Thinking Out Loud // (Not) Back To School

September 24, 2015

It's September and around this time just about everyone should be back in school. In my case however, I decided to take a semester off (hence the post title) and not because I had some epiphany that school isn't my thing and all, but because sometimes being a broke college student means being too broke to afford to go to college. Taking out a loan? Out of the question. Financial Aid? Didn't necessarily cover as much as I hoped. Overall, I just know that although I may not be going to school this semester that I am going to be making the most of this time off and really work on myself as a person. Also if you're also a student who unfortunately had to take a semester (or two) off maybe you can relate to this post and maybe it'll help you out or you can help me out? 
First things first about taking some time off for school is DON'T FEEL LIKE YOU'RE A FAILURE. Just because you're taking time off of school doesn't make you a failure and it especially doesn't make you any lesser of a student or person. Some people just aren't meant for school and sometimes taking time off to find out what you are meant for is significantly more rewarding. Also move at your own pace, just because the friends you graduated with in high school are graduating college or further along in their studies than you are that doesn't mean they're any better than you or that you're any lower than them. It is a bit (more like a lot, at first) discouraging and can really put a damper on your self-esteem feeling as if you're being left behind your other colleagues, but finding out what's best for you and actually putting all your time, passion and effort into something you feel is worth it is just as gratifying as graduating "on time." 
 Now some people might claim this whole post as a false look at reality or a sad bunch of excuses for being unable to accept the fact that college just wasn't my thing or didn't work out, but honestly the only person that will know what's best for you is yourself and I personally feel it's better to try out new things while you're still young and able rather than waste your time doing something you're only half-heartedly putting effort in only to find out too late that you've missed out on life.
Some of the things that I've been doing to make use of my time off of school is learning sign language. Now some people might call me a "Weeb" (Weeaboo) for the reason for why I suddenly wanted to learn sign language, but I was watching this anime called "Gangsta" and the main character is deaf and so seeing how he would communicate to other people through sign language really interested me. So I downloaded an app on my phone just to pick up some basics. I'm also planning on buying some books to teach me as well. I haven't looked into classes yet, but for now I'm probably just going to stick to self-teaching before getting into more advanced learning. 
Another thing I've been doing more is reading, but instead of textbooks I'm reading books that actually interest me. Some books I bought recently are #Girl Boss by the CEO of Nasty Gal Sophia Amoruso, Eat Pretty by Jolene Hart and Lolita by Vladamir Nabokav. I've already finished #Girl Boss and it was a very easy read and also very motivational. It made me start to think differently about how I do things and really brought out the ambitiousness in me to do better and more.  I just recently started Lolita and I was drawn to this book because of it's controversial topic. It's a bit of a challenge to read because there's on and off French speaking so it kind of throws me off a bit and hinders my understanding of what's going on. Also some of the vocabulary is by far more advanced than mine so I find myself looking of words almost every other chapter, but once you get past all that the story is a real page turner. I don't want to get too into the story because I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but if you're really into books that are "different' and not your typical happy-ending then I would definitely suggest picking up a copy of this book. 
Aside from picking up different hobbies, one m a j o r activity that I've been doing a lot more lately is of course, working. I am putting in my 38-40 hours a week at my job and saving up like crazy towards school. I feel that if you do find yourself having to take off time from school, but still wanting to go back, then working and saving up is crucial. 
However, speaking of saving up that leads me into my next topic which is looking up grants and scholarships and one really cool app that my best friend, Eshie, told me about it this app called "Scholly." And what Scholly is is an app that makes finding scholarships and grants that you qualify for much more easier and quicker, right in the palm of your hand. 

How this app works is that it gives you an option to either look up scholarships or essays that you can fill out in order to earn financial rewards towards your schooling. For me personally I only use this for scholarship look ups. When you first open the app you're prompt to fill out information pertaining to your major, GPA, and so on. 

Unfortunately I believe this app is mainly geared toward students in the states, because as you can see pictured above, the only option for location whereabouts only has "States" as the option. (Sorry to any of my readers outside of the states!) 

Looking through the list of majors listed, this app had just about every major offered by most colleges. They didn't specially have Nutrition listed but they did have Food Sciences, so if you don't happen to find your exact and specific major I would just select something as close to it as possible. I also thought it was pretty neat that when you click on the miscellaneous option they have characteristics and hobbies listed like if you are a vegetarian! So yes, for all your vegetarians and possibly even vegan students out there, there are scholarships and grants out there for you guys! 

After filling out the required information the app will bring you to a list full of scholarships and grants that you are matched with. It's such a great app because it also gives you the deadlines, scholarship descriptions,  and also the direct link to the website where you can apply. 
Also if you find yourself not having time at the moment to apply the app gives you the option to save the scholarship so that way you can go back to it at your convenience without having to worry about having to look for it again! 

Taking off time from school can be really discouraging at first, especially if you have no idea what to do with your time off from school. But what I advise is to definitely take advantage of this time to really work on yourself and finding out what you're good at! Sometimes there are instances where life comes first and school comes second. School isn't for everyone and sometimes your time for college isn't always right after high school. Be smart with your time off and make sure you're being as productive as possible! 
Good luck and best wishes to you all! :) 

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