The Short & Sweet Answer:
“The Life Major” blog consists of a collection of personal life experiences, knowledge, and skills that I didn’t learn in college, and yet I’m relatively successful. The Life Major gives you permission to seek knowledge outside of the walls (and tuition fees) of secular education.
The Life Major is my “default” major. I’m not “undecided” anymore. I’m just unimpressed with the structure of colleges and universities and I want the flexibility of majoring in areas that are important to me. And, you should feel the same way when it comes to gaining knowledge.
The Detailed Answer:
I was fed-up with the idea of college to the point that I was planning on dropping out of high school and running away from home.
Let me explain how a former advocate of higher secular education, became an “unimpressed” graduate and creator of this blog.
My college goals started to manifest in eighth grade. I excelled at school because college promised a good paying job and my family’s approval.
Going to college, in my mind, was the only way to dig my family out of poverty and save my mother from a verbally abusive relationship.
In my freshmen year of high school, everything changed for me. I had my priorities screwed on tight. I researched scholarships, universities, and majors. My dream was to become an engineer or medical professional.
I knew that doctors and engineers made the most money and that’s what all my teachers (and salary websites) promised.
Throughout freshmen year, I excelled and was later accepted to a charter school for high school students that wanted to graduate with their two-year degree along with a high school diploma for free (less cost of cap & gown, and the actual diploma).
Going to this charter school was my fast-track to my wealthy future.
Going to College as a Sophomore in High School:
Going to a college class, while still a high school student, made being the youngest kid in class an understatement.
My peers were adults; parents, grandparents, veterans, disabled, former convicts, and hard-working adults looking to change careers to get better pay.
All these people had “baggage”. Their future(s) weren’t ahead of them. They were living in it. And, I thought I was better than them. Along with my classmates. We were trained like little (geeky) soldiers how to study for final exams, prepare twenty-to-thirty page papers, and have classroom discussions with brilliant professors.
We were trained like little (geeky) soldiers on how to study for final exams, prepare twenty-to-thirty page papers, and have classroom discussions with brilliant professors.
I thought I found my home with like-minded people who only wanted to move onto graduate school before the age of twenty-four. People who were ready to take on the world and change it by becoming doctors, engineers, marine biologists, and more.
Nieve fool was I.
The Pressure to Perform:
Unlike most high school sophomores and juniors, I needed to decide on a major by the end of sophomore year. I chose biomedical engineering with a minor in physics. All I needed to do was pass my General Chemistry 1 class and I was on my way to becoming a medical professional.
I studied hard every night. I crammed during study hall. I had team study sessions with fellow classmates. I memorized most of the elements on the periodic table, I could tell you the end result of a chemical reaction with Na and Cl.
I failed my exam.
After reviewing the tests, I assumed that maybe I missed some things in the textbook. I re-read the chapters, watched the teacher’s videos online, and tried again on the next exam. I barely scraped by.
In the meantime, I was failing my arch-nemesis math, aka Pre-Calculus. I loathed the class. I knew math would prevent me from being an engineer, so I studied aggressively, first alone, then with tutors. I was getting the right answers while doing homework. But, failed at Pre-Calculus anyway.
I ended up re-taking both classes during summer break.
But, I was undeterred.
I still had a SAT Prep and a career aptitude test. Those two things mattered more than my grades because I knew this would determine whether I’m good enough for grad school or not.
Again, I studied my heart out for the SAT and completed it with confidence. Now, I needed to wait for the results.
As for my career aptitude test, it came back with disconcerting results. It recommended I become an advertising manager or a talent agent. It suggested my degrees should be journalism or communication.
No, no, no.
That can’t be. I needed to major in an S.T.E.M. career so that I could make a ton of money before the next recession.
My SAT scores return and let’s just say I wasn’t going to any state universities with that score.
The Camel & Its Broken Back:
What was wrong with me?
I had motivation. I knew the tips and tricks on how to study. Why couldn’t I get my act together and go after the majors that made the highest yearly income?
By the start of my senior year, I changed my majors multiple times:
- And on…
I’ve never been so indecisive in my life. And, I had a second dilemma, applying to an actual school.
Harvard was out of the question.
I didn’t even apply, even though I told my mentor that I was a shoe-in because of my family’s financial status and my “brilliance”.
I pursued schools outside of Florida that would impress family and friends when I listed them off: Columbia University, Emory, Hamilton College in NYC.
All these schools had great English programs, and I might be able to squeeze in.
But, a lump formed in my chest and throat when it was time to apply.
I didn’t want to do college for four more years…
Depressed & a Multitude of Decisions:
As I write this I believe I pursued higher education because I had deeper, underlying issues that were never resolved by my family or my guidance counselors.
Remember, when I failed my science and math classes, and my SAT? I didn’t fail because I was a lazy student (maybe a poor test taker).
I failed because I was overwhelmed.
In my junior year, I attended college, worked a part-time insurance job, tutored students, attended an after-school enrichment program, volunteered for Hospice, and was a part of the National Honor Society and Phi Theta Kappa.
By day, I smiled, worked hard, studied harder, and got nowhere fast.
At night, I’d sob while studying for math tests after taking a forty-minute class on the subject.
