No More University for Me

by Kaitlyn Dawn 12 days ago in student

why I stopped believing in traditional post-secondary education

No More University for Me
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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?

Kaitlyn Dawn
Kaitlyn Dawn
Read next: The Unconventional College Life
Kaitlyn Dawn

I am a young woman from Canada.

I am an Aquarius sun, Taurus moon, and Capricorn rising.

I am a lifelong learner and a multi-passionate individual.

I am currently studying to become a Life and Creativity Coach.

I am an open book.

See all posts by Kaitlyn Dawn