The Gray Area of Transitioning from College to Adulthood

April 10th, 2018

One day, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw someone post this, “Don’t let your struggle hold you back from greatness”. I felt triggered and conflicted because I am giving up on a life that I always dream about. I’ve always want to continue my education because that was the only way I knew how to move up in life. Well I think it is time to try something different.

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Gee Franko; Facebook

I’m beyond nervous and hesitate to share this piece of my life with you because I feel like a complete failure. I see everyone starting their lives whether its graduating from college, going to graduate school, or starting a brand-new job.

If anyone doesn’t tell you this, I am extremely proud of you and keep on being great. I am your biggest cheerleader. Graduating college is a beautiful moment. I just feel so behind in life and I’m only 22. I shouldn’t feel like this right? I feel like I am giving up on myself.

What I’m about to say may alarm you, it may offend you, or even triggered you. If you feel some type of way, unfollow me, but this is my truth and I am learning to stand by it.

So, let’s get to it. I am dropping out of graduate school. Yes, you read it right. I am dropping out of graduate school. I’m going to say it one more time, Brandi Gray is dropping out of graduate school!

“How could you do this”? “There are many people who would love to be in your position”. “Students always feel like they want to drop out during their first semester of graduate school. You will overcome this feeling. It is totally normal to feel this way”.

Guess what? They can have it!

If you want to be unsure and question yourself about the decisions you made, have regret and feel stuck, go ahead and take my place because I am drained from the backlash.

I feel like God gave me so many red flags and signs in the beginning and I didn’t pay attention because I was so persistent about going to grad school.

I am currently a graduate student at East Carolina University. I’m studying English with a concentration in Technical and Professional Communication. Going into this program, I did not know what to expect. I had no idea what Technical and Professional Communication is even about (I STILL DON’T HAVE A CLUE). I was told that I can use my interest and knowledge of Mass Communication with this major. From my little understanding, this has nothing to do with Mass Communication, and I honestly don’t know how you could use it in this major in a potential career in media. At the time, I was just happy to be going to school again.

I hated all my classes. My classes were all online and I didn’t know that until after the fact. So, I could have stayed at home and have a job but I’m in Greenville and currently jobless. I’m very head strong and indecisive at the same time. Once I make my mind up about something, it is set but I am always going to have my doubts.

As the semester is coming to an end, I feel very conflicted about continuing in this program. I didn’t like any of the material that I was studying and I hate online classes. The topics were so uninteresting and I was always confused. I felt alone, unsure, and defeated. I didn’t understand what I was learning, and I didn’t have any motivation to do anything.

I’ve talked to many close family and friends about this and they all had different opinions. Some say stick it through because you never know what it is going to lead you to and others said if you are not happy, go do something else. Some of my professors told me to change programs, but none of the programs interest me and I don’t know how this can help me with trying to get a career in mass media.

As I am typing this post, I still do not know what I am going to do. I feel like a quitter. I cannot wrap my head about me quitting, I never quit. You know the sayings, “start what you finish” and “quitters never win, and winners never quit”? They are forever haunting me in my thoughts to the point I can barely sleep at night.

Since I decided to drop out, I don’t know what to do next. I have applied to so many jobs in my field and they ALL said I need more experience, So, I’m stuck.  I’m not trying to be negative but it sucks that you spend lots of time and money on your education for you to be jobless or not have a job in your field after you graduate. And it’s not fair that only certain fields are guaranteed jobs after graduation. If you graduated from college, you should be given the opportunity of having guaranteed employment in your field. To me what’s the point of going to college if I’m not going to have a job in my field. I thought having a Bachelor’s degree would be enough.

I could go back home and work in retail again. At this point, I don’t even mind because I would be around people who supported my every decision and have money coming in. If I stay in grad school, I would be miserable, stress, and have doubt that it is going to get any better. I don’t want to have any regrets.

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Arnice Cottom; Facebook

This has been the biggest life lesson and eye opener I have had thus far in my life. I have learned so much about myself. I hate being jobless. I hate online classes. I don’t like technical communication. I don’t know what the future holds but I am happy to be looking forward to a future.

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Facebook

I know what my interests are. I’m still trying to figure out what type of career I want.  I also realize that not everyone is going to support you (even your closet family and friends).Ultimately, we were not brought into this world to please others. So, if you don’t like the fact that I’m dropping out, please leave, and you never supported me in the first place.

