Somewhat related: the last few years, I've been trying to make changes in myself. Let's say that I've been not doing drugs for the majority of my life. And in the last few years, I've been trying different things. At what point do I become a drug-doing guy? I'd want to explain how I don't /really/ do them, only recently. Or maybe I've been reserved for a long time, and I finally made a "bold" move to a girl who isn't very familiar with me. I worry that without her knowing the context of my reserved personality, that she'd think that I am "bold" as the norm.
And I realized that every judgment about a person is valid. If I had never stolen anything in my life and then I meet someone new who catches me in the act of stealing, that's all they know. I realized also how feeble excuses are when it comes to your actions. "I don't normally steal!" is really weak.
Another real life example is that I felt like I was never dominant or assertive with a girl. It never really bothered me, but I set small goals for myself. Like to be more assertive. And as I've like dated and been with more girls, I feel like I've gotten more accustomed to an assertive role. And then I got called out about being too pushy or like crossing lines. And in my head, I was still the non-assertive guy whose intentions you could read plainly on his face. It was really weird and I felt really, really bad. I was the pushy guy. I was that character, and I didn't realize it. It was eye-opening. It made me understand people a lot more. I wanted to be like "no wait! I'm not really pushy, I'm just trying to get comfortable with myself!" And I realized, maybe that's why anyone does anything. And that excuses don't matter.
The concept of actively and purposefully going against my "baseline personality" really put a lot of things into perspective for me. It helped me lean towards the idea that there's no baseline self. Just a bunch of equally valid judgments about my actions.
The few times that I've really liked someone and wanted to impress them, I found myself giving them some sort of backstory for myself. I wanted to establish my personality, or what I thought it was, really quickly. So I could give context for the changes that are currently taking effect. I wanted to override their small window of experience with me and I realized that it wasn't cool. I forgot what I thought I knew about no baseline. Anyway
I just like thinking about perceived actions and then reacting to them. It makes me think a lot.
"See, I was never really one for the safe route. I think safe routes have their place in the world, but I don't think safe routes are the ones that give you the most out of life. They give you security, yes, but they don't offer nearly as many opportunities, and not nearly as many unique experiences. The safe road is one traveled by everyone; a systematic, institutional way to keep people in check and happy, and even that's imperfect. I would rather struggle than regret not trying to claw my way out of the muck if only to shape my own life. I've only got so much life left, and it's already about a quarter over."
This might sound offensive, but I am not trying to be mean. I think you may have justified this to yourself too much at this point. Again, not trying to be mean or critical, but you say that everyone goes the safe route, as if they're mindless zombies trying to only provide for their most basic needs as an animal. Your tone is really condescending, even though it's aimed at no one in particular (or "everyone", as you said). I didn't come here to pick about your own writing in your own space in your blog. It's just that this is so scornful and mocking of the educational system, as if you have everything figured out and that "everyone" is wrong. You aren't going to regret getting an Associate's Degree. You aren't abandoning your dreams and becoming a mindless drone by finishing off what you've already gotten close to completing. I think it's incredibly easy (and pretty annoying to read) to write off the need for education. Of course there are many types of education. But to say that you have more opportunities outside of school is supremely twisted.
This is your blog and you can say whatever you want in it. I willingly came here and was exposed to what you wrote. But still, you imply that college is "safe" and for "everyone", mockingly. I am going to be in a huge amount of debt for my college choice. I've been at a community college for twice as long as you have and only recently did I scrape up grades and recognition that was worthy of scholarships at SCAD. And my scholarship is really shitty compared to Betty's. That's incredibly humbling. I've been through ups and downs at that school and I know where you're coming from for a lot of this. It's not like I've been busting my ass there since I graduated. I've been going at it with varying levels of intensity and devotion. I have grown so much there. Not even from the classes. That's actually a very small part of it. I've felt the same hopelessness and hatred for the school and the people there. But I learned to drive myself to get away from them and to go to my dream school. I am not going to use 90% of the stuff I learned in class at a university, and especially not as this art school. But I don't regret it. The most valuable thing that I learned there was that I should have done it sooner. Being at that school for so long is humbling. I am not trying to make this about myself, but all I can do is speak from my point of view and experience:
The safe thing to do is to stop going to school. For you to imply that my working at the school for years and my choice to risk literally the majority of my life, the upcoming part that is not yet lived, on loans for my dream school is "safe" is incredibly condescending. I am wagering my happiness and livelihood on my goals. For the first two weeks straight at SCAD, every single night, I was have terrible anxiety about the loans. The reality was sinking in, and this is just my first quarter. Think about all of the things that come with the burden of loans. If I fail and am not able to pay them back, the consequences are far-reaching. As an example, what kind of future wife would want that? That's really far down the road, but that's how influential the consequences of my risk are. I don't know what will happen, nor do I claim to. I know that I will adapt to the debt and to the pressure, hopefully in a positive way. So it is a little irksome that someone who has not yet been in this situation to call my choices "safe", as they risk very little. That's not a criticism about you. I hope you'll interpret it as more perspective.
The harsh reality of the working world is that future employers aren't going to read this entire blog, trying to understand your situation when you are trying to get a job. Instead they'll see that there's no education. In the same way that I know I will adapt to the pressure of debt, I think you will adapt, too. I sincerely believe that school has more opportunities, but I think you will find a way to do what works for you.