There From Here

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Posts Tagged ‘quicksand’

Mr. Director, What’s My Motivation?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 8, 2010

After asking myself what was wrong with me, I sought to find the answer. This was not a quick process. I hemmed and hawed, acting with no deliberate speed. Not because I didn’t want the answer and not because I was busy with other things, but because finding an answer would bring a finality to only one situation. If successful at finding the answer, would I even know how to move forward? If I did move forward, would I move in the right path? If I took the right path, would someone be disappointed by my work? This series of thoughts repeated themselves ad infinitum in my mind rendering me paralyzed.

I was paralyzed by fear. In an attempt to get out of it, I researched what it meant to be afraid of success. I wrote a post labeling the symptoms and solutions. It is exactly 6 months after the posting of that article, and I am only a few steps closer to where I want to be. At one point, I immersed myself in work. If it had been the work that made me happy and appears to be my passion, this would have been a good thing. It wasn’t. It was the very work that I had been striving (not so well) to get away from. I wanted to be better. I knew I was smart enough to handle the work. The problem: I didn’t believe in myself.

A disconnect existed between my belief in my capabilities and my belief in myself to follow through. I wondered what made people do the work to advance themselves further in life? If everyone is motivated by something that spurs them into achieving their goals, what was my motivation? Sean “Diddy” Combs owes his motivation to his mother who barely slept working multiple jobs to take care of her children. He developed his work ethic from her, and relentlessly pursued his dreams wanting to be the source of her support. I didn’t grow up seeing someone work nonstop to take care of me. I saw someone working regular 9 to 5’s that they hated. Every job. I was not relied on for financial support. My only role was as student. My follow through came from a fear of admonition. External factors goaded my early success. The motivation never evolved into an internal force.

So, I asked myself, “What the hell is my motivation?” (Coming soon)

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Am I Really Ready for Success?

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on February 4, 2010

Are you ready for the good life?I was talking to a friend and even through a text message my friend could tell that something was bothering me. I went on to tell how I felt trapped by my circumstances. Some might call what I am experiencing a quarterlife crisis. Circumstances surrounding the incompletion of my higher education have me living at home, working two part-time jobs, and wishing that things could have just been different. What do I want from my life? I want the success that I can see is on the horizon; and, I want it now. I want to move out. I want the life that other people younger than me have. I know I shouldn’t compare my journey to anyone else’s, but I am so so so so so so tired. Mediocrity is exhausting. Then, my friend asked me how I was going to get what I want. My answer: I don’t know.

Every day I’m reminded of how much I want my life to be different. Every time I get on the bus, watching the unwed pregnant teenagers, having to drown out the derogatory tunes emanating from the iPod 5 feet away from me, dodging the smokers’ spit puddles, I say I can’t do this anymore. Then, I wake up and do it all over again the next day. We all know the definition of insanity, right? That’s it. That’s what it is. I’m insane. I must be to want something better for myself, to be able to see it, and to not be trying ridiculously hard every day to achieve it. What is wrong with me? Then, I wondered, “Am I really ready to receive all that I want? Am I really ready for success?”

Stay tuned for the next post in this series on how I started moving towards getting what I want.

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Posted in Advice | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Don’t Treat Me like A College Dropout #2

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on August 18, 2009

college dropout

“The college dropout”. Unless you’re Kanye West or Bill Gates, having this label attributed to you garners only negative attention. To be a college dropout is to be a wasted resource. “It’s a shame to see all that potential go to waste” is what most people say (behind the backs of the people to which they are referring). We hear you, though. You don’t have to say it to our faces because it shows in your eyes. Your body language expresses your contempt for us. It’s a good thing some of us don’t pay attention to your misguided attempts at encouragement, or else we may never get past the pain and onto success.

What follows is an interview conducted with Stephanie Danforth, who is the editor of Venus Diva Magazine. A strong believer in thinking outside of the box, Stephanie is passionately pursuing her dreams in accordance with her reality. She is working with her circumstances towards a path of even greater success.

Did you feel expectations from family, friends or society to succeed in college? If so, what impact did this pressure have on you?

