The other day I was filling out a form with the prompt, “List your greatest accomplishments.”
For reasons different than what you might think, college came to my mind.
I dropped out of college when I was 21 and there’s nothing I’m more proud of than making that choice.
Why? Because I made the biggest decision of my life at the time, and it was one that was in accordance with my values–and not the values of society. This led me to develop a sense of self and inner happiness that I had never known before.
When I first thought of dropping out, I was sick with fear. When I told other people, I felt worse. At the time, I didn’t know a single person who supported my decision to drop out. Even my Homeschooling mom, a college dropout herself who runs a successful company, was initially against me leaving college. When I told others that I was dropping out, most reacted with a look mixed with pity and anger. Because I was making a decision that went against the status quo, the people who didn’t look beyond it could not understand or accept my choice.
I decided to ignore what my family, my friends and what seemed like the whole world said. I decided to drop out.
When I made my decision, something incredible happened to me.
I looked in the mirror and I knew I had chosen the direction of my life based on my values and not anyone else’s. I had chosen to trust myself above anyone else. And I began to deeply love and trust myself in a way that I had never known before.
I abandoned the path that everyone said I must go down if I wanted to be someone they deemed valuable. I carved out my own path and chose to value myself. And in the time since, I’ve never felt happier or more alive.