Avoiding the Safe Route

By Jessica Frazier on September 15, 2013
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I am a firm believer in learning from my mistakes.

Running barefoot on freshly mopped tile, not a good idea; lesson learned. Biting into something straight out of the oven, not a good idea; lesson learned. Trying to get anywhere in rush hour traffic in Miami, not a good idea; lesson learned.

Attending my local community college because all of my friends were going there and it is perceived as the normal thing to do, not a good idea; lesson learned.

In high school, one of the main issues I dealt with was being in some of the same classes and having the same lunch schedule as the majority of my friends. For four years my social circle had a huge impact on all of the choices I made in regards to what classes I took and when I took them.

Dead end 

When it came time to collect my diploma and sink my teeth into college, honestly, I took the safe route; I did exactly what my friends were doing. Unfortunately for me, the safe route turned out to be a bumpy road and I soon found myself at a dead end.

What took me far too long to realize is that I was more concerned with my comfort than with my future. I don’t regret making the wrong choice in terms of college, because it was what led me to the right one.

Would I do things differently if I had the chance? I’m not sure. I think that I needed to make that mistake in order to realize that I needed to release myself from the safety net I was so used to being under.

Still, there are days when I slip into uncertainty whether I made the right choice by switching colleges. Days when my friends call me and I can’t join them at the movies because despite their homework being done, my workload is nowhere close to being finished. It is at times like those that I question my decisions, and ask myself “Am I truly in the right place for me?”

The Right Place 

The answer is a resounding yes. I am in the right place for me, not the easy place or the place that my friends are at, and it’s a good place to be.

My college is pricier than the community college that the majority of my friends go to, I have to take out student loans on top of financial aid and scholarships in order to afford the tuition, but I learn something new every single day. I don’t dread each new day like I did with my first college. I am happy despite the money and despite the fact that I’m doing everything alone; no safety net.

I know now that it’s perfectly alright to stray off the beaten path and find your own way, and it may not be what is considered “normal” or “safe.” You may not get there as fast as you’d like, and you may have to step out of your comfort zone to find that place.

I learned that I have options, and luckily I have the opportunity to explore as many of them as I want before settling into one that suits me. I learned that I’d rather be nervous about finding my own way than miserable traveling a road suited for somebody else.

Did I choose the best path? Well, that depends on who you ask, but I know I chose the best path for me.

When it came down to it, I had to do what was right for myself and not what was right for everybody else, and honestly, I prefer the scenic route over the safe route.

About the Author

Jessica Frazier

Jessica Frazier

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