If someone were to tell me that after all the studying and the sacrifices I had to make senior year in high school to get to a good university, that I would drop out to study fashion, I would say: No way!
From a young age I was a book lover, highly ambitious and with an urge to achieve all my goals and make my family proud. The last year of high school is very foggy in my memory, all I remember is me with a school book in my hands studying endlessly. Long, sleepless nights with my head over the ancient history book and a pen in my hands to keep notes.
One of my many dreams growing up was to get to a good University and study something important and life changing. I had to do it on my own, because my parents couldn’t afford an extra tutor like so many people in Greece have. Those people are supposed to offer you additional knowledge and exercises – their help might even be essential to get to a good Uni. Unfortunately, I couldn’t have that help, so I had to fight on my own against all those students who had them.
A lot of studying, a lot of work and a lot of hope – hope that in the end I would make it even though I lacked the tutor help.
I did it. Sure, I had to miss out on a few things like night outs, roadtrips and all the things high school students seemed to be doing almost every night. You see, I simply couldn’t afford being reckless. Not that I regret it in any way. In the end, I got into one of the best University’s in the country.
The thing is: instead of going with my gut and choosing a subject that would make me happy, I decided to rely on other people’s opinions and experiences and choose Pre–school Education. There are people who are amazing with kids. Naturally patient, funny, proper role models – I was never like that. I had other dreams, different passions and ambitions, I couldn’t see myself as a teacher. Yet, I chose the subject. Silly me for listening to other people instead of myself.
I remember sitting through classes feeling all kinds of miserable, thinking that the rest of my life would be all about a job I am not even passionate about. I always hoped my life would be so much different – I dreamed about a life that I would be studying something I am actually interested in, something that has to do with writing or books or fashion or public relations. People, excitement, events, style, culture, art. An interesting life according to my tastes. Yet, at that point it all seemed so far away from me.
Back then (almost a year ago, I am exaggerating for emphasis purposes) a degree in fashion was suggested as a second degree. So, how could I walk up to my parents and tell them that I wanted to drop off everything? How could I tell them I made a wrong choice and I was unhappy? How could I tell them I wanted to study something I did not know where it would take me?
It was my sister who helped me with all this. She was the one who ushered me to study fashion, she was the one who talked to my parents before me, she was the one who convinced them that there is no point in me studying something that did not make me happy. I also had a history with anxiety, so you can understand that the last thing my parents wanted was to pressure me into doing something I was not happy about.
That night when I came back home from University to take my gap year and see what I trully wanted to do – because, of course, they had to make me think about it better – my sisters (both of them) sat me down and talked to me about life in general. I am the youngest, so they know a thing or two more about life than I do. They have gone through some life shaping situations and I always trust their suggestions. Except when it comes to fashion – that’s where I rule!
They both told me some things that I still remember from time to time.
Life is not supposed to be filled with miserable people and situations. Our choices define us and our lives, if we choose to obey and listen to other people and not make our own decisions then we are not truly living our lives. What’s the point of having a life if somebody else is making all your decisions?
They also told me that, although I am young, I have to trust my insticts and do the things I consider right. Sure, sometimes I might make mistakes and fall down, but I will get back up – mistakes are lessons.
Being 18 at the time I was, of course, scared of what my next step in life would be. What would I end up studying? What was I supposed to do next? All those questions were burning my mind, they told me it’s only natural – that angst was normal and acceptable because it meant I could understand that the situation wasn’t to be taken on lightly. I had a decision to make for my life as an adult. I had to be sure of it.
You see, in the end, what I understood is that the whole point in life is doing things that make you happy. We’re all so used to limiting ourselves and moving between boundaries, scared to follow our dreams in fear that we might fail or be considered crazy.
You know what I say? I say be crazy. Dare to walk through life by doing all the things you feel like doing, things that make you happy, things that fill your heart with joy. If the school you’re into doesn’t make you happy, go to another school – if the subject you’re studying is not suitable for you, change the subject – if the person you are with doesn’t make you happy, walk away – if the life you’re having is making you miserable then change your life.
I was 18 years old when I was called to take my life into my own hands. This time I didn’t have my parents, I was alone with my thoughts and decisions. Your family can offer you guidance, but the final decision will always be yours.
After everything that happened since high school, I can say I am happy that things are the way they are. They may not be ideal yet, but they are good. My next goal? To make thinsg better. Take my life a step further.
And you? Are you happy?
Thanks for reading
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