Tuesday, October 25, 2011

too cool for school

*This post gets personal so if you're not feeling up for it, skip to the outfit pics, I won't be offended!

Wondering why I haven't talked about my Masters program in over a month? That's because I have big news- I'm no longer doing my Masters! The second week into the program after crying almost every night and feeling completely overwhelmed I realized I had to do something. I hemmed and hawed, wrote pros and cons list, consulted with friends and family, cried, laughed and cried some more.  At the end of this quarter life crisis moment I finally decided to pull the plug on my Master's degree with no regrets and being at peace with my decision.

I didn't enjoy my undergraduate studies in Social Work and I definitely wasn't enjoying the graduate level classes in Social Work and I didn't even want to be a Social Worker when all was said and done so why the heck was I putting so much pressure on myself? Most likely because of outside perceptions and the emphasis I place on education- I thought that if I had a Master's degree, people would take me more seriously and think to themselves 'hey this gal has it going on!' At the end of the day all that's important is that I'm happy and healthy and doing something I enjoy so that's where I am now-an awkward but at the same time amazing transitional period that will lead me to my next adventure. 

For now I'm working part time for a company I truly love, I'm volunteering, I'm exercising and I'm 'trying to find myself'.  I never knew what that meant when I was younger but now that I've been thrust into the middle of it I understand.  Do I wish that I was in a successful full-time position with money flying out of my wallet left, right and centre? Sure I do but that's not where I am at this stage of my life and who knows maybe I'll never be there.  For now I'm just enjoying my journey through life.

Quarter life crisis aside, here's my menswear inspired outfit for Megan Mae Daily & Casual Chic Kiki's Fashion Remix Challenge (this is a fashion blog after all!) I'm not a huge fan of menswear, preferring feminine silhouettes to masculine styles so I changed my outfit choice at the last minute to better reflect the challenge and my personality!

Pants & Ring- Thrifted; Blouse- Gap (Clothing Swap); Shoes (previously worn like this)- Payless; Hat (previously worn like this)- Zellers; Nail Polish-Tulip by Revlon

"You are now at a crossroads.  This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make.  Forget your past.  Who are you now?  Who have you decided to become?  Make this decision consciously.  Make it carefully.  Make it powerfully."  -Anthony Robbins 
(I came across this quote from a blog post I wrote last January when I was in a similar situation-some things never change...)

Have you ever had to make a difficult life decision that made you change direction? I'd love to hear your advice or thoughts on the matter (tinfoilstiaras@gmail.com)


  1. Congrats on following your heart. I really hope you find yourself and your own direction. Sometimes we must take great risks to receive great rewards.

  2. Glad that you did what makes you happy! Looks like you really thought about it and weighed your options-- which is a really hard thing to even get started!
    ♥ laura
    the blog of worldly delights

  3. Congratulations! That's a huge step. Quitting school is a hard thing to do mentally, but if you know in your heart it's not the best thing for you, then you did the right thing! I'm proud. I feel like I'm kind of in that awkward between stages place right now. It's not the greatest sometimes, but some times, it rocks! We're both young: why rush into a boring 9-5 job? There's plenty of time for that. The money thing is the biggest problem, but still, I'd rather tell my grandkids all the B.A. cool things I did in my twenties than tell them how granny rushed into a boring, cubicle job and has a bunch of regrets. So yay! I'm excited for you!

  4. You go girl. It takes a strong person to listen to her heart and do what's right for her! I admire your strength and listen to that inner voice that was telling you to stop doing something you don't love. :)
    It will all work out and you will find your passion when the time is right! :)

  5. I think it's awesome that you're following your heart. I've had that feeling about taking masters and stuff. I just don't want to do it so there! :)

    Good luck in your personal journey! I know you'll find what you're looking for! :)

  6. I think it takes a lot of strength to be able to realize a situation isn't working out and move on, so it's really admirable that you did! Quarter life crises are hard... I struggle with the whole concept of what I'm doing with my life sometimes. When I was a kid I thought I would have my life all sorted out by the time I was 25... oh how naive I was.

  7. Hey! Thanks so much for sharing your story. You have to do what makes YOU happy and if it's not it's best to let it go. My mom is a professor in Social Work and sees this everyday. People enroll, take courses and decide it's just not for them. It happens girl. So don't feel bad. There's no use in wasting your time, spending money, etc on things that just aren't right and don't hold your interest. You will find something better for YOU! I'm friends with another blogger, and I would like for you to connect with her. I think you will find her blog post for today kinda similar to yours. Her name is Corinne. This is her site: http://cateyesandthighhighs.blogspot.com/

    Thank you for your kind comments on my blog.

