No More University for Me
why I stopped believing in traditional post-secondary education
Both my Grandpa and my Dad didn't finish their university degrees. My Mom took some college courses, but didn't go for a degree. There was a lot of (internal) pressure for me go to university, to get a degree, and to do something big with my life.
So I got a degree -- I even declared a major (after spending the first two years undeclared, which made a lot more sense to me ... but again, the pressure). And then I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after university. I took a year off and was asked "What about teaching?" So I got another degree, and then I applied to the teaching program. I was 3/4 of the way finished my Bachelor of Education degree ...
And then my Grandpa passed away. And I took another year off -- to grieve, but also to figure out my life. Who am I? What do I want out of life? My Grandpa's opinion meant everything to me, and I know not finishing my path towards teaching would've disappointed him ... but it just didn't feel right anymore.
2020 has been a year of clarity for me, and I think for a lot of people. My Grandpa's philosophy in life was to always continue learning, a philosophy he instilled in his sons and in me. I think teaching seemed like the obvious fit at the time, to be in an environment FILLED with learning. Like I said though, after Grandpa passed, it just didn't feel the same -- something was off.
A couple months before he passed though, I discovered coaching as a career -- not coaching like sports, but rather coaching as in similar to (but not the same as) counseling or mentoring. A coach is someone who guides their clients from point A (the present) to point B (the future), helping them follow their greatest dreams and aspirations. Coaches live a life dedicated to personal development -- their clients' and their own. This was perfect! I had no idea a career -- a LIFESTYLE! -- like this existed.
So, through my research about coaching and what it entailed, through my own unique personal development and self-discovery journey this year, I realized that university and college -- traditional education -- was never the right fit for me. Sure, I did okay in school (I even got straight A marks in certain subjects), but I don't think I'll ever have the desire to go back now. I love learning on MY terms, learning about topics that I'm interested in versus being told what to learn in order to receive a piece of paper. I also love learning in a way that doesn't get discouraged by assignments and grades.
I'm currently going through a life coaching certification program, because I am passionate about becoming the best coach I can be, because the course and the trainers are wonderful and heart-centred ... and because it's only 6 months long. I don't plan to do any sort of training that takes me more than a year (if that), and I will only choose institutions/teachers who are more focused on the value of the learning, not the value of grades. To me, this type of education is a great investment. (Plus, less money spent on textbooks -- why are those things so expensive?)
Let me assure you: I am NOT saying universities are terrible and that YOU shouldn't invest! I have some wonderful, valuable memories from my many years of education, and I was able to broaden my mind so much (taking classes that taught me about religions of the East, multiple Psychology courses, and even one about political ideologies). I cherish ALL of my educational experience, because it has led me to who I am today. So, if this type of post-secondary education is right for you, that is AWESOME! But what I learned this year is that education isn't just from K-12 and a few years beyond; learning is for life. And life is short, so why not learn YOUR way?