I have quit a lot of things. I quit softball after playing it for one summer in fourth grade. I quit volleyball after playing it for less than one season in seventh grade. I quit track and field after being in it for more than two years (but later joined again my senior year). I quit going to school at NDSU after two years. I quit being an architecture major after three semesters even though I was accepted into the program. I’ve quit a lot of things in my 20 years of life and sometimes it pains me to think about. I sometimes feel like I haven’t finished anything or haven’t accomplished anything. I feel like there are so many things that I didn’t give a proper chance. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how different things could have been if I would’ve stuck with these. Would I have also been a state champion in softball my senior year like many of my classmates if I had stayed in it from fourth grade to then? Would I be able to actually run more than a mile without wanting to die had I stayed in track for the consecutive six years? Would I be designing some awesome building right now for some make-believe client if I would have stayed in architecture? Would I have gone down to Frisco, Texas with a bunch of new friends to watch the Bison win the national championship if I stayed at NDSU? Thinking about all of these possibilities drains me. It can be hard to think about what could have been if you had chosen different paths in life and sometimes you can’t help but wonder how different your life would be.
I have also taken a lot of time to consider whether or not these decisions were for the best. I have to admit that in the past, I quit things on a whim. Either because I was too lazy or just wasn’t feeling it at the moment. But there are other things that I have quit after a lot of consideration, especially changing my major from architecture and leaving NDSU. I had wanted to be an architect since I was 12, if not younger. It was the only thing I saw myself doing as a career and I wanted to love it. Once I got to NDSU and started my pre-program classes, I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. I loved the artistic aspect of it, but I didn’t love the content. I was busy with my generals and wasn’t applying myself as much as I would have liked to. I wasn’t creating the kind of things I had always imagined and I spent a lot of time trying to catch up. I ended my freshman year with good grades, good enough grades to be accepted in the architecture program, a path that would lead me to a master’s degree after four years. I was beyond thrilled, I cried when I first found out and I wanted to tell everyone. My family got me flowers and took me out for dinner and all my friends congratulated me. I couldn’t wait to get back to Fargo and get started designing amazing things. So, come August, I was back at school and eager to learn. We started learning the basics of design and I was baffled. I wasn’t enjoying it. I came to the sad realization that I HATE drawing buildings. I despised it. I was terrible at it. I couldn’t come up with an original design that wasn’t just a box. I was beyond frustrated. How was it possible that after dreaming of being an architect for so many years, and being accepted into a great program, that I hated it?
Flummoxed. The word that comes to mind. I panicked, hardcore. I didn’t have a backup plan, but I didn’t want to spend another semester working on a degree that I was shit at. Coming to this realization was really hard and I never really vocalized how much I struggled with the transition. So, without much thought, I switched to a marketing major the second semester of my sophomore year. I wanted to work in marketing for the music industry. But then classes came, and I really really hated it. Accounting? Business ethics? Microecon? I crashed hard that semester, somehow still ending with a gpa more than 3.0, but I was struggling. I skipped a lot of classes and stayed in my apartment almost all of the time besides going to work. And then I panicked again. I hated North Dakota, a real shitty place. I wanted to get out if I wasn’t going to be an architecture major, the only reason I chose NDSU. And so I started looking at colleges to transfer to. MSU was a frontrunner. It was close to home, it had marketing, it had people I knew and loved. I didn’t really look anywhere else because I just wanted to start the process, so I did. Flashforward a year and a half and here I am. Almost done with my first year at MSU, my third year of college. I changed my major when I got here, I am double majoring in mass media and english. I have hopes of getting into book publishing, but am keeping an open mind. I am studying abroad in the fall in London and I couldn’t be more excited. I am so happy where I am right now and I know that it took me trying and quitting things to get to where I am. I am looking forward to the future and know great things are to come.