  8. I have read your story and if this is not the time for you to do this then I am happy that you were able to be ok with your decision. I made a huge career decision like that once and I am still ok with it. Good for you, darling. Love the hat! Dawn Suitcase Vignettes xo

  9. i'm of the opinion that if something is stressing you out that much then cutting it is the best option!

    anyway, your hat is adorable...or maybe should i say dapper since it's a menswear-inspired look? :)

    dash dot dotty

  10. Good for you! Identity crises are hard, and I'm certainly in a similar boat. It's so hard judging what we want to do and what we think we should do, especially when you're in the middle of it all!

  11. My little friend,
    I guess I'm old school enough to feel that higher education is everything. Maybe it's because that wasn't an option for me.
    I make a good living but will always regret not having that degree.
    You are young. Have fun! Maybe a different window will open up soon!
    What the hell am I saying? I'm old and have more fun than any rational person should have!

  12. It really takes a strong person to stop doing something you had planned to do and thought was so right--when you realize it's not right. Way to go. I've only "known" you for a short time, but I'm way proud of you! LOL
    Super cute menswear look by the way.

  13. I love this menswear inspired look on you and I think it's great that you're doing what makes you happy-regardless of what anyone else thinks about it!

  14. I'm glad you made a choice you can be happy with. I know how hard it is. Never knowing if you are doing something you might regret later, not knowing your reasons, if they are for you or for society's perception of you.

    Good Luck - with everything you do!

    Chic on the Cheap

  15. I did the same thing. Not with a master program, but I totally understand what you are going through! It's liberating and you breathe easier....Also, cute men's look! I will master it someday!

  16. you always have to follow your own heart and thoughts! I started working after getting my bachelor's degree and have done it for over 3 years now. some people ask me why I didn't choose master's degree but I can actually do it whenever I want! right now it's important to me that I can live happily and buy things when I want to. I don't want to depend on other people. and actually I educate myself while working and have participated in several induction courses, so don't worry as long as you're satisfied with what you're doing! ;)

  17. girl, you made a bold step, it wasn't easy but at least you're happier now. I always think I have to be convicted about what I do. I took a 6 month break after quitting my job many years ago, just to find myself and be more sure of what I really wanted to do. I never regretted it. So I'm sure you will also find the thing that holds your heart, the thing that you would enjoy doing. You're so cool, and the outfit shows that side of you.


  18. What a great post Emily! It's refreshing to realize that sometimes the pressures we put on ourselves in life, just aren't worth it. The main thing is to be happy! My husband and I are actually going through a really tough time at work (we work at the same place) and have realized that our dream is to really own our own business. This is SO scary and exciting at the same time. We feel that it's now or never and if we don't at least try it, we will always have that little voice saying "what if". I wish you the best of luck, you will find your way!

    On another note, you look so cute! I had a hard time with the menswear theme too. I am with you, I like girly and feminine pieces much better!


  19. Oh, big changes! Good for you doing what's best for you though. And like you said, why go through with it if you weren't enjoying it and didn't even want to be a Social Worker, right? I made the mistake of getting a college diploma that, while getting me a full time permanent very-easy job, is something I have ZERO passion or interest in and is to be quite honest, boring me to death. I wish I had the freedom to change my current predicament, but I need my income and there's no one else for me to rely on right now. I really dig that hat, looks good on ya.

  20. Nice outfit! :)

    It's always the most important to follow your heart, if your heart's not in it, you can't enjoy it. So I think you've made a good choice there. I'm kind of finding my way now too, since I moved out from my parents to a city that is unfamiliar to me, together with a guy I had been seeing for 6 months. It works all well, but I'm still defining me after 1,5 years. I wish you well, and I trust that you'll know what to do. ;)


  21. i think it's great that you could make that decision about grad school. why waste time and money doing something you don't enjoy? you have such a refreshing take on the situation! and you look adorable in that hat.


  22. You made the right decision and I applaud your courage in doing so. When something isn't right, we need to change course. And deciding what's right for YOU is more important than how your decision may look to others. At your age, we're very conscious about how others perceive us (successful/losers) but, later on in life, you'll see that how you perceive yourself is the most important thing. Plugging away at something you don't like is ultimately futile; we do our best work when we're happy and enthused. You will find your path and you'll chase it with vigor.

  23. Heh. My mom has her masters in Social Work. The truth is that a masters in Social Work is really more for YOU than to create work opportunities. So if you were unhappy I think it was good that you recognized it and are reevaluating.


