As you guys know, in August I became a Visual Communications Design student at Cedarville. As a lot of you don’t know, I left last month with no intention of completing the rest of the year.
My choice to leave Cedarville has nothing to do with the school itself. Cedarville is fantastic. I’ve learned things and met people I will never forget.
My decision has everything to do with writing. If college has taught me anything, it’s that I am a writer, not a graphic designer. In my opinion, it is pointless to spend thousands of dollars pursuing a major I don’t want to use after college.
Why not switch majors? Well, maybe a four-year degree at some university is not the educational path I’m supposed to take.
When I chose to go to college, I was drifting with the crowd. I basically said to myself:
Everyone goes to college, so it must be the right thing to do. If I go to college, I’m sure something will happen while I get a degree. I can totally work on my book, probably become a better writer, and somehow publish my WIP by the time I get out.
It took me a while to realize how stupid that logic sounded. I was justifying my actions by appealing to the majority. In reality, what works for most people might not work for me. I believed publication would eventually “just happen”. Life doesn’t operate that way. If I want to become a writer, I need to work for it. I can’t bide my time and wait for something to happen.
I’m thankful for my Cedarville experience. I now desire to live intentionally because I know what it is like to drift without a strong purpose. That longing to live my life deliberately has manifested itself in a new passion for writing and a serious attitude about my goals.
Dropping out of college is one of the scariest things I have ever done. I have doubted myself a thousand times over and could fill up the rest of this post with doubts, questions, and what-ifs. But, that would be pointless.
My fears will always be with me. Maybe I will struggle to find an audience. Perhaps I’ll never publish a book. But I must believe that I was given a love for stories for a reason. I have to consider that I may not be destined to follow a conventional path.
Even if I fail, God wastes nothing. I’ve grown because of Cedarville. I may never go back, but I would never wish the experience away. That gives me hope. Even if I never publish a word of my books, as long as I grow into the woman God wants me to be, a year away from college will be well worth it.
In summary, I’m officially embarking on a gap year. I’m taking writing and publication seriously. During this time off school, I’ll be considering other educational paths that can enhance my writing abilities and may enroll in a two-year program of some sort at the end of this interval.
The year ahead both excites me and terrifies me, but I’ve made my choice and am going to make the most of what happens next.
To the God who never lets our struggles go to waste,
-Gabrielle R. Pollack