Never in my life did I ever think I would “drop out of school.” Yes, I graduated from highschool; Yes, I even graduated from University. But this year I made the decision to drop out of my graduate program.
In grade 12, at the age of 16 (late birthday things), I had to decide what exactly I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I had to decide what subject I wanted to study for the next 4 years of my life which ultimately would lead me to a career. I decided on English and in no way do I regret that! It taught me incredible skills from creative writing to critical thinking. But at the time I chose my program, I also made a “life plan:” 4 years of university English and creative writing, followed by 1 year of an event management graduate program. And despite all of the changes I went through in my 4 years of university, I didn’t change my plans. I went through the motions and stuck to the plan I had because, well, that was the plan.
At 21, I’m a heck of a lot different than I was at 16. I never would have guessed my passions in life would lead me to fitness, yet here I am!
When I walked into my first class in my event management program in September I immediately realized something: this was not the program for me. I’d been repeatedly telling myself that I’d somehow find a way to connect event management to fitness, but sitting in my classes, I didn’t feel that passion or desire to be there. At this point in my life, I wanted to be moving towards a passion, towards a goal, and this grad program was not the place for me to do that. I wanted to focus more on health, fitness and bettering people’s lives. So, after a week of classes and a lot of back and forth thinking, I decided to step back from the event management route and apply for a full time position as a personal trainer.
Personal training can come along with the stigma of being just another job, but in reality it is so much more than that. A lot of the time big gym corporations give personal trainers a reputation of being very sales focused, and not caring about the actual progress of their clients. This can be incredibly frustrating for those of us who get into this industry to help people, and to better peoples lives to the best of our ability and see money as an added benefit, not the main purpose of the profession. I am so blessed to have been hired onto a team that shares the same values as me; one that’s full of people who truly want to help people and who have a real passion for fitness.
I’m only in my second week of my job and I am happier than I’ve been in months. I felt so lost after graduation. I didn’t know where my life was leading me, I felt like I had a higher purpose but I wasn’t sure how to get onto the right path. I was overwhelmed, I was stressed with no real foreseeable end to that stress. September brought an incredible chance for me to recognize my worth and work towards achieving my purpose and I am so grateful! From an amazing trip to Vegas for the Olympia with friends who share the same love for fitness as me to finding a job where I feel both welcome, comfortable and purposeful; I haven’t been this hopeful in a very very long time.
So if you’re not sure what’s next for you, if you’re questioning your path, if you feel like you’re just going through the motions, take a step back. Reflect on what it is that drives you in life, acknowledge what lights your fire. As terrifying as it is to change plans, to go against the norm, sometimes that’s what you need to do! The path you’ve always been focused on isn’t necessarily the one you should stay on. We change immensely as we move through life, especially in our first 20 years. Our hopes, our dreams, our passions: they change, they shift, their level of importance to us is not forever constant. Learning to stay in-tune with yourself when looking towards the future and recognize what you’re passionate about and what makes you happy is important. Don’t neglect your passions because you know what they say, “if you like what you do, it won’t feel like work.” And this is something I’m learning to be true more and more every day.