Remarks Of a College DropOut

Hello!  My name is Levi Bastian Redcross and I am a College Drop Out, but I haven’t always been that way.  Obviously you have to attend a college in order to be a drop out but I have had a particularly odd path.  I’ve been attending college for seven semesters between two schools and seven jobs.  Before I even got started I had a rapidly vanishing interest in being a college student.  But somehow, with a little push from my surrounding community, I found myself attending Community College of Allegheny County (CCAC).  Seemingly only a month after admission, I had my whole life planned out.  But I would later learn otherwise.

I hold community college in the highest regards.  There, at CCAC, I met a group of friends I don’t believe that I will ever forget.  I also encountered some of the most passionate professors who were active in their interaction with their students.  The two years I spent there may have been the highest form of education I ever obtained for myself.  That may be due to the fact that I was involved in many extracurricular groups and working 4 jobs.  I learned to manage my time and work hard when time was short.  I found myself developing into routines you might call ‘adult’.  And those same skills I learned then are the same I apply to getting work done now.

I decided to leave because I reflected on my education and realized that the skills and the information that I was using in my most relevant life was not the information that I learned from school.  I may be hard working but I developed that from working so many jobs while going to college.  I developed my people skills from learning to communicate with professors not from writing papers.  I learned marketing by doing it time and time again and failing, not from the class I took at CCAC.  I found myself reflecting over the classes that I had taken in college and realized that none of it had been affecting what I was trying to do with my time.  And if I had gained anything from college the majority of it came from the work I did in my extracurricular.  At the Community College of Allegheny County I founded the Society for Creative Musicians and directed The Walk for Autism Awareness.  At college in Ohio I was Co-President of Yoga Club and founded Knot Another Knitting Club.  And by bringing these ideas into fruition I learned to educe the glory within myself.  This is where my true education was.  And so the reason I dropped out of college is because I learned that my education was something that I had been providing myself.

Everyone has a journey, whether that be in college or otherwise.  Just never forget that the knowledge that you seek out is the education that you are providing yourself.  You truly are your own teacher.  So don’t stop teaching yourself.  Don’t stop pushing yourself.  And always give yourself the best because you fuel your education.

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” – Henry David Thoreau

734 thoughts on “Remarks Of a College DropOut”

  1. Thank you Levi for your thoughtful post.
    I wonder where you will be seeking your next teacher/lessons? And what are you currently learning?
    Love,
    Mom

    1. Hey there Mum!
      I’m currently learning what it feels like to be tenderized. You know how that tenderize meat with the solid stainless steal mallet? That’s what it’s like to talk to my grandfather. He’s tough and he’s real, and it hurts sometimes but he seems to think that I can handle it. Plus, I’m taking in a lot about being confident. I know that you know that I’m very confident, Mother. But I’m nervous much of the time to start conversation with people about how I left college and such. Grandfather is telling me that I should just go for it and put 100% into this new concept. He says I need to be forward and find the people to talk to about it. I’m learning slowly and receiving encouragement from the oddest of places. I’m also learning that this is a lot of work. I know it’s not easy for you to see sometimes, but it is.
      My next teacher is Uncle (if I can convince him).
      I’ll make sure I let you know. Thank yo so much for commenting, Mum. It means a lot to me.
      Yours,
      Son

      1. Your grandfather sounds so cool.
        I agree with him about just going out there and committing to taking action on your vision.

        I can totally understand feeling nervous about talking to people about this subject matter because it’s sort of taboo. It’s frowned upon in society to drop out of college because it looks like laziness or an intentional desire to fail. But on the contrary, as you pointed out, you would have had to attend college to be considered a dropout…which means you tried it and realized it wasn’t the right direction for you.

        There are so many other options. After one year of community college, I dropped out and went to vocational school, got my Cosmetology license and many years later, changed directions and went to another similar type of school for personal training. Much less expensive and the education was specialized for what I was looking to learn.
        So yes, there are options. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

    2. I just wanted to say I’m thoroughly enjoying reading your son’s blog. It’s also so cool to see someone’s parent visit their blog and leave feedback. I love when my Mom visits mine and chimes in.

