Real Talk: College & Crisis

Hey there everybody. I've been gone a while. But I think it's time we had a pretty serious chat. This post has been pretty tough to write, but putting it off does no help for anyone. Some parts were easier than others to write. The what to say wasn't bad, but the how? That was the more difficult part. I kept trying to hammer it out, but it just wasn't happening. So I did what anyone would do. Packed up a bag, went to the southernmost point of LBI, sat down and wrote it out, pen and paper style. So here goes.

As I'm sure you all know, the past year as been incredibly difficult for me in quite a few ways, but especially academically. I'll save myself the trouble of typing it all out and you the boredom from reading it all. In short, I fucked up. Real bad. And I brought it back. In one calendar year, I moved my GPA from 1.05 to 2.35. It might only be 1.3 points, but any college students out there, you know how big of a deal that is.
Recently though, there have been more issues. I found out that I would need to take 18 credits in the fall semester in order to graduate on time. The meant an extra credit fee, and a lot more work. For reference, most of my friends were taking 15-16 credits per semester. I considered going longer, attending for another semester instead, but the grant I received from AU would only cover another four semesters. With a 43,000 annual tuition, I'm pretty dependent on that grant.
On top of that, I had been waitlisted for on campus housing. I was number 78 on the list, meaning I was pretty much SOL on that front. DC housing is very expensive. And I am very broke. So the situation was very bad.
So add up incredibly heavy workload, incredibly problematic housing, already a lot of debt, and a seemingly infinite number of little things I just couldn't stand, what does that give you? Ding, ding, ding! You guessed it! Yes sir or ma'am I am now a (not so) proud transfer student!
There's a lot more on that, but I'll save the details for a later, more specialized post.

Here is the plan for all this crazy shiz:
I transfer out of American University to Ocean Community College.
I will stay at OCC for the fall 2016 semester.
After that semester, I have two options:
1. I transfer to a state university near New York or Philadelphia to finish my Bachelor's degree.
2. I stay for the year to finish my Associate's in Liberal Arts/Political Science, then transfer to a state university to finish my Bachelor's.

I haven't decided yet, but it's something I'm going to have to think long and hard about. I'll probably do a lot of my deliberation here, but also with my parents as well as an academic advisor from OCC. Either way, my goal is to graduate by December 2018 with a major in Political Science and minor in Communications or Journalism. It is a flexible plan, as I have certainly learned that strict plans aren't always good plans.

To that effect, there is one quote that certainly describes the life lessons I've learned this is it...

Anyone who knows me, knows one big thing about me: I plan. I plan everything. I plan so much sometimes, I don't do. It's a big flaw of mine, but I'm slowly (very slowly) learning to live with/control it. I've been getting better, but transferring? Well it was a pretty big punch in the face.. 

Yeah it felt kind of like that looked. I knew in my mind that transferring was the right decision for me, but it just felt like I had failed. My grand plan for college was 100% out the window now. I felt like I wasted so much time and money. I felt like I had failed everyone in my life. I couldn't do it.In my head it was the right choice. But to the rest of me, I felt like I should've stayed, for everyone else. 

I was really overwhelmed by my decision and I reacted in a very adult way. I went to bed at 6 PM and watched YouTube videos. 

(Yes, I am definitely ready to grow up, I assure you.)

But one of the videos I watched was Estee Lalonde's #FindingYou video all about the thing all twenty-somethings know so well, a Quarter Life Crisis. 

I always joked about having a quarter life crisis. And some of those times I really thought I was having a quarter life crisis. But until I literally turned everything on it's head, I never really had a legitimate crisis. I'm sure plenty of people would bash the idea, of a quarter life crisis, but my situation really felt/feels like a crisis. I had operated on my own perfect college ideal for so many years, and now, here I was, throwing that out the window. More on that another time, but it's safe to say I was freaking the f@!# out having a legitimate quarter life crisis. 
But after watching Estee's video, I really felt better about it. I mean, I was still flipping out, but just like two or three steps down from utter freak out. It was oddly comforting to be reminded that plenty of other people have these crises too, even the lovely Estee.
At the end of the video, I think I got the best advice. What will be will be, the idea that yes it's your life, but somethings will happen and you just have to be flexible and roll with it. Take as many opportunities as you can, don't be a passenger, life is short so live it the the best you can. Take the reins a bit. If you screw up, it's okay, it's part of life. 
The best bit to me was when Estee says that if you're starting to feel this crisis coming on, just know that it's your mind and body telling you that you're starting a new phase in your life and this is the time to start cementing everything in your life that you like and finding what makes you happy. That and the idea that your twenties is such a perfect time to take all the chances you've wanted to take.

