Gap Year Lessons

Hello Bumblebee. This morning’s Morning Brew newsletter was dedicated to graduates of 2020 and it got me thinking about my educational background. My relationship with secondary education is as complicated as my last romantic encounter. From 2014 on, things went everywhere but as planned when it came to me attending (and graduating) college.

In simplest terms: I’m not a college student.

In all honesty; the only reason I attended college was that, as the youngest of 8 kids, I felt I had to. Watching my brothers go through the process, one by one, it seemed at the time like the thing to do. It’s universally acknowledged that human beings who graduate high school typically go on to continue their education at a secondary institution known as university, college, extended school if you will. Deep down I knew I was walking down someone else’s path but felt pressured by the unspoken dynamic of our family. I was raised knowing my parents worked so hard for me to have a better life than they did however society’s words got mixed up in the message and I was led to believe that committing myself to a four-year institution was what the right thing for me.

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

After three attempts, I now understand that college (or at least Bloomsburg University) just wasn’t for me at the time. While I do plan on returning to finish up the last year of my degree, I know now that I will not be taking the traditional route as I had intended about 5 years ago.

Not going to school had me overcompensating for what I felt I was missing out on. While my old friends were heading back to classrooms as the summer ended, I headed toward the lessons life had intended for me to learn all along.

Here are a few lessons I’ve learned during my time as a student of life:

Everything happens for a reason.

This is one lesson you don’t need a foundation in education to learn. The universe has shown me this past year that It will continue to give me the same lesson over and over again until I learn from it. I stopped saying things like “why is this happening to me?” and started asking “what can I learn from this?” God speaks louder when we listen, what counterproductive or disruptive pattern is present in your day to day life?

Do what feels right for you.

The education system molded my mind to believe that in life there is always a right way and a wrong way to do everything from solving a math problem to writing poetry. As an artist, this thought had me ultimately feeling defeated on an everyday basis as I was constantly struggling to create things that were “right” or perfect according to everyone else’s standards. When I began creating things without the pressure of a grading system, it opened my mind up to a whole world of possibilities.

Your life is a direct reflection of how you spend your time.

If you are unhappy, it’s usually easy to pinpoint what’s wrong based on your daily actions. The more time you spend forming healthy habits and spreading positivity, the healthier and happier your life will be. Stuck in a constant state of downward glum? Look at the areas of your life you’d like to change, then plan accordingly. It’s true: we have the power to have absolutely anything we want in this life. Now you’ll need to ask yourself – how hard are you willing to work for it? That’s how hard the universe will be willing to go for you as well.

Photo by Foto T on Unsplash

Looking back, I’m insanely aware of the lessons I was supposed to take with me from BU. Not only did the classes I enrolled in teach me valid writing lessons I use to this day, it also forced me to continue my blog as an assignment for several classes, acknowledge that timeliness is something I will always have to work on, and introduced me to life long friends I will not soon be forgetting. While my college experience wasn’t everything the media had it cracked up to be, I’m grateful for my experience at Bloomsburg. It may not have been where I was supposed to be, but it was a fun stop along the way!

Cheers to life long learners on all walks of life,

xo Bri

Featured Image: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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