I figure since this is the 25th post on this blog and I moved here when I was 25, it would make sense to post this article. So again, here I go with the epiphanies. I suppose this article can be a companion piece to the article I wrote about leaving my retail job. Hopefully, the set of lessons in this article won’t be too similar. But if they are the same, its probably because they are just as important. Also, these lessons won’t be in any particular order. Here we go:
Lesson 1: Use time off wisely by using it to establish a mission in your life.
This is something that, before moving here, I did not do. I had taken roughly two years off of school before going back. Instead of doing what I should have done when taking time off, which was make sure I am in a clear mental state before going back to what I was taking time off from, I became a partying degenerate, spending most of my days either drinking, bowling, or gambling for no real purpose. While it is true that I gained very good social skills this way, it was the only thing I was trying to improve and I needed to focus on other things too.
Lesson 2: Living with buddies is a really bad idea.
When I first moved here, I lived with two of my buddies. These two individuals saw the absolute worst that I had to offer, as I quickly developed a nasty sleeping pill addiction after moving here. I would at times pass out on the floor because of it, and I had massive mood swings as well. This would create negative thought patterns that destroyed these friendships. We had really good times together and some really awful times together. None of us had any real purpose in our lives, and that was why everything broke down around us.
Lesson 3: Living with buddies is a really good idea.
“Wait a minute! You just said living with buddies is a bad idea! What gives?” Well, when you live with buddies who you want to help, you have a grand purpose in your life, and have addressed things that happened to you in your younger years, all of a sudden its not so bad. If the other person isn’t smothering you and putting pressure on you, its even better. When they want to learn things from you and can keep their ego in check about it, that’s when you know there’s magic in the air. For about three years or so, I lived with another buddy of mine. And because I had learned so much from the last time, the time we spent helped both of us immensely.
Lesson 4: Being in the education industry isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
This is a sad realization that I arrived at during the midway point of my time here. I was pursuing an education degree when I moved here, with hopes to become a teacher. I had developed a love for public speaking and performing, and wanted to carry those two activities into teaching. It was not meant to be, as I realized that when you become a teacher, you essentially become a slave to the education system. This is fine if you don’t value freedom too high. But if you are like me and freedom is a principle, its not going to work for you.
Lesson 5: The old guard of lifetime employment is officially gone.
This article explains it all, and this goes back to the lessons I learned from leaving my previous job. There’s nothing really more that needs to be said here that hasn’t been covered in the article about my previous job. Times have changed, and it is now time for me to embrace that change, which is something I could (and should) have done five or so years ago.
Lesson 6: Anything, ANYTHING can be an act of degeneracy if there is meaning or purpose. Even school.
For a good two years, I was going to school just for the sake of going to school, my only real purpose being that I was on the school bowling team. There were other reasons (going to college parties with my newfound social skills and aspiring to be a teacher), but those two reasons quickly took a backseat to the VERY unhealthy obsession I had for travelling on the college bowling team. And why? So I could have some cool experience (that I could have EASILY replicated on my own dime with my own buddies)? When I learned that I was being a degenerate by doing this, I took more time off school, knowing that I was lost.
Lesson 7: If you have gone through a life changing event, you will only keep selling yourself short unless you take proper steps to address it.
My father died about a year before I moved here. In that year, I did virtually nothing to address this loss at all. Me not doing anything about this would snowball into a host of very negative thought patterns, self sabotaging actions (such as taking out tens of thousands of dollars of student loans), and as I mentioned before, I developed a nasty addiction to sleeping pills. I would eventually recover from the addiction, but not before one of my greatest friends left. The thought patterns and self sabotage would continue until they couldn’t any longer (ran out of money available to lend and had another friend leave me). Had I got help sooner (for my father dying as well as the other things that adversely affected me), I wouldn’t have set myself back so much.
Lesson 8: Proper steps in addressing life changing events + proper use of time off = Fantastic performance with next to no effort.
After coming back from my three or so year hiatus from school in 2014, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I was going to take classes to improve my fiction or nonfiction writing skills, and that was that. With this purpose in mind (my hope of being a fiction writer, biographer and professional blogger), I set out to make sure that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING I did in my classes related to those three things. And because of that, my lowest grade when coming back from my time off was a 75 (which I got only because I was passing up assignments in that particular class for doing assignments for other classes). To cap this off, there was a research class that I failed before I took my time off, which made me take the time off. After taking the time off, I got a 95 in it.
Lesson 9: Take as much time off school as necessary – School will always be there.
There’s a significant amount of social programming when it comes to college, the biggest view is that if you go to college, you should be finished (and with a well paying job) before 25. But life happens to anybody, and sometimes its best to step back and take some time off. However, the high school mentality tends to carry over to college life as well, so if you are going to take time off college and try to enjoy all the partying and other social aspects of college life, this may not be possible (but by 25 or so, you really shouldn’t be concerned about any of that). As far as college athletics, I’m pretty sure no one is going to care how old you are as long as you can perform.
Lesson 10: Unless others are paying for it, college should just be a hobby. College doesn’t provide what it used to provide anymore.
This is something that I kind of knew all along, but because I was so consumed by the travel involved with college bowling, I ignored it. This lesson is kind of a combination of a bunch of former lessons in this article and it is almost like a conclusion that I have reached. For centuries, people would be hired just because they had a college degree. They would get a job in their field with their degree and work their way up the ranks. It does not work this way anymore, and hasn’t really worked this way for roughly 20 years. Before I first took time off college, it was all pretty much paid for with assistance. By the time I was bleeding out student loans, college was beyond useless. My time could have been much better spend if I had just went for a year then saved up for a year and continued that pattern.