21 Jun

I’ve never been a quitter.

I don’t give up easily.

I’m Sicilian for goodness sake!

So it’s no suprirse that the decision I made over the weekend, the one to withdraw from my Graduate Level Finance course was extremely difficult for me. Since the class started three weeks ago I’ve been spending 20-25 hours a week just on the reading and homework plus another hour or two on the weekly quiz, discussion boards and other random assignments. 

Math isn’t my strong suit and so I worked my butt off to pull off the A- I had earned up to this point which my professor told me via email (as this is an online course) that I wasn’t trying hard enough and that I needed to work harder.

I was having nightmares about not completing my Finance homework on time and correctly.

I was stressed all day, every day, felt like a giant weight was pushing my chest, and dreaded leaving the office for a ” date,” with my Finance book and notes.
I hardly had time to talk to Irish, let alone my other friends.

On Saturday, after a lovely day of (much-needed) shopping with Darling, I came to a few conclusions:
* Life is short. I shouldn’t be so stressed out over school.
* No one is telling me I need to graduate by December of this year; I brought that on myself.
* If I had my way, I’d switch gears and work torwards my MA in International Affairs, which is what I’m truly passionate about.
* There was no way I could take two courses, work and be “me,” this summer without going certifiably insane.

After a Cherry Slush at Sonic, a hefty purchase at Ann Taylor Loft (oh, the sales and cute, cute clothes I bought!) and some heart-to-heart time with Darling (who is my mom, for those of you don’t know), we went home to talk to my dad.

I didn’t want to drop my class and seem like a quitter or a weak person but I knew that if I continued on this path of little sleep, intense stress and supreme grouchiness that it would only get worse.

After talking to my dad calmly, and okay, with a few tears here and there as is he my go-to (besides Irish) for big life decisions, he said to me that my happiness is more important than a graduate degree. That most kids don’t finish a masters in two years like I had planned on doing. And he left me with a quote from his grandfather that certainly resonates: “Don’t pick up a box unless you want to carry the load. And if you do pick it up? You can put it back down.”

I went online and emailed my professor my “thanks for assistance but that due to my professional workload and other course commitments that I am withdrawing from his course as I can’t complete it to my personal standards at this time.”

Then I officially  withdrew from the course and suddenly I could breathe again. 
(I am still taking one course this summer and while it’s demanding it’s not 20-hours-a-week demanding.)

I have a few other things to figure out with respect to my graduate studies but I learned a few things over the weekend: * That I have choices.
* That my family & Irish will always be there for me as counselors and for emotional support. (Okay, I already knew that but it’s nice to have it reinforced on occasion).
* That it’s okay to admit that you’ve taken on too much and to tone it down and that if the people you surround yourself with are your friends, they will understand.
* That sometimes it’s necessary to re-evaluate our choices and the path we have chosen and in doing so, we can make ourselves happier/less stressed/better off than we thought possible. 
 * You know you made the right decision when you are instantly happy.
* I already feel more like “me,” and that is really all that matters.


20 Responses to “Withdrew”

  1. oh June 21, 2009 at 11:21 pm #

    Ya’ know, this shopping thing could be habit forming!

  2. andhari June 21, 2009 at 11:52 pm #

    I, Like you, also very much stress over school. I wanna graduate this semester but apparently I can’t, only for a subject that isn’t open until the next semester.:( I’m glad that you have support system and reevaluate :)

  3. mandy June 22, 2009 at 4:57 am #

    I am glad that your decision left you instantly happy. So often I think that we feel like we have to choose the decisions that will bring us the most money, the most impressive job, etc. when what we really need to do is choose what till make us the happiest. Sounds like you made the right decision Nora and I love the quote your dad told you. Take a breath and follow your bliss my friend. Hugs!

  4. AuburnKat June 22, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    Sometimes in life you have to make decisions like this…life really is too short to be miserable!

    I went shopping at ATL recently too and I’m in love with my new clothes! =)

  5. Lisa June 22, 2009 at 7:30 am #

    I’m delurking to comment – You made the right decision on dropping that class. I just finished my MBA so can totally related to what you described! And it took me 3 years to finish – I wanted to do it in 2 or 2.5 but then my parents & boyfriend at the time gently encouraged me to take some time. When I started my MBA, I pretty much mapped out the courses I would take and when I would take them so I could graduate is X number of years. Looking back, I wish I wouldn’t have planned it out & would have given myself the opportunity to figure out what I was/wasn’t interested in. So you are totally doing the right thing by sort of pauses & figuring out what classes really make you tick!

    And lastly, that prof sounds like a total prick.

  6. Liz June 22, 2009 at 7:53 am #

    It sounds like you made the right choice. Two classes was just too much. And you’re right, no one cares if you graduate this December, or next December, or the December after that. Just do what makes you happy!

