It’s been a full week since I dropped out.
Well, there is more to it than that. A slight financial slip up with my tuition payments, coupled with a lack of interest in my current school and an uncompromising drive to pursue my passions, developed into a leave of absence.
I can’t say they are happy about it. They’ve always wanted the best for me and they’re old school. Go to school, do well, get a job, make money and for the most part this wasn’t a terrible idea. I mean it worked well for my sister, but they made one fatal flaw.
They showed me I could do anything I wanted with enough determination. I was maybe eight assisting my Dad, with the plethora of startup ideas, mainly ‘Pocket Wars.’ An iOS application that we had contracted out a designer from New Zealand and a team of coders from India, but I was eight, how much help could I have been?
It was learning experience. The most impactful learning experience I could have ever had.
This is where they deviated from the ‘golden plan.’ It wasn’t intentional; however it incited something of disease inside of me. At times it would get so bad that I would stay home from school to work on my side projects. I felt that creating iOS applications offered a learning experience far more valuable than anything high-school was providing.
Three applications, two websites, two homegrown businesses, a new found passion in music and a subtle drive for story telling later, I’m now in my second year of college at Pace University. I have all of the best of intentions. I went above and beyond my previous year studying statistics, calculus and testing out of all my core requirements, all while living in New York City for free. I was on top of things and wanted to continue this path, yet when I went to create my schedule for my sophomore year, my advisor informed me, ‘You need to slow down, we (Pace) can not accommodate you and the classes you want to take. Why not just take electives next semester?’
This lady was fucking joking, right?
I mean I’m not one to pass on an opportunity to coast in school, but things felt different now. I wanted to actually give school a try. But as luck would have it, here I am stuck behind my peers waiting a year to be able to advance my education. This wasn’t exactly what I had in mind; however no matter how much I pleaded with the school I was told I needed to do this to become a more well rounded student.
Well, now here I am. Two weeks into my second year of college.
Taking an Introduction to Music Theory, Music Entertainment Business, a computer systems course and a class in developing my artistic portfolio. I dig all of these classes, but they aren’t what I want to be studying or necessarily doing with my time.
They gave me the option to take the year off.
This wasn’t before I had been pestering my parents with the idea of taking the next semester off from school, to pursue my passions, or before I was disenrolled for a weekend due to a financial slip up or before my Mom’s sister died.
Things have been tense for her and if it is tense for her, it is stressful for my dad. They chose the path of least resistance, they needed a break.
The weekend I was disenrolled, I freaked out. I had been working roughly thirty-five hours a week at work, while managing the rest of my time working on personal projects and going to the first few weeks of school. I was tired and stressed, so the second I found I was unenrolled I was a mess.
My education could have been saved. We had the money, or at least could've figured it out. I didn’t really want to. I hadn’t wanted to for a while and although I had turned over a new leaf, I was exhausted and like my family I needed a break.
They sat me down and made me deal.
They propositioned, ‘take the next two semesters off and pursue your passions, but you return to school next fall whether its Pace or NYU you are going back to school next fall.’ I could tell they were unsure of their decision to let me do this and it was met with an equal amount of discomfort from Nycol. Sure, I wasn’t the best student, but my work ethic is comparable to that of a crack habit and to my girlfriend, I am one of her biggest motivations. What now? What would happen? Who would be affected?
I hadn’t realized that attending school had an impact on more people other than myself. It felt weird to that someone looked up to me as a source of inspiration. To think that I might let them down by leaving school. But of course, I took it.
Now I have nine months to do something…. cool. To do something I’m proud of. To prove to my parents and myself that I can make it happen. I have all of these plans and projects that I’ve been talking a big game about, ‘all I need is time.’
Well, the time has come and it’s pretty fucking scary, but I like to be challenged and will document this battle all over the internet for future reflection. I’ll keep you posted.
-Ez. & Ethan