Definitely, coming from a family full of college grads with Masters and PHd’s, being successful in college was the only route to go.  Success as it relates to school started early on for me.  My father was an English professor at a local college.  My grandmother was an Administrative head at an elementary school, and my uncles were all teachers, so to not succeed in college was unheard of.  I didn’t feel pressure to succeed.  I thrive in pressure situations.  It gets my blood boiling. The pressure of success didn’t have as much of an affect on me as the fact that I didn’t graduate.  It’s not like I felt so much pressure that I couldn’t handle it.

How do friends and family treat you because you don’t have a college degree?

I’m not treated any differently by friends, but, at times, I feel like my brothers treat me a little differently. They treat me as if I am not as educated as they are, or don’t understand the struggles of a black college student. Hello, I went to college for over four years, and I don’t have a degree; if anyone understands the struggles, it’s me.  My mom constantly tells me how I need to go back to school but when I think about the jobs that me and my brothers have had, it’s easy to view me as the most successful of the three.  So, my question to them is often, “What did having a degree get you, since I’m making more than you?” Men can be competitive at times, so, sometimes, I have to go there with them.

How do you feel about yourself?

At times I am disappointed in myself not because I didn’t graduate, but because I let it bother me that I didn’t graduate.  I’m proud of everything that I’ve accomplished and believe that everything happens for a reason, but sometimes I think not having a degree messes with my confidence.

Why did you leave school without a degree?

Why did I leave school?  The first time I was put on short term suspension for grades and the second time, financial wouldn’t give me any more money.  I guess the first time I left, I was gone too long and my loan defaulted.  I think.  I really don’t remember the details; all I know was that I ran out of money.

Do you plan to return to get a degree? If so, what is preventing you from returning in the immediate future?

I would like to, but once you start working and having a family, it’s easier said than done.  Right now I have an application in at University of Phoenix; so, as soon as they call me for the job, I will enroll.  When I ran out of aid, I promised myself and my mom that I was going to get my degree, and get someone to pay for it.  If I could afford it, I would, but I can’t; so, U of P, here I come.

What is the biggest myth equated with dropouts that you would like to dispel?

That we are incapable of working in corporate America.  There is nothing that anyone does that cannot be taught. Having a degree does not make you that much smarter.  People seldom go into a career path where their degree can be useful. In my eyes, asking for a person with a degree is nothing more than trying to weed out what’s considered good from bad.

Many people have had to leave school for reasons other than the stereotypical “college just isn’t for me” attitude; and, many would like to return to get their degree, but existing roadblocks make it difficult. Support education reform to enable the passionate people to more efficiently achieve their dreams.

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Posted in Advice, Under-qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Help! I’m under-qualified for an internship!

Posted by Chanelle Schneider on May 23, 2009

QuicksandDo a search for jobs in your area, look up the internships, and this is what you will see:  “Are you a student or recent graduate looking to…?”; “…COLLEGE GRADUATES ONLY!”

This is not a new issue, but it is one that deserves increased attention. A college dropout is someone who leaves their place of higher education before obtaining a degree. Today, there are marginalized sectors of people who are no longer in school, but cannot be labeled college dropouts because they did not leave of their own volition. With college affordability becoming increasing difficult, many former students are now stuck in the one of the worst Catch 22 scenarios imaginable. They want to finish their education but they cannot afford to do so. They look for a job to pay down their debt but can only get hourly, part-time jobs that barely cover the cost to commute to work. Hoping for something better, something more in line with their passions, they look for internships in their field. Confronted by the afore-mentioned requirements, they realize they’re under-qualified…for an internship.

For someone who knows exactly what they want their career to be, but they are no longer in school, and did not obtain a degree, this is just plain tiring. All of the advice out there suggests keeping pushing, or to make your own way. Sure, that makes sense. Some of the greatest inventions have come out of a need for something better and more efficient. The question becomes, why should people in this sector have to struggle with something as inefficient as job searching when there could be a better way?

So, what are you trying to achieve? What is your passion? Do you know how to get there…from here?

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Posted in Under-qualified | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »