Transitioning versus Quitting

Apr 12, 2019

3 minutes

I quit college.

Well, wait, let me rephrase that. I transitioned out of college.

Does it really matter which way you say it?

You’re damn right it does.

I had already announced publicly that this current college semester would be my last.

Instead, I’m focusing the next 2 years of my life on getting 100% out of debt permanently, and going to college while generating more and more student loan debt was no longer an option. My goal to be a Japanese-to-English Translator is still alive in well. My professional goal is the same, but I will be approaching it differently.

The positive support was downright overwhelming in the best possible way. A few weeks after my announcement, it was brought to my attention that I could still “withdraw” from the semester. It wouldn’t negatively impact my academic standing and I wouldn’t get any money back from what I didn’t complete, but I would be done with classes the same day.

Was it a tough decision?

Frankly … no. The decision to withdraw from college was very simple. 

I had more work with my clients than I could handle, and I wanted to focus on that while also paying off my debts.

I wanted to learn Japanese at a more sustainable, useful pace.

Withdrawing was the obvious option, and I took it.

I chose to focus on accomplishing the freedom of being completely debt-free and financially stable.

I chose to focus on the joy of supporting my clients and writing these weekly blog posts for you.

I chose to finalize the subject of my 3rd book and to start bringing it to life.

With one 10-minute meeting, I was officially withdrawn from college. I didn’t have to go to class anymore. I didn’t have to do any more assignments or study for tests or work on projects during the last 6 weeks of the semester.

So, did I technically quit college?

Sure, you can look at it that way if you want. For me, approaching my choice from the perspective of “quitting” makes it feel like a failure. A waste of time. A pointless 18 months.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m grateful and happy that I took out the student loans to go to a nationally-ranked university and begin my in-depth education in Japanese. After experiencing two-and-a-half semesters in that environment, I clearly knew that learning Japanese in that method was NOT working. I had a 4.0 GPA. I was passing tests, but I wasn’t remembering it. I couldn’t USE the Japanese I studied. To me, that wasn’t the point of studying at all.

Instead, I approach my choice from the perspective that I have transitioned from college back into running my own business full-time. Looking back, I’ve made nearly countless transitions from one priority to another, one business to another, one hobby to another, my entire life. You probably have too!

But you probably called it quitting. I called it quitting for a long time.

I quit. I failed. I couldn’t stick with it.

And you know what – that’s fantastic!

If your spark is dead, don’t try to rekindle it with bullshit.

There’s a subtle difference between the spark being gone and the spark being dim. It’s very subtle. Only you can tell the difference within yourself, but it’s an important distinction to start honing.

Using the word “transition” instead of “quit” means you’re taking everything you learned – the good, the bad, and the who-the-hell-knows – with you into your next goal, your next priority, your next phase.

Tree leaves change color and fall off and regrow. The tree transitions through the seasons – it doesn’t quit being a tree.

The ocean laps upon the sand, creating beaches. The ocean transitions to land – it doesn’t quit being the ocean, no matter how much water crashes onto the beaches of the world.

Transitioning, adapting to your environment, your needs, your priorities is NOT quitting. You are NOT a failure. You’re human. You’re changing. You’re fucking incredible. 

If you make changes and decisions out of fear, you ARE quitting.

But change is nothing to fear.

Changing direction, changing focus, changing priorities is done from a place of self-respect and self-awareness.

Fear has no place here. 

If you’re staring fear in the face, then take a step to the left, and walk around it.

The fear won’t ever go away. It will follow you like a plague of locusts.

Acknowledge it, and keep fucking going. It won’t step aside for you.

You have to take control. This is your life, your decision, your choice.

Respect the amount of power you truly have and choose your transitions wisely.

Photo by Lance Asper on Unsplash

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