      I know how much it meant to me to have my parents support me in my endeavors. It’s tough when you grow up and not feel in alignment with what society dictates as the “normal or right” thing to do. You feel one way in your gut/heart, yet your surroundings sort of contradict that.

      Any parent who supports their kid’s vision(s) is doing a great service. Seems like that’s what you’ve done here.

  2. Hey Levi,

    Very inspiring.
    I find it interesting (and SO accurate) that you learned so much from your mistakes. As far as I’m concerned, these can be some of the most educational experiences we can have. Not to mention, when you make mistakes, you also experience the “failure” – which so many people avoid. Having the experience itself and transcending through it (and becoming better, stronger and more empowered) isn’t something a traditional education can offer.

    I remember in high school they offered work experience. I wanted to take it so badly, but it was too late for me to sign up. I’ve gotten more out of my work/life experiences than just about anything else. The benefits I’ve received through schooling came from the vocational schools I attended.

  3. What an interesting story! Your reasons for leaving the college are great, at least you realized what you want, how to get it and where you were going to. The reverse might be the case for other people out there. Indeed everyone has a journey and the best thing is to identify the best path to journey safely. We must continue to motivate ourselves, teach ourselves and continue to learn more. We’re truly our own teachers. Thanks for the great words!

  4. Dear friend.
    To teach, you have to be taught.. So dont look ill upon your mistakes and setbacks. This will be the foundation upon which you will build a grand kingdom. You are not one to take the easy path, and you always give one hundred percent know that a dead end is only god asking if you are willing to make your own path. Love you much

    1. My perspective I anything but ill. weary perhaps. But not ill. I’m quite optimistic. Thank you for your love.

      Regards,

      L.

  5. You’re a lot smarter than a lot of college students. I wish I had you as a classmate instead of a lot of these people. Because even if that person has a degree themselves, obviously it taught them nothing about how money works.

  6. I dropped out too and I get judged so fucking much for it. I keep feeling like I need to go back because every single damn job wants a college degree. Thing is though, I seriously couldn’t stay because I was sexually assaulted on campus and was constantly having panic attacks because I was terrified that I’d see him. I’m just tired of getting side eyed and wanna yell that it’s not my fault, I’m not less than you just because I don’t have a diploma.

    1. Daniel!

      I’m so sorry to hear about your college experience being so negative. It’s hard living without that diploma. Dropping out is no joke. You are not any less than someone with a degree. You are a fantastic person and you deserve to be heard. But there are other opportunities for you if you are seeking. Email me if you need someone to talk to. I can help you find options that will help you develop a trade.

  7. Everyone has a different kind of learning curve, personality, and needs. it’s unfortunate that the education system deals us all aces and says that there are no other kinds of cards. Thanks for speaking your mind. I love your words.

    1. Hey thank, you for your comment Jackie. I know that I certainly have been delt an odd hand. I wonder what your experience has been like. Were you delt Aces as well?

  8. What I can relate to most here is the idea of having your whole life planned out.

    Isn’t that what everyone dreams of and strives for? I learned very quickly that trying to live life like that and planning everything can leave you so unfulfilled…

    I am very interested in reading on and to follow your journey as a “college dropout”!

    1. I appreciate college for planning everything out. The difficult thing about DroppingOut is that you have to do that yourself after you leave. It’s far more difficult than it seems.

  9. Hey Bastian,

    I know I’ve said it before but I’m proud that you chose to leave school when you had such mixed feelings about it. Especially since I know what a year and a half in Wooster cost you! There’s no point accumulating mass debt if you have no desire for what you’re purchasing.

    I do miss seeing your lovely face!

    Knitting Mom

  10. I’m really proud this is finally being discussed in such an intelligent way. I’m in college and I see people coming through every year that don’t want to be here. Society has taught them that the only way to be perceived as smart and to do something of meaning is to first obtain a degree. Thank you for challenging that stereotype and providing encouragement for those that choose to leave. Can’t wait to see more!

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