Be Your Best Self Lifestyle Thrive

LONE WOLF: STEPPING OUT ON MY OWN

Living life on your own terms—the VINA way.

Picture this: Graduating high school at 18 years old with the plan to attend a four year university and get a Bachelor’s Degree in something–really anything. I’m sure about 99% of vinas can relate to this blueprint.

Well, I attempted just that and I must say, it didn’t go as planned. I had my heart set on the idea of killing the college game, but what I signed up for proved that that wouldn’t be the case.

My first year was a huge flop due to zero motivation, a horrible roommate, and financial woes. I ended up moving back home before the last month of the second semester to help my cancer-surviving mother and to hopefully get back on the mental track with my educational goals. Side note: I was an emotional wreck while trying to keep it all together.

Fast forward another year, and I felt like I could do it. I was ready to go back in and finish up my schooling. Let’s just say, over the course of another four years, I’ve been a student at 3 universities and still have yet to obtain that BA in anything.

Society might label that as failing, right? Well, I’m here to say that not everyone needs to follow the model that society expects us to. There’s always an alternative. What I should’ve done, what many of us in a similar situation should’ve done, was take a gap year to figure if we really wanted to go to school. It turns out college was never for me, and personally, I love doing something that doesn’t require a degree. I enjoy learning through my life’s experiences. Today, at only 22 years old, I realize experience is worth more than student loan debt.

Let the beauty of what you love be what you do – Rumi

I’ve had multiple jobs that didn’t satisfy me one bit, but they all taught a great lesson: patience & appreciation. Never underestimate the season you’re in because it’s all for a reason, it’s all for a purpose. Recently, my living situation came down to a fight-or-flight decision and I’ve been crashing with a friend for almost two months. When you’re my age, with so much passion and drive to be better than past generations, continuously being under someone will begin to affect you.

Not having my own apartment, vehicle, or space in life was not apart of the plan. “This wasn’t supposed to happen” as we say when life throws a punch here and there. Despite the mishaps, I haven’t given up. I’ve learned so much about myself that I didn’t know was there. Peeling back a layer isn’t fun nor is it desirable, but we do it every day without realizing, and it becomes a funny story later on that we’ll eventually share.

My 20’s was going to be a smooth ride. I was going to have it all together. Of course, without prior experience or knowledge, I learned the hard way. Many bumps and sharp turns came about, but I fought through it all. I didn’t have a set plan. I wasn’t able to save up money and buy a one-way ticket to Southern California or a small town in North Carolina to truly begin a life that is mine. I had to learn how to problem solve on the spot and so far so good, in my opinion.

Mistakes must be made in order to reflect and know what not to do when a similar situation comes about.

My story is just beginning.

Vinas, with a life full of experiences and adventures ahead, start swiping to share your stories. 

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