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Queerly Beloved // Gem Sheps

had always hoped that by the time I was an adult I would have everything figured out, and for a while, I did.

On my 18th birthday, I was a soon-to-be high school graduate and upcoming college freshman. I had been accepted into the CU Denver pre-med biology program. I was aiming for honors and wanted to be a surgeon or neurologist. I had a part-time job and a goal to start volunteering at a hospital for experience. I thought I was bisexual. Wowza.

Things never quite go the way you plan, though. Two years later, I’m definitely a lesbian, and I am not going to be a doctor. I’m not even going to be a college graduate. I’m working two part-time jobs and dropping out at the end of the semester because it’s simply not feasible for me to continue going to school while working as much as I am and feeling as sick as I feel.

I’ve never been a big fan of school, but I figured that college would strike me differently than my K-12 education. I chose CU Denver because I knew I didn’t want to live in a dorm or go to a traditional school. I knew I would be uncomfortable and unhappy in that environment.

It turns out that school just isn’t my thing, and I’m uncomfortable and unhappy anyway. It’s really terrifying to grapple with that fact when you’re raised to believe that the only route you can take after high school is to earn a four-year degree. There’s a lot of stigma in America surrounding college dropouts—that they’re lazy or uninspired—but it’s not often recognized that some people just aren’t meant to get a degree.

Unfortunately, in our current job market, you really need a degree to get the jobs you want. I’m hoping I can apply the credits I’ve earned here to get an Associate’s Degree of some sort to have at least some basis of education as an arguing point. Other than that, I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life. There are a lot of things up in the air that I have to consider now. I have to transition into working a full-time job once the semester is over. I have to find non-student housing. I have to figure out how to pay back my loans.

But I also get to figure out how to make myself happy again, so I think it’s all going to be worth it.

 

Gem Sheps
Gem Sheps

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