  7. Lys June 22, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    i’m breathing a sigh of relief for you over here. i’m busy right now with planning my move, and that barely counts as homework, so i can only imagine what you were going through. i’m so glad you have such a great support system, as well.

    (also, i really am sorry for not getting to email you back, i’ve been so busy ever since we decided to move, what with talking with my parents and friends and deciding dates and flights and roadtrips… i’ll try to do that this week!)

  8. Kyla Roma June 22, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    Lady, you and I are so in the same place. I’m so pleased for you and am excited for the adventures this will open up! You need space in your life to live- I’m glad you’re embracing that!

  9. Habbala June 22, 2009 at 10:26 am #

    I totally withdrew from a class my last quarter. I was so stressed out writing my thesis, that the class gave me anxiety attacks THINKING about the workload. Best decision ever.

  10. SassyGirl June 22, 2009 at 11:48 am #

    It’s not called giving up when you realize you’re not meant to do something. Like me, I’m not meant to be an athlete. Seriously, it’s just never going to happen, no matter how stubborn I am and no matter how much I practice. For you, math/finance just isn’t your thing. It’s ok – there are plenty of other things you CAN excel at, and it just makes more sense to focus your energy there. You should be proud you came to this decision!

  11. anne June 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    I started to tear up when I read your post because I think every single person that reads it has been there at some point. Whether it’s work, school, personal commitments, etc…. if you are so overextended that you can’t enjoy life it’s not worth it.

    You are the furthest thing from a quitter- you had the maturity to step back and assess the situation with logic and reason.

    Enjoy the peace that came with your decision and always trust your gut. I’m happy for you- life is too short to not have time to enjoy drinks on the patio with your man in the summertime :-) And thank you for the reminder- although I think I have gotten better at maintaining balance in my life I definitely feel a bit tipped over at the moment.

    Your post was like a mirror on me the year I decided to go part time at work- it brought back a lot of tough memories. But like you, I remember the instant relief the moment I had the tough conversation with my boss. It was a rush of relief…. and it taught me a lot of powerful life lessons. And from your post, I think the positive impact of your decision will come back to you many times over in the future. You are laying the groundwork for how you want to live your life….

    Miss you :-)

  12. SoMi's Nilsa June 22, 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    So, now the big question is why aren’t you working towards that MA in International Affairs? Or is that the next, upcoming decision you must make?!? I mean, life really is too short not to pursue your passions!

  13. Amber June 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm #

    It sounds like you totally made the right decision. That is WAY too much stress for one course!! I had to make a similar decision my second year of college. I was in biology, I was working my butt off, but science is NOT my strong suit and I was barely pulling through. I finally decided to just withdraw rather than let my GPA drop drastically and I’m so glad I made that decision!

    I’m glad to hear you feel so much better about it! I always go to my mom and dad before making big life decisions too!

  14. Jessica June 22, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    I completely understand needing to drop that class. I’m sure it was very difficult but having nightmares about it and working so hard to have it not be enough in your professor’s eyes is not okay. He’s a jerk and I know you did the best you could. I’m glad Ann Taylor Loft was there to comfort you. *hugs*

  15. Margarita June 23, 2009 at 7:11 am #

    I’m so glad you made this decision to be happier. It’s very hard to admit defeat or weakness or just quitting… I’m a complete perfectionist so for me to admit that I need to quit something to achieve happiness is a little hard.

    I quit a fairly good job last December, one that paid well, took over my life and changed me for the worse, into a bitter crazy person. I finally decided to quit at the last minute, during work hours, and I immediately felt so much happier. Like instant bliss. So I knew it was worth it in the end. But it’s hard to admit.

    You must share your shopping treasures too!

  16. Little Miss Obsessive June 23, 2009 at 10:42 am #

    I can definitely understand where you’re coming from as I have a hard time quitting things also. But I definitely think you made the right decision and you dropped the class for really smart reasons. Your happiness is important and its better to take your time and do a great job then try to rush through and finish.

  17. sleepyjane June 24, 2009 at 3:38 am #

    Go you for making such a decision! I can understand why it was hard, but in the ens you need to take care of yourself.

  18. Akirah June 24, 2009 at 10:50 am #

    I’m glad you did what was right for you. Sometimes it’s hard to admit when you feel in over your head, but in the long run, it’s for the best. I think we could all take a good lesson from you.

  19. bellerenee June 26, 2009 at 10:03 pm #

    ”Don’t pick up a box unless you want to carry the load. And if you do pick it up? You can put it back down.”

    Wow. Just wow. I’m putting that in my back pocket and saving it for later.

  20. E.P. June 27, 2009 at 9:02 am #

    Good for you! I know it’s so hard to give up sometimes (I’m like you), but when you give up something that just isn’t worth it, a weight lifts off.

    I hope you’re having a wonderful time and enjoying yourself more now that you don’t have to worry about finance!

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