Monday, November 15, 2010

Why I Threw It All Away

As I approach the end of my first semester at Wake Technical Community College, I feel the urge to slightly explain myself.

Many people expected "better" things for me upon completion of high school; ie scholarships, good universities, etc and what not. However upon actually receiving my diploma I trotted off contently to Wake Tech leaving many scratching their heads.

Why, you may (or may not) ask?

Two reasons.

A) I received no scholarships and although I could turn this into a long story, I'll just leave it at that. No money for Lise. Nada, zilch.

B) I was done.

Background: I was the good student, the nice kid, played sports, active community service, yadayada. As of my junior year, it was clear in my head that I was going to graduate school and head off to a four-year college, upon arrival would work my butt off, graduate and then join my peers as a good, working-class citizen of America. And up until about November 2009, gosh darn it I was supposed to do all that. No doubt.

What happened? Well most of you know the answer.


And although I could write pages and pages upon my experience I shall let that one word speak for itself.

Because as of November 2009, I realized that I did not, no could not leave. And I fought for it. For about a month I fought with my school in the U.S. to let me stay in Germany and still graduate on time. And in doing so I found a backbone I never knew even existed in me.

So why did I want to stay so bad?

As in exchange student you are sent to live to a country you've never been to before (well most), you get a new family (who has only meet you through emails and a dorky letter you write), a new town, new school, new language, new culture, the list goes on. You can no longer rely on who you've come to identify yourself as. No longer does JROTC, baseball, NHS, or all these things apply to you, you are simply you. What you chose to be and who are you truly are. So what do you do, with nothing to define you except "American" and "Exchange student"?

You live.

Your world is thrown off its axis, your head is spinning, and the moments in which you do not try to cling to your old thoughts and ideas, the world explodes in a freshness that takes your breath away and makes you realize you can never, ever go back to your old life. And those random people that picked you to live with them? They become your family. That random school you got sent to? The people there become your friends. And that random
town of 20,000 people you get shipped off to? It becomes your home.

So I chose not to return in January. I chose to stay in Germany. Doing so probably cost me those scholarships, those prestigious awards had fought so hard for.

But don't ever think I regretted it.

And why did I chose Wake Tech instead of taking out student loans?

So that two years from now, I can walk away debt free ready to begin my life. Not one graduating from a four year school who must immediately enter the work force in a 9-5 job to pay off their student loans. That did not sound appealing to me.

So I admit it. I'm done playing the game and following the "rules". I work to please God and find the best path for my life. That's it plain and simple.

And I guess when it comes down to it, I just want to know that 50 years from now I took every opportunity that was given to me and never looked back.

I want to see the world.

And that's why I threw it all away.