Hannah is currently working as an esthetician in Dallas and going to school online at Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Her Success Coach is supporting her in finishing her Psychology degree and planning for her future.
Q. Where did it begin for you? Why did you decide to go to college?
Where I grew up, college was painted as the yellow brick road to a successful career and life. But school was always challenging for me, both educationally and socially. I feared the idea of continuing this process for another four years, so I created numerous plans on ways to bypass college and still have the job of my dreams. I would research internships, work trades, and even trade schools. No plan ever seemed as ‘safe’ or justifiable as going to a university. I applied to college in my last months of my senior year, and got accepted to TAMU-CC. I wish I had a better reason for picking this school, but I honestly loved that it was on the water. I remember thinking “if all else fails, at least I’ll be by the beach!”
Q . Why did you decide to leave school?
My fears about going to college came true right away. I was put on scholastic probation in my first year. I learned that I struggle with anxiety and depression (which I believe is wildly untalked about, especially for those new to college). And, though I was now in school, I still had no idea what I wanted to major in. When I was a freshman, this seemed understandable. When I became a junior, and I was still in this place, I felt scattered. I became frustrated with paying a substantial amount of money, to barely pass classes, that I wasn’t sure were leading me down a path that I wanted to be on. I remember having a melt-down and deciding I was done. The next day I told my friends (they thought I was crazy), and then I went to school and withdrew from all my classes. Within that same week, I took a job on a farm in Hawaii.
Q . Why did you decide to return to school? What changed?
When I left college, I had no idea if I would ever want to come back. I started actually experiencing things I had always wanted to. I traveled to beautiful places. I worked a lot and met people from all over the world. I even got my esthetician license. Working in the beauty industry has always been a dream of mine, and this was my first step into that world. Seeing different parts of the world made me realize that college is by no means a necessity to a good life. But it is a really wonderful opportunity that many don’t get the chance to do. Once I realized this, I wanted to go back. I didn’t want the previous work I had accomplished to go to waste, and I wanted to enjoy the short time I had left.
Q . How has working with a Success Coach affected you?
It was a big decision to go back to school, and to have someone there made it less daunting. My coach has really been helpful in reaching out and checking in on how I am doing. I feel like I always have someone in my corner!
Q. What are your goals for the future?
My dream is to graduate college, and find or create a job that incorporates both my love of the beauty and fashion industry with psychology.
Q. What advice do you have for stopped out students who are considering going back to school?
My best advice would be to do it for you. It’s hard. It takes a lot of time, money, and determination. If you’re doing it for you, then it will carry you through any obstacle you face.