I have plenty of love and support from people who care about me, my happiness, and my sanity. I honestly don’t know what to expect in life. Everyone says, I am so young and I have my whole life to figure that out, but I went to college and graduated, and I feel like I should have an idea on what I want to do, but I don’t. I hate that I am having difficulty finding something in the media field and I have a bachelor’s degree. If I decide to go back to school, it will be at a school that has a program that I have interest in and not a program I’m going into blind. In the meantime, let’s see if I can find a job/ career in my field. I’m just not settling for anything. If you don’t get anything from reading this, remember settling doesn’t guaranteed happiness.

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Dreama James; Facebook

I feel hopeless. I don’t know what to do now. I know that right now school is not where I need to be. I’m going to finish this semester out and be done with it. You never know I might go back to graduate school. Though I am unsure about what the future holds, I thank God for letting me look forward to a future.

What was I thinking? Now that I have  made up my mind about dropping out, I’m thinking about what I should have done differently with my time in college. I should have applied to jobs when I was at ECSU.  I thought I would have been happy and relieved about dropping out but I’m sad because I still clueless about what is next for me. I see people with their jobs and I’m so happy for them but at the same time I’m envious because I didn’t do what they did. I need a job to get experience, but I need experience to get a job. I blame myself for all of this.

My advice to those who want to go to graduate school:

KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT TO DO, research, take some time to soul search, save money, visit your intended program before deciding, and know who is a part of your support system is truly.

It’s almost been a year since I graduated from ECSU and I’m still at square one, not knowing what I want to do with my life. I’m living my biggest fear. I took a risk and it backfired.

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DevinThe_Legend; Twitter

I am not against people going to graduate school or pursuing their education.  Just don’t be like me and rush to get to graduate school. Graduate school is not going anywhere. So, don’t rush anything.

Do your research, ask questions, and weigh ALL your options. Graduate school is not for everyone and there are more options out there. Education is not the only way to become successful. I hope this will help those who are trying to make an important life decision.

If anyone needs someone to talk to, I am here and willing to share more of my story. DM me @tha_brandae on social media.

I will be giving an update on what I have decided and what life has been like since my decision.

UPDATE May 2, 2018

I am officially done with graduate school. I’m now a graduate school dropout. I did pass all my classes but that doesn’t mean I have a passion for technical communication. I have two jobs. Though they are not in my prospective career field, they can lead to great careers. I have learned that I am not alone and that they are plenty of people who are going through the exact same thing. I am excited to see what the future holds and can’t wait to give you another update. I want to be able to make a living and enjoy it. I am actually looking forward to see what is next for me. There is one thing that I am very certain of; I will not stop until I get exactly what I want.

 

 

 

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tha_brandae

Brandi Gray is a proud alumna of Elizabeth City State University. Her major was Communication Studies. During her time at ECSU, she was involved in many clubs and organizations. She was an on air personality and board operator for WRVS 89.9 FM. She enjoys creating memories by experiencing adventures with her close friends and family. She loves social media. She has a interest in how POC especially Blacks are portrayed in the eyes of media and society. Follow her on social media @tha_brandae.

2 comments

  • Hey Brandi —
    You are right that you are certainly not alone in this predicament. I graduated from East Carolina 2 years ago…received all sorts of awards, felt like I had a lot going for me…but have struggled to find my place. I graduated with a degree in biology. I received a prestigious internship upon graduation that led to a temp position, but when no permanent position was coming through, I had to move back home with my parents and no money or job to my name. I dropped out of an MBA program to the disapproval of most people. And I’ve spent a lot of time in food service and retail so that I can support myself as I start my business. It has honestly been absolutely miserable at times, but things are very slowly coming together. I’ve learned a lot about myself during this time–knowledge that I hope to use to make smart decisions for my future. Wishing you the best of luck!! 🙂
    –Erika

    Like

    • Erika,
      Hello and thank you for the comment and your story. It feels great to know I’m not alone and that there is hope. Life after college has been difficult to adapt to especially not knowing my purpose. I also thought that the many accolades I’ve received in college would help my future. Congratulations on starting a new business. That’s phenomenal!!! I’m excited to see what the future holds for the both of us!!! Best wishes!!

      Like

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