I am finally in the home stretch to getting my BFA, I have two tough semesters ahead of me, and am feeling optimistic. I started at Metropolitan State University in 2008, and was in such a different place in my life, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. In these past 5 years I have become a different person, my eyes have been opened to a world of opportunity, growth and purpose in life. It was 3 years after I graduated high school when I decided to further my education. High school was a miserable experience, and I saw no point in continuing to make myself miserable by going to school. After working a string of awful jobs in the service industry, I realized I would never be happy doing that kind of work. I had very little sense of purpose or satisfaction in life. It took me so long to realize that this lifestyle would not work for me because I thought that was just a part of life. Working was a miserable thing that you had to put up with in order to survive. This is a common thought process, and one that few escape. The small insignificant perks, like raises, and promotions within these soul sucking jobs creates a distraction from the underlying misery. I know it sounds a bit dramatic, but toward the end of my 8 years in the service industry, that is exactly how it felt. I had to force myself there, and give myself intensives to stay, like an extra cup of coffee, something sweet, alcoholic beverage after work, doing nothing productive before or after work because I “deserved” or “earned” it. These things don’t fit with my ideals. The concept of living by ones ideals truly seems to be the key to happiness and success. Figuring out what one’s ideals are might be just as difficult as finding a way to live by them. In 2008 while deciding what I would go back to school for, I realized my life would not be about making money. I understand I need enough to survive, but considering my minimalist lifestyle, with no plans of a family, money to survive doesn’t need to be that much. For people who are somewhat aimless in life or need to find their sense of purpose, school can be a great way to explore these things. It can also be a distraction if your heart isn’t in it, and a way of avoiding certain difficult questions that everyone has to face eventually, like what to do with ones life. I have known a lot of people that continued their education not because they had a desire to be there, but because it is what they thought they were supposed to do, or what their parents insisted, or expected they do. I don’t think school is necessary for everyone or that it makes a person better or worse than another. My experience with it was great, but I also wasn’t pushed to go, I came on my own terms after certain life realizations. It was never something I had to do, it was something I wanted, that simple mindset could make all the difference for someone pursing a degree.