On Monday, I shared my story with you. Today, I will ask you some things that might help you get closer to making a decision for yourself. Or it will just confuse you more. If you are thinking about dropping out of university, it might be helpful to keep reading. I really don’t think that quitting school to pursue something else is for everyone, and it’s a difficult decision to make.
Don’t see this blog as advice, but more as my own experiences and opinions. These are biased and I am not a professional. If you are struggling with your mental health, please do seek professional help as I don’t know what I’m doing either! I don’t regret going to medical school at all. I am super happy that I chose to drop out, and I am incredibly certain about what I want now.
If I hadn’t tried medical school, I would not have been able to be so certain about what I want and don’t want in life and travel.
To leave school might not be the way to go for you, and honestly I can’t know that for you. You need to be opinionated, motivated and independent. Also think about whether or not you are passionate about what you’re studying, and do you need that degree to pursue your passion? If you are passionate about becoming a doctor, a teacher, psychologist, engineer, etc, you’ll need that piece of paper for sure. If you want to travel, take a gap year, or travel after your degree(s), but don’t drop out of something you're passionate about for something you can always do later. Are you feeling down and stressed because of deadlines and can’t be arsed for a bit? If you truly want to pursue one of those careers, please don’t give up on it just yet. There will be just as many rough patches in travel and running your own business, if not more. Is it your dream to own and run your own business, or to pursue a career for which you don’t necessarily need that piece of paper? Think about it very carefully whether you’re able to motivate yourself very well. Do you just wait around for your mood to shift and a sudden burst of motivation magically appears? Then I would suggest staying in school. Dropping out and pursuing your passion doesn’t mean that it all just falls into place, you need to do that yourself. You need to be able to teach yourself. Can you follow through on something unsuccessful for years? Do you want to take that risk and are you excited about taking it?
There are some very discouraging words online about dropping out of school. And while I don’t believe that most people would benefit from it, I hope that those of you who have thought it all through and are making a well informed decision don't get discouraged by it. Yes, you do have your whole life ahead of you to travel, that’s something you’ll hear a lot. However, university is expensive and time consuming, and if you are not passionate or suited for it, it’s not worth spending your entire twenties and a lot of money on it. That’s another one, that you need to be born rich to travel. This is absolutely not the case, and I’ve written quite a bit about travel for us broke ones too. You don’t need to be born rich to travel, however in lots of countries you do need to be rich to go to university. It’s a shame people portray travel to be so expensive, but I won’t go into that too much in this blog post. University costs an arm and a leg, and if you’re not born rich you will end up in massive debt. I obviously only studied for one school year, but still managed to rack up a debt of over fifteen thousand euros. Travel hasn’t nearly cost me that much in almost six years. Lots of people will tell you that you’ll blow through your money and end up broke and living at your parents house. Sure, that’s one way to travel, but I don’t really recommend going that way. There are so many ways to earn money while traveling, to spend and to save up! In my gap years I simply didn’t have any interest in that way of traveling as I didn’t have much time, but I do now. If you travel slowly, experience local living, volunteer and work online, you are able to live a comfortable life of travel and save up money. You will be able to have much more valuable experiences too and truly explore each place that you stay.
When I ask people why exactly I wouldn’t get a job without a piece of paper, they never know how to answer the question and just tell me that I will work as a cashier for the rest of my life. They truly believe that there are no other options. I don’t have a piece of paper, and I’ve been able to find dream jobs around the world for the past years. No, of course I can’t work as a doctor, there are some careers you need that piece of paper for. However, not having it does not mean that you will have to be a cashier or stock shelves for eternity. Except if that’s your passion of course, and I’d say go for it!
You will often hear that being uneducated is a mistake. Referring to a university or college degree. However, a title or paper isn’t the only education that exists. I still study every day, I study literature, research SEO, learn about marketing, and take so many online courses too. I even still learn new things about training horses and riding techniques when I meet other trainers and riders. I love to learn, and you should always keep learning if you want to make any progress in life. However, university is not the only way to do it. Travel has taught me so much about culture, language, and insane amounts of people skills. Personally, I don’t have any back up plans, I never do. I don’t have backup plans when traveling, I don’t have backup plans for my business and I don’t have a backup plan for life. Risky? Yes. Do I trust myself? Also yes. University does not necessarily equal a backup plan. People often tell me I at least need a degree so that I have something to fall back on. And if that’s something you feel more comfortable with, you should get that degree, but it doesn’t mean your degree is a fail safe plan to have a successful career.
I’ve seen a lot of people saying something along the lines of checking whether your dream or passion is worth following. With examples being given of “If basketball is your passion you shouldn’t follow it because you will never be a professional basketball player”. I believe every single passion is worth pursuing, no matter what it is. I don’t have to be a professional horse rider to earn my money, and an artist doesn’t need to be world famous to make money either. You can teach, create content, inspire people through books, public speaking, blogs, you can grow and monetise your instagram account, youtube channel, sell courses, the options are infinite. If I had to earn my money by being a professional rider, I wouldn’t have lasted this long.
Even though my last blog was emotional, and my decision was certainly partially fuelled by my feelings, it wasn’t just that. I had a plan. The choice was mostly fuelled by an immense feeling of determination and knowing what I wanted, to turn my passion into a career. I did, and so can you.
Last but not least. Literally every judgemental person that doesn’t support your decision will tell you you’re not Bill fucking Gates. So be prepared.
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