My friends’ mom—a woman who’s like a second mother to me—asked me this a few weeks ago as we were discussing my decision to enlist.
Running away from what, college?
I had two full years left to college before I had to get a job and immerse myself in the world. Now, I’ll have 13 weeks of boot camp, plus however long training for my MOS is, before I have to do my job and immerse myself in the world. Seems already illogical that to run away from school I would run to the military.
My time at Montclair State had its ups and downs. Believe it or not, though, I’m leaving it during an “up”. I had found such great friends, changed my major to what I really wanted to do later in life, arranged to room with three of my friends for the 2014-15 year, spent my days well, and was so happy overall. Before then, I was miserable and wanted to transfer. I had found and lost so many friends that I thought I needed a boyfriend to not be alone and I needed to fake it to make it. You’d think that when things turned around and evolved into the “up” that I had been experiencing as of late, I wouldn’t leave.
My friends, my newly changed major, and my personal happiness aren’t chains binding me to college. They’ve strengthened me and showed me that I can and will make the decisions that will make me happy in life and give me the best chance to fulfill my purpose.
It’s weird to think that I would be moving in tomorrow if I hadn’t made this decision. I would have already packed up most of my things and would be hurrying to get the rest done and in the car. But, that’s not the case now. Instead, I have roughly six weeks to pack up my things to move out of the home I grew up in. I’ve already started, with intentions of not leaving anything to be rushed last minute, but in the meantime have been experiencing such a surreal feeling. This is happening.
Ask me if I’m running away from college. I’ll tell you there was nothing to run from, but rather to miss, for which it’s taken a substantial amount of strength and will to leave.
And if you don’t believe me, go visit New York MEPS and I guarantee you the person you’ll be most intimidated by and most convinced will just go from 0 to 1000 in two seconds will be the bald Marine staff sergeant.
Been there twice so far, seen him both times, and dang, I don’t want to cross that guy.
So, what I really want to do is join the military, possibly marines, but my family wants me to stay in college and get a bachelors degree and be an officer. Now, I suck at anything school related, and I don’t want to get a massive debt by failing classes over and over. I would not last four years to get a bachelors degree.
I recently left college after having already completed two years to join the Marine Corps and quite honestly, if you really want to join the military, it’s the best thing to do. Not only would you be doing what you truly want to do when you want to do it, but there are benefits that your family would likely appreciate as well. My parents weren’t fond of my decision either until they learned the facts. You can still finish school and you can still have a chance at becoming an officer. You can take online classes or classes in person on base or at a nearby school while not accruing an amount of debt and having a decreased interest rate on what loans you already owe from your time at college outside of the military. I’m not sure what it’s like for other branches, but there are programs for enlisted Marines who need to complete a degree and have hopes of becoming an officer as well; just ask your recruiter.
If you want to be a Marine, go out and become a Marine. I know how it feels to go through earning the family’s acceptance and then to go through the process of actually withdrawing from college and enlisting and to put it simply, it’s the best decision I could have possibly made. It’s a hell of a process but it’s so worth it….and I’m sure I’ll be saying that even more come January when I’ll have earned the title and begun my career in the toughest branch of the US military.