After I graduated from college, I thought I had wasted four & half years of my life. If I had to list what I thought of college after I was fresh out, I'd call it expensive, overpriced, stressful, chaotic, tiresome, dreadful, hectic, sad, & lonely.
I started off at a community college. The plan was get my basic courses completed from home, then transfer. I really thought it was as simple as that. But life happens & plans changed. I ended up staying at home for two years total before transferring to a college that was not my first choice, which was my first mistake. I was accepted into my first choice Central Michigan University, but decided I'd go with my second choice Ferris State University because that's where my boyfriend was going with or without me (life lesson).
I was away from home (by 5.5 hours, 322 miles) & in a town that I hated. The college was ok, but not everything I'd imagined it to be in my teenage fantasies. I lived off campus & never really experienced college, campus life. I was ok with that though, for the most part. I wasn't much of a socializer anyway, unless I was drinking. I was bored & lonely a lot. I focused on school & part time work. I did great in college. I made the dean's list every semester & even got 4.0 honors a couple of times. My field of study, Psychology, minor in Criminal Justice. School came easy to me. It was the real life stuff I couldn't wrap my head around.
December 2008, the time had come to graduate.
I had no potential, no experience outside of my college education, & I was grasping at every opportunity I could. I applied for a total 22 jobs that year, all relating to the psychology field, jobs that required the education I had recently earned. In return, I received about a dozen letters of rejection. All stating & pointing out "lack of experience". Well, duh, I was trying my hardest to get the experience by applying for all those jobs. The rest of the places either never responded, or replied with "we thank you for your interest, but we have a fulfilled our position at this time".
It was a very discouraging time during my life. I had worked so hard to get where I was, I was the first in my family to even go to college, let alone graduate. Then soon enough, those dreaded, awful student loan bills started arriving + interest. I hadn't even landed a job in my field yet to assist in my paying them. So there I was, Valine-The Menard's Cashier, B.S. Psychology. Then Valine- Hotel Housekeeper B.S. Psychology. I needed those part time, minimum wage paying jobs to pay for the education that wasn't serving me any purpose. This went on for years; me applying for careers in psych related fields & being denied every time. I never did miss a student loan payment though.
I was bitter about my useless psychology degree for the LONGEST time. It wasn't until February 2012, when my perspective slowly but surely began to change. I'm an obsessive person. I was informed about a job at the USPS in Escanaba that would be posted (but only posted for 7 days before it would be removed). I had no idea when, but just like every other job, I was going to apply & wouldn't miss this posting. No it didn't relate to my field of study, but at this time four long years had passed since college graduation. I didn't care, I knew this would be a good job to land. I checked the USPS career site everyday for about two months when I finally saw that job posting. I applied (it was the most pain in the ass application to fill out to date). That was September 2011, to my surprise I didn't hear anything back until January 2012! I had already given up hope on that one as well.
I had an interview scheduled with a lady named Paris. She seemed nice, but she was intimidating at first. I was nervous in my interview until she noticed I had a degree in psychology. She was impressed that I had a college degree, & even better... She had a psych degree also. BOOM! That made for easy conversation & I was chosen out of the four candidates they had chosen to interview. So in a round about way my useless degree had panned out in a totally unrelated field.. A job that I love (most days anyways..)..
Flash forward another four years.. Here I am realizing even more how useful my psychology education has been in my life. So what if I'm not being paid for the education I thought would earn me a living. It's helped me in everyday life stuff. It's amazing what one learns in all the various psychology courses over four years. Psychology can be applied to everyone, everywhere. It's human nature stuff. I'm smarter, I'm better, & I understand more about people because of what my professors have taught me. They were the most down to earth, honest about life people you could meet.
Moral of my story here is- Never give up. And even if your education didn't pan out like you thought it would, it's not gone to waste if you have learned or figured out how to apply it to your daily life. I apply what I've learned in college everyday. I don't get paid for it, but it makes me more well rounded. If I could go back & change it, would I? I'm not sure. More than the education itself, the college life taught me so much. Living on my own from 18 years old & on, paying ALL my own bills, financing, budgeting, dealing with stress, balancing life + school + work.. I did it. I succeeded. Perhaps not in the traditional manner people think of but in my own independent way, I succeeded.
If I had to describe college again after all these years, those same terms at the start of this blog would still apply. However, I'd add, WORTH IT. So go out there, become well rounded, LEARN!, you can never have an overabundance of knowledge, be educated so that you have a fighting chance in this crazy world.
Many life lessons were learned during my college years through today. More to come I'm sure because that's what life is all about :)
I'm a mom of two. A wife. I'm a yooper (live in the U.P. of MI) A postal worker. I'm real. I'm me. This is my start.