In the fall of last year, I was enrolled in the opticianry program at my local college. It was a promising program that boasted of an immersive learning environment that would prepare students for a stable career. My friends and family were proud of me for taking such a huge step, and I felt that it would be a challenge I would come to love. I bought the books and tools and buckled in for a crazy, but presumably rewarding semester.
And then I hit the brakes.
Okay, so my decision to withdraw wasn’t a sudden screeching halt – it built up over the course of a few weeks and through a lot of prayers and tears. But you get the idea. The deeper I got into the belly of the beast, the more I realized how much I didn’t belong there. It came to a point where I didn’t want to get out of bed because I dreaded studying the material I couldn’t bring myself to care about. But the biggest issue was that I knew I was running away from the interests and gifts that God had given me in order to pursue a sense of stability.
I received mixed reactions when I shared the news. Some were “concerned”, giving me shrugs and passive remarks. Some gave me encouraging smiles and pats on the back, respecting my choice and wanting me to be happy. Some high-fived me and called me brave, applauding my defiance of the system. In between all these things, I tried not to blame myself for taking a different path. I had to learn what it means to put my trust in God’s plans when mine fell through.
I spent my gap semester working, saving money, and researching career options. By the end, I had decided to take a leap of faith and go back to school for communications and marketing. I was always drawn to the broader fields, anyway. I still yield to uncertainty at times, but God is quick to remind me of His great provision. I’ve met some very successful graphic designers and media specialists (one of which I had an interview with recently). God used them to show me that I can use the gifts He’s given me in a career, and that His plan is not infeasible.
I suppose this means I’ve surrendered my title of college dropout, but the sentiment still remains: college isn’t for everyone. Just because a career path is stable, it doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. You could make all the money in the world, but if you’re pursuing something that God hasn’t called you to, you’re pursuing a false sense of stability.