After high school I enrolled in and dropped out of several colleges, 5 in total. It just wasn’t right for me at the time. I was called everything: a waste, hippie, beatnik, free-spirit, delusional, unrealistic, dreamer… the list goes on. But I was much happier working weird jobs that gave me great discounts and the freedom to pursue my passions, like art and writing.
In the years that my former classmates spent at universities I gained an eclectic assortment of employment experience. I worked at a college bookstore where I had access to any textbook on any subject I cared to study. I had several photography positions, everything from portraits and events, to pets and novelty photos where I learned that absolutely everyone is insecure and the best way to sooth the savage beast is to look for the little things that will stroke their ego. When I designed gift baskets I found out that combining personality and practicality will make the best product every time. As the manager of an independent music shop I found that no one knows more about the product than the people who make it and if you debate modern music with 13 year olds you will eventually have to admit you are wrong.
In my late 20’s I started my family and decided the time was right to go back to school. I took all the things I had learned and the combined interests I had gained while taking a break from school and got my degree in multimedia. I appreciated the value of the education I was receiving because it’s what I wanted to know, not just what I thought was the “proper” next step in my life. I was able to acquire the know-how I needed to take my life to the next level and be a role model for my young children at the same time.
Now that I’ve graduated and started my own business the people that called me unrealistic are telling me they are jealous. Maybe it takes a little delusion to look at life and live it on your own terms instead of the norms but if you take every experience as a chance to learn and grow whether you’re in a classroom or not then nothing you do will ever be a waste.
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By Heather Fairchild - Heather is a multimedia developer, business owner and work-from-home mom.