With Spring Break right around the corner that means there’s only a few months separating all you high school seniors from leaving your comfortable digs as upperclassmen and becoming graduates, alumni and soon-to-be college students. The prospect of college may seem scary, nerve-wracking and exciting; I know it was all of the above for me. I was a 4.0 GPA student who was involved in everything in high school from student council to yearbook, theater and the National Honor Society. You name it, I probably was in it. I was one of “those” students who over-achieved, tried way too hard and took high school maybe a little more seriously than I should have. But that was my personality; I am a type-A, driven individual who works hard at everything and anything I do.
With that being said, I put incredibly high expectations on myself and as a result thought my family, friends and teachers did the same. I thought they expected me to be “Sam Goble” this straight-A student who was going places. So I declared my college for the fall of 2013 and my major. It was a great, reputable, smaller Christian college just 25 minutes from my house that was a popular choice among all high schools in my area and I said I was going into medicine. I had an interest and fascination with medicine but it wasn’t a passion. I wasn’t drawn too it. Sure, I loved Grey’s Anatomy, and being a kickass surgeon like Meredith Grey was definitely exciting and would be an amazing job, but I just wasn’t 100% about it. However, I knew I had to do something worthwhile because that is what was expected of me, so I declared it my major. I carried on with my classes and senior year but there was this nagging feeling inside that something just wasn’t right.
As spring semester came the feeling was intensified as everyone started applying for scholarships, looking at dorms and gearing up for college in the fall. As the months ticked by the feeling kept growing. I can’t quite explain it but it was just this horribly uneasy feeling. I just didn’t feel right about college in the fall. I never told anyone this because I didn’t want to disappoint them. I didn’t want to let them down or not live up to their expectations of me. And I thought that if I didn’t go to a big four year university and do something worthwhile that I was a failure and all their hard work and belief in me over the last four years was for nothing. So I kept this feeling inside and tried to forget about it.
Graduation came and went and it was summer. While most of my friends were getting ready for the new journey they were starting I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong. I just didn’t feel right about going to the university and studying medicine. It just wasn’t “me”.
I talked to my parents about it and they told me that they would love and support me in whatever I wanted to do; that I should follow my heart, my passion and do what I love. I was on Pinterest and in my feed these inspirational quotes about following your heart and doing what you love kept popping up like a sign, as if they were telling me something; an omen. So I took their advice and decided to go not go to the four year university and study medicine like I had planned but instead go to the local community college and get my Gen Eds out of the way and pursue my degree in hospitality to become an event planner.
Once I figured out that that is what I wanted to do, this weight was lifted and I felt at peace with my decision. I knew that event planning was the career for me and that I would love it since I was the prom chairwoman for three years during high school and loved every second of planning it. When I announced my switch on Facebook I had teachers and friends comment saying how they were happy for me and that they knew I’ll be great at it and go far. They weren’t disappointed that I changed or thought that I let them down. It was that post that quelled all my fears and anxieties and I was so happy with my decision.
I spent two years at community college, taking all online classes and earned a 3.9 GPA. I then moved on to my four year university for my Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and will finish this year, hopefully with another 3.9 GPA.
Where you go to college and what you study does not define you. Let me repeat that again for the people in the back, where you go to college and what you study does not define you. Your work ethic, kindness, drive, and heart—those are what define you. It doesn’t matter if you spend $100,000 on college or $1,000 on it. Go to college because you want to go not because others or society expects you too. Study what you want to study and what you are passionate about, not what everyone thinks you should. If you were like me and thought you had to go to this school or had to study this one thing or else you would end up letting everyone around you down, I promise you won’t. They would much rather see you happy and doing something you love than miserable and hating it.
“Pay attention to the things that you are naturally drawn too. They are often connected to your path, passion and purpose in life. Have the courage to follow them.”
Read more about Samantha here.