Hobbies, and Why I Refuse to Feel Bad for Not Finishing College

Thursday, June 27, 2013


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Great things are happening right now.

Trent is in the middle of a rehaul of the website he runs with his friends and cast members, formerly known as Out of Our System, now Salt Pop, which includes a new layout, new features, and new focus. It's terribly exciting, and I'm crazy proud of him and the others who are working on it. I think it's easy for people to see the simplicity of something like an article or a blog post and think of it passively- something that comes easy or doesn't take a lot of effort, but for anyone who has ever tried to maintain a blog or run a website, they know all about the blood, sweat and tears that go into these sorts of projects.

I wanted to sort of touch on something that is very personal to me (that's sort of been the theme here lately, hasn't it?). One of the most common questions people are asked when they meet for the first time is "So, what do you do for a living?" The second question, for someone of my stature and age, is "Are you in school?"

These are difficult questions for me to answer because they do not have simple answers.

"How do you make money?" Isn't what they're really asking?

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I'm extremely lucky in the fact that I managed to land a very secure and prestigous job with a corporate company in the middle of downtown Salt Lake City without a college degree. I got this job because a good friend of mine happened to pass along my name when I mentioned I was looking for a new job. I should also mention that my position doesn't require a college degree either. But networking is important, friends.

Despite my fortunate circumstances, I hesistate when someone asks me that question, because this simply is not my career. This is not what I "do."

When people ask what I "do", I try to tell them about my real passion, and my real drive in life- and this is it. Writing and photography is what I pour my heart into when I'm not working my day job. A great majority of the writing I do doesn't make it online, which is something that I'm working on right now. Making it a priority to have a presence on the Internet is number one in my mind.

I feel like I got my money and mind's worth when I attempted to become a sign language interpreter and made it through a whopping three semesters. I got good grades, and my attendance was pristine, but it didn't take me very long to realize that this was not how I wanted to be spending my time. I quit, and it turned out to be the best decision for me. I have a couple thousand dollars in student debt (which I am currently paying), and some good public speaking experience. Though I don't have a degree to show for it, I have some very valuable skills.

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Returning to school is something that I think about often, but have promised myself not to force. Occasionally I think about a certain program, or what it would be like to have BA on my resume, but something that I've learned about myself is that I can't operate without passion. I refuse to invest my time and money into something that I could live without. When I have a thirst for knowledge or want to learn about certain techniques and styles, I google it. It's simple, and I retain the knowledge that is important to me personally and applies directly to this time in my life.

This is the information age- and we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. It's exciting. And I refuse to fall into the trap of believing I'm any less intelligent or worthy because I did not finish college.

Everyone deserves respect for the (productive) things they pour their energy into.

So, here's to your hobbies, friends. Cheers.

2 comments:

  1. Amen sister! I totally agree with you. I think there are a lot of things college is good for, if you want to enter the medical field for example. But being a creative person myself, I feel that if you wish to do anything in a creative type of niche then college is just an extra step. With creative things you are either good or your not, sure school can help you get better, but so does Google. Do what you love and don't feel bad about it. P.S. I love your blog.

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    1. Amber, thanks so much. I completely agree, and I feel like school should be a stepping stone to further your abilities in the things you have taken an interest in. Art is definitely one of those things where you either do it or you don't. I do want to say school is an amazing way to get into those niches you talked about- which are incredibly difficult to penetrate without tons of hard work, and yes, a little learning. Do what you love is an amazing mantra. Thanks again for your lovely comment.

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