I finished Estee's video with a weird calm. I had this new sense of reassurance regarding my decision, but also a new sense of "can-do." There had been an idea rolling around in my head for a while, but it was finally starting to solidify, becoming less of an idea or a possibility, and more of a reality. I just kept thinking, you know, I could do that..

And that's when I said to myself, you know what? F@!# it, why couldn't I do it? What is holding me back??

I've been watching YouTubers since the days when Shay Carl started his channel, iJustine was the only queen of YouTube, Phil DeFranco was just sxephil, Let's Play's were all long, and the What The Buck Show was the only drama show around. Ten years ago, I was nine years old. Being a YouTube content creator was only something that cool adults did. Now there are people of all ages from all around the world. Technology is so much more available, for goodness sake, we have a 1080p webcam just sitting in a spare drawer! I remember when YouTube didn't even have HD video for goodness sake! 

So here I am. At my quarter life crisis. My twenties there in front of me. A whole new decade. A whole new chapter, ready to be written. So here I am. Taking a gigantic leap into something that scares the ever-loving hell out of a shy introvert like myself. I'm going to put myself on camera, listen to and watch myself talk, and I'm going to put it on the internet. For everyone to see. I'm going to go after my childhood dream. I'm going to start a YouTube channel. 

It's one small step for bloggers, one giant leap for M-kind. 

I tried to make that witty, but I don't think it went as well as I planned. Either way. You get it. 

Why am I doing this? Because I have something to say to the world. Something that I think some people would want to and maybe even, dare I say, enjoy listening to. I also want to connect with people. The blog is an amazing way for me to do that, but YouTube is a more personal way of connecting with people.

Am I terrified of people I know watching my videos? Oh dear lord yes. It's one of the little fears I have to conquer though. It's going to happen. And if I want to end up like Justine or Phil, I kind of should get used to it don't I?

Do I think I will really hit the levels that these big Tubers are at? Ahahaah oh dear god no I don't. That being said, they didn't think they would hit that level either, just saying.

In all reality, I still have a lot to hammer out with this idea. A little bit of rebranding/restyling of the blog, recreating cover and logo photos, and getting my hands on some decent editing software that won't break the bank among other things. I want to try to film and post my first video within the next couple of weeks (eek!). It'll be rough, but you've gotta start somewhere! I'll have to post more about the channel and my progress with it soon in a more focused post. 

To close all this up, I want to drop some reality here. I was on a high from Estee Lalonde's video when I made this decision. By the time I finally finished this post, I had had a few days of thought on the subject. I was shrinking back again, nervous about making this leap. I thought about how confident I was that I could succeed if I really dedicated myself to being a content creator. But then what if I failed? What if someone saw my videos and thought I was lame or a loser? What if I just embarrassed myself? I was so worried about everything and everyone. That day, I watched Jack Howard's new video. I really like Jack as an internet personality. I think he's funny and he seems so confident in his videos, like talking to the camera is so effortless for him. I liked this video, because it really brought home a lot for me. The last thing Jack says in this video is, "Is it possible to be confident and insecure?     Yep."   

And it kind of hit me. Everyone gets insecure about things. And having your face on the internet for everyone to see? Yeah, that's probably really tough. Whether its 30 people, or 3 million people, it's always going to be hard. 

So there it is folks. I'm terrified, and excited. Confident, and insecure. But I am 100% ready for this next great leap in my life. I've got a lot planned, and it's going to be a lot of work. But it's all going to come together nicely I think. I'm completely changing my life plan around, and I think I'm a little bit happy to be this nervous about it. I mean, I've got the whole universe in front of me and no one can stop me.

If you've made it this far, go you! In the comments below, let me know your experiences with quarter life crises, transferring schools, or tackling a big dream! Until next time,

Coming to you from M, Personally


Post a Comment