goals. I can't wait to see what the Lord has planned for me, but with lots of prayer, advice, and self thoughts, I know that this is right for me at this moment. Thanks for listening to my life update, and I can't WAIT to hear some of your life choices, too! Let's BEAT THE CULTURE and do life different than everyone else!
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