No wonder I hated school, life, myself, and society by the end of all this. I was on the verge of committing suicide, but I would never tell anyone that. I wasn’t crazy, I just didn’t want to deal with this much stress at one time.
I wasn’t crazy. I just didn’t want to deal with this much stress at one time.
I just didn’t want to deal with this much stress at one time.
The Breaking Point:
I returned my focus to getting scholarship money. But, I couldn’t do that because of work, volunteering, and my tutoring job, ironically. I gave up those things and focused on getting scholarships. And, boy did I receive them.
And, boy did I receive them.
I received a scholarship packet from the University of Chicago through the Quest Bridge Program. I also had a free-ride to Eckerd College a local college in my city. And, I became a Tampa Bay Times Barnes Scholarship semi-finalist; I could attend any college I wanted outside of the state of Florida. Not to mention I earned a Bright Future scholarship to fall back on if I went to school in-state.
With all this money. There was just one small problem. Tuition.
I picked apart each award like a detective:
Quest Bridge was a National scholarship program so I might not win the scholarship, and I knew nothing about Chicago. I feared entering a different city without a support system, and I never researched The University of Chicago. What if I hated college?
The scholarship program for Eckerd promised a tuition-free year, but not rooming and board, transportation, or food. So, I would need to buy a car, work full-time, and attend college part-time, with no promise of returning another year for free. What if I hated college?
The Barnes Scholarship was great, I could receive $15k and go to any school outside of the state of Florida. Um, most tuitions out-of-state was in the 5-digits range. That could’ve been money for a car. And, what if I hated college?
Finally, I had (and still have) Bright Futures, but they paid a portion of the tuition in-state. The rest was up in the air. What if I hated Florida and college?
With the scholarship promises, there were things I didn’t want to deal with at eighteen.
My family was poor, we didn’t need to be dirt-poor!
I didn’t respond to any mail regarding the scholarships.
I avoided them like poison.
I sent emails begging the programs to keep their money or send it to deserving students.
And, I started changing my future plans educating myself.
English Majors Don’t Make Money:
I wanted to major in English. I loved writing. I wrote every free moment of the day. I studied the techniques of writers like Stephanie Meyers, Gini Koch, and Stephen King. I wrote science fiction novels. The largest manuscript I produced was 400 pages and it took me a week to write and complete it.
I wanted to pursue writing.
But, I was afraid of what others would think.
I’m the science-wiz.
I’m the insurance-wiz.
Writing isn’t a stable or suitable career. Besides, I needed to focus on where I was going to college and what I was going to major in. Majoring in English was a waste of time. You take out a $60k loan per year for 4-years and you’ll be writing on napkins before your first book gets considered for publishing.
A lot of people disagreed with my dream of writing. Family, strangers on the internet, most S.T.E.M. teachers, and even my own English professor.
They told me that writers don’t make money.
They are all suicidal drunks. And, that only a professor of English can hope to make good use of an MFA.
I believed them. So, I did what any wise student would do.
I graduated from high school. I received an A.A. Degree. And, I started working at a corporate job I hated more than life itself.And, I stopped following or thinking about my dreams.
And, I stopped following or thinking about my dreams.
The Birth of the Life Major:
The Internet has a funny way of making you rethink everything you once knew. I started researching methods of escaping my current life position and I found out there’re people like me already been-there-done-that.
They were unhappy with the idea of college, like James Altucher, who actually encouraged his own kids not to attend. Then there are people who are successful writers and bloggers and all it took was hard work and creativity, like Jeff Goins. And, I started to realize my friends and classmates weren’t doing much better or worse than I.
We all needed to work.
We all needed to gain networking skills.
We all had to gather experience.
And, we all needed direction in their careers.
I already jumpstarted the process, and it didn’t cost me thousands of dollars and a college degree.
The wheels in my head started to turn.
Three years after graduating from college I saw for myself that the way I lived my life wasn’t so bad.
I had a stable job, a car, spending money, no student loan debt, and time to expand my knowledge any way I saw fit.
I even saw blogging as a viable way to share my ideas and stories with people who are going through the same exact thing as me.
- People who are fed-up with college, but they love knowledge.
- People who pursued a college degree, but need guidance in handling the real world’s curve balls.
- People who want more out of life than a cubicle.
People just like me.
So, I created The Life Major. It was an idea that started very simply as:
Can I be anything I want to be without a degree?
I realized yes I can.
What does the Life Major Mean For You:
The Life Major is just like an English major, a physics major, or a communication major.
It’s a collection of ideas, coursework, and information that is compressed into an intangible box and shipped to you for your own personal intellectual use.
The Life Major isn’t a course I’m distributing or selling. I have a free ebook, but that’s beside the point.
It’s just a different way of thinking about your purpose, your education, and your future.
If you graduated from high school, college or you’re just looking for a place to guide you to your next steps in life, then The Life Major is for you.
Undecided No More:
I used to be “undecided”. But, I flipped that phrase on its head and made up my own major.
I’m studying The Life Major. And, I hope you’re
And, I hope you’re interested in studying it too.
Comment below and let me know what motivates you in life. How do you plan on pursuing The Life Major?
If you like what you read here, check out the Life Major Exclusive.