  24. If you were stressing out that much I'm sure you made the right decision, you can always go BACK for a masters if you change your mind in the future but for now you have to do what feels best to you.

  25. As an aged reader, I was interested to read in a recent National Geographic that people's brains are still developing until the age of 25 (later than previously thought). So, you young ones - go easy on yourselves, your brain is still developing! You have years ahead of you and from a 51 year old perspective, life just gets better as you get older!

  26. Thanks for being so honest. I like these posts about your personal life best. That stinks that your Masters program didn't work out. I'm glad listened to your gut now instead of waiting another year or longer. I believe that when you cut out the things in your life that make you miserable, you leave room for good things to come to you. Enjoy the journey! I'm still finding myself and evolving every day.

    I like your fedora. I used to wear menswear every day when I was in an office, and I kinda miss my business suits.

  27. I was a psych major and I was in the same boat as you. I was crying, I couldn't understand why I wasn't as passionate about it as everyone else in my classes. Then I took a marketing class... found what I was looking for. It's a hard to decision to make such a big change but it sounds like you're on the right track. You're obviously good at blogging, maybe a clothing company will hire you??

  28. Such an exciting time! It is huge to decide that you need to take a different path. It is so much better to make a conscience decision now rather than later.

    Love this sexy men's wear inspired look. The hat is fabulous!


  29. Very excited for your new journey. You are brave and courageous and fearless. It's harder to take care of yourself than to stay in an unhappy position. But the rewards are HUGE. And I'm just really happy for you. Strange about that Robbins quote from a year ago. (Twilight zone music)

    The very first line from the book "The Road Less Traveled" is "Life is hard."

    Here's to a new beginning!


  30. You look so happy in the pictures!!! And beautiful, no doubt! Always stylish!
    During the Master's, many times I felt like you, really. I cried many times, didn't enjoy many times, and posed that question to myself, many times "isn't it time to give all up?"
    Well, in my case I didn't, but it was a tough process that changed my life and mind in many ways. Not always in a good way, I must say.
    It requires a huge amount of courage to make the decision you made! I am proud of you, so, congratulations! I know you're happy with it and so am I for you!
    I read the other posts about ordering in French, loving the body and so on, and you are so brilliant! A Master's doesn't measure that, or the heart we have!
    My best greetings from this side of the Atlantic!!!!

  31. Girl, I'm so proud of you for choosing what makes you happy. At the end of the day, it always comes down to that one question: Are you happy? I'm still young, but I honestly have been through a lot already so in some way I know what you mean. Hang in there and smile!

    XoXo, Bree
    Tweet me: Viva_La_Breee

  32. you never know what awaits you out there
    partly because of you and partly because i dealt with Dress for Success at my old volunteer job, I am now switching and volunteering at Dress For Success starting next Thursday.
    I can't wait and i owe my interest in finding out more to you!

  33. If there's one thing I learned through a bad experience, it's that happiness really means so much more than money & a degree. I was summer interning at a big law firm on 5th avenue, eating lunch in Bryant Park, & hating every minute of it. All the money in the world couldn't make me go to that job everyday-& thank god I didn't have to. Sometimes all we need is experience to find out what we like & what we don't like, even if the experience reeeallly sucked lol

    In the end, there really is a silver lining to everything & sometimes all we need to do is regroup, put on a smile & kick some ass. Or read a book. Or take some time for US. Or smile. I think that we are taught too much to keep a straight face & just deal with the parts in life that we don't like instead of dropping it like its hot & going toward something that makes us smile.

    You are SUCH a lucky individual to have found a place that you love to work at & to take the time to find you. I'm going down that path now (I'm in my last year of college & am just starting to "find myself") & it's so petrifying but so great. It's quite a journey but it WILL turn out amazing for us. You can't go wrong by doing right by yourself, & because of that you totally got it going on!! :)

    It's great to meet a fellow blogger who is going through something similar & I'm always here in the blogosphere to talk or rant or just to cheer each other on! Hope to stay in touch!

    xx Corinne

  34. Aw Emily, you that you have my whole-hearted support for this decision. I admire you for sharing your experience in the blogosphere but it just shows that we all struggle with life's decisions from time to time. I've definitely been in a similar situation, I left a higher-paying job working for and with people I didn't like for a lower-paying job that just FEELS right. Sometimes I still question whether what I do is really having an impact on people's lives, and that's tough. It's hard to make decisions independently of how we think other will perceive us, but if you can do this you're on the road to happiness. I wish you all the best my dear!


One of my daily joys is reading the lovely comments you leave. It may take a day or two (or three, depending on how hectic life gets!) but I will stop by your slice of the blogosphere soon! xo Emily