How I'm Breaking the Mold

High school. Senior year. I remember the crushing stress of preparing for college. I remember the mind boggling that I did trying to figure out what I wanted to do in college, but once I figured out what major(s) I wanted to pursue, articles all over the internet said it was a failing investment. All of my options seemed to not hold any promise.

I decided to enroll in community college anyways. I didn’t see another option for kickstarting my future, so I decided I might as well just dive in without much of a plan or direction. I declared a Psychology major, and I took four courses: Honors English, Interpersonal Communications, Intro to Psychology, and Intro to Computer Applications and Concepts.

The only course that I can say was 100% useful was Interpersonal Communications; boy, did I learn some life lessons in that class, but that’s another post for another day. I pushed through the semester and finished all of my classes with A’s and B’s, despite working a full time job.

When the semester was finally over, I began to realize that I felt like I hadn’t progressed any. I learned some stuff, sure, but I wasn’t sure how to actually apply it to a career, heck, I wasn’t even sure what career I wanted. I couldn’t see a future. I felt so lost. So I took a break from college and kept working full-time as a retail manager.

I thoroughly loved learning everything I could about managing a retail store. I was so proud of becoming a manager at the mere age of 18. Eventually I started feeling stuck again; I noticed that the upward career trajectory started to trail off and look very bleak. I handed in my resignation.

I began to look into going back to college, and this time I vaguely knew what I wanted to do: I enjoyed learning about business, sales strategies, and marketing. I checked out my college’s course list for obtaining a degree in marketing or business, but most of the classes seemed to be totally inapplicable. I felt lost again. I didn’t want to spend years taking courses that wouldn’t be valuable to me. I didn’t want to obtain a degree that a million other kids have that may or may not land me a job, what’s unique about that?

That’s when I remembered something that my mom mentioned to me - Praxis. Something about it taking a year to land a full time job. I looked into it and immediately started the application process. It seemed too good to be true - learn valuable skills? Apprentice at a startup? Shadow CEO’s? Land a full time job in a year? It turns out it wasn’t too good to be true - it was 100% authentic.

It took about a month to go through their application process. It really challenged me to think about myself, my goals, and what drives me. I was (and still am!) over the moon that I gained acceptance into the program.

Let me just say, fast forward to barely a month into Praxis and I had more of an idea where I wanted my life to go, career-wise and life-wise, than I ever had through 5 months of college - and I hadn’t even started the program officially, I was working through some “pre-program” tasks. I felt like I had more resources and connections than ever through the amazing Praxis network.

I’m a month past the official start date, and I feel like I’m making promising steps to kickstart my future. I’m building a personal website, I’m establishing my personal brand, I'm developing skills, I have a wonderful community to learn from, and this is just the start.

Long story short, I know what it feels like to be in the mold, to do what everyone else is doing and to feel lost and rather hopeless, but I decided to diverge my own path. I decided to leave college behind and to dedicate all of my time and energy into building a promising life and career for myself.

Lydia Weibelpraxis