I didn't go to university. Or college. Not really, anyways. In April I'll have completed an online certificate in Creative Writing, which will be the extent of my education.
It has been three years since I graduated high school. A year and a half since I went to Africa. One year since I decided I was going to write.
People still ask me all the time "Where are you going to go to school?" or "What are your plans for September?" as if a degree in my hand will be the determining factor of my future.
Maybe I'm truly all wrong, and in six years I'll find myself still working at Starbucks, still living at my parents, really regretting not going to school.
But in this moment, and in every moment for the past three years, I think this is the best decision for me.
This isn't an act of rebellion, or of trying to be "different" than everyone else. At one point I applied and got accepted into schools for theatre, but writing was always the passion brewing in my heart, begging to be discovered. I declined those offers. But I decided after the completion of my certificate, I would pursue Journalism. The day I was going to apply, my mom and I went to the doctors and everything changed.
I didn't even want to go to school for Journalism. I just wanted to be thought of as somebody, and to me, the somebodies went to school.
This is what I want to tell you, for all of those who didn't go to school and maybe even more for those who did:
Your education does not determine your value.
Your grades, your degrees, your certificates or diplomas do not determine your worth.
Your schooling does not determine your future.
And I get it - there are some things you really do need to go to school for. I wouldn't want my mom to have had nurses who hadn't gone to school and been properly educated. I get that. I'm thankful for school in that capacity, I really am.
But if you haven't gone to school, you aren't any less intelligent, or have any less of a future.
For all of you who have gone to school, you should be proud. You have worked extremely hard, you are smart, you deserve your degree, and you deserve to have pride in that.
For all of you who have not gone to school, you can be proud, too. You have also worked extremely hard, and you are smart. You deserve to have pride in that.
So maybe after all of this, this is my real point. Maybe, instead of asking what schooling we're taking, what life we're supposedly pursuing, we ask this: what are your dreams, and how can I help you get there?
Because isn't it the truth that people need other people? I believe God gives us real dreams, real extraordinary dreams, all of us real different, and I think some of those dreams need school and I think a lot of them don't. But I think no matter what, we need one another.
So tell me, what are your dreams and how can I help you get there?