Persevere in education

It's a journey, not a race
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Take it from a two-time Humboldt State University drop out: do not give up. One of the greatest disservices college will do for you is force you to choose a major at an age you’re not even positive what your dating preferences are yet. At an age when you’ve had under a quarter of a century of life experience and maybe two jobs, if any, having to choose a major that will dictate your career for the rest of your life is downright unfair.

So if you find yourself at the age of 21 or 22 still working through college courses, on your third major switch or not decalred, do not freak out.

“Education is a journey, not a race,” is an adage students should familiarize themselves with sooner than later.

Some will graduate high school, jump right into choosing an academic focus with no problems and move on in four to five years. They will achieve exactly what they expected, and this is perfectly okay. On the other end of the spectrum, it is perfectly okay to take six to eight years for students to find out what they excel at or are passionate about before finally achieving the grades that reflect that passion.

I had to fail out of HSU twice to land myself at Citrus College in Glendora with the blank slate I needed to discover what I was good at. I had tried choosing business administration as a major. I had switched to communications and, for multiple outlying and personal reasons, still found myself moving home to Southern California in 2013 as a declared failure.

Four years later, I am returning to HSU with two associate transfer degrees in communications and journalism and a passion. I have peers and colleagues who are way farther ahead on their academic journey than I am. But with my return, I bring recognition, expertise and a work ethic that took four extra years than the average student to develop. I am back, and I come with pride for the extra time and work I had to put in to get here at the ripe age of 26.

My advice to other students struggling to find their way is to ask for help, utilize school resources and above all, know when you may need to take a break and do some soul searching. When you’re ready, jump back into college and let your studies help you find your way.

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