Liberating Myself from College

I loved school for all of the wrong reasons. I loved how easy it was to do well or at least sound like I was doing well without too much effort. It was all about the oohs and ahhs of others.

“She got all A”s on her report card!”

“She is the one who gets the best grades out of her siblings! She’s going places.”

“Wow, Finance is a tough degree — there’s a lot of math. Good for you!”

Somewhere throughout the years, my love for learning was drowned. I went from a second-grader who tried to learn German on her own to a seventh-grader who just could not understand algebra. My A’s turned into B’s and B’s to C’s.

In high school things were a little different. I still had a love for knowledge, but my classes and environment did not nurture that. Instead, I was surrounded by kids who, like myself, were drained by the way the system was set up.

In college I was still at a loss. I switched majors a few times. I started off as a communication major, switched to a two-year science degree that would guarantee a hefty paycheck, switched again to an education major, then I settled for a safe degree in Finance.

I began to discover topics I was extremely passionate about, such as economics and philosophy, which I wanted to incorporate into my life. Soon after, I took an internship in Washington D.C. working at a non-profit that mirrored my passions. It was an amazing experience that lifted me from my Texan roots and threw me into the cold winter of D.C. I loved going into work, I loved what I was doing, and I felt a huge sense of fulfillment in doing it.

The internship came to an end, and I soon found myself in another college classroom. I came to the sudden realization that I hated it. Waking up at seven in the morning to go to a class I didn’t have any interest in was ruining my day. I loved being at my desk when I was working. At school I felt chained to it.

Then, I discovered Praxis. An alternative to college where you get an interdisciplinary education and the opportunity to work for an amazing company. I wasn’t completely sold from the beginning. After all, college is supposedly a must have to get anywhere in life. But then I returned to my college class the next day and realized I was gaining nothing from this that I could apply to my life. Soon after, I dropped out of college. It was profoundly liberating. No longer would my degree choice define who I was. Dropping out of college means I will have to prove myself in other ways.

Since dropping out of college I have created and done more on my own than I ever did sitting in one college class. Breaking out of the cycle of education hasn’t taken away my love for learning, rather the opposite. Not forcing myself to sit through a thousand more hours of insipid college classes has freed up my time and mind, allowing me to focus on what I care about. Diplomas are seen as signals that you can jump through hoops and do what you’re told. I don’t want to signal that: I want to show that I can create value.

Tamina is a recent college drop out with her heart set on changing the world. She’s an advocate of entrepreneurship, peaceful parenting, and challenging the current education system. She is a founding partner of Ayn Randroid and Childhood Institute.

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