If I didn’t drop out of college, I would be dead.

I loved college. I loved the concept of being able to create my own education. I was excited to learn. I majored in Psychology and minored in Philosophy. I embraced the hardest courses because they cracked open my mind and expanded my worldview. It was great…until junior year when I realized that I had completely decimated my required major and minor electives. I was left with general education courses. You know…the same classes we had been taking our entire lives, revamped for college. I came to a full stop. All of my momentum disappeared. I attempted to power through, but the disappointment from being forced back into the same cycle of subjects that weren’t relevant to anyone’s life was overwhelming. I avoided class for a semester and irresponsibly hung out with my friends. It was a desperate attempt to cling onto the only thing that made me happy on campus. The following semester I registered for class but never left home. That’s right: I laid in bed for an entire semester, paralyzed by depression. Feeling like I was stuck in a mandatory, pre-written story, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on a whim. It was the only thing I could think of that could break the routine. I didn’t actually care to be a Marine. I’ve never been patriotic. But, I knew from friends who enlisted before me that every day in training would be different and unknown. I would be challenged again. College killed my drive, but I got it back when I decided to drop out and stop pursuing a degree. If I didn’t drop out, I probably would have lost my mind. I would’ve been sitting in the classroom, feeling crushed under the pressure to fulfill something for society and not for myself. I decided to live for me and now I’m thriving and happier, it seems, than my college graduate peers who are spiraling, unsure of what their degree really afforded them to do.