Growing up I was told that quitters never win. Don’t be a quitter, and finish what you’ve started. I find this to be solid advice, and most of the time it holds true. However, as with most things in life there are some exceptions.
I believe there is a difference between quitting something because it’s hard, and quitting something because it doesn’t feel right. Sometimes that line is very hazy, and you may have to tough it out for a while before making a decision.
I’ve gotten quite comfortable with the rolling hills that life throws my way, and at times wonder if I’ve gotten too comfortable. It’s taken me a month to come to terms with what I’m about to say, but I’m ready to talk about it.
I quit school. Again. Sort of.
Once upon a midnight summer I was going to school for dental hygiene. Decided it wasn’t right, so I stopped. Then, last summer I started to take classes in preparation for a nutrition program through a holistic health college that was on par with my hippie dippie beliefs about food and living a natural life.
It seemed perfect, until it wasn’t.
Some of you may remember this post I wrote about chemistry, and how it
destroyed my life brought me lots of anxiety. When preparing to take the second round of it, I had no motivation. Instead of studying equilibrium’s and heat of vaporization I had something else on my mind, coming out for air once every…5 minutes.
I work for an awesome company. I don’t know if you’ve heard of them, a coffee company that originated in my home state called Starbucks. Anyone? Well, they recently started offering (nearly) 100% tuition reimbursement for degrees through Arizona State University. Initially I wasn’t interested, but then I explored the options.
I’ve spent the last month ironing out all the details and have decided to pursue a BS in nutrition communications through ASU. Does this mean my road to hippie town holistic college in Seattle is closed? No, it just means now is not the right time.
The best part about this is that all the science credits I’ve taken over the past (many, many) years have transferred and I’m over halfway done with the degree. Unless I decide to study business, then I’m really in for a wild ride.
So what will this do for my future? I have no idea. I love to write, I love nutrition, and I love talking about both. Perhaps this will be a catalyst into a future of preaching to the world about nutrition, perhaps it will simply satisfy my ongoing desire for a bachelors degree, or perhaps it’s a stepping stone to something else.
Only time will tell.
What I do know is that my previous path didn’t feel right, and I’ve learned to listen to the voices in my head and the gremlins in my gut. Or at least I think I’ve learned. I believe that sometimes quitting is OK, and sometimes it’s the right thing to do.
The photos in this post are from a hike I embarked on last week, a hike I did not complete. The skies turned grey, the fog rolled in, and the snow started to fall. All of these were recipes for disaster and I DID NOT WANT this to happen again. Live and learn. Zero visibility meant it was time to turn around.
It’s OK to “quit” a hike and not summit every time…I suppose. 😉
Q: Do you ever struggle with the fine line of quitting?
95 thoughts on “Quitters Sometimes Win”
Annie at TheLittleGSP.com
Your photos are gorgeous! Good luck finding the right path forward for you — that’s great that Starbucks offers such generous tuition reimbursement. Like you said, the world is your oyster… go for it!
I’m really excited for you! I feel like it takes a lot of trial and error to find what you’re meant to do, and it seems like everything is falling into place the way it’s meant to. If you ask me, you’ll be a kicka$$ nutritionist. I’d hire you. And I STILL really want to go hiking. There’s a slight (very slight) chance I’ll be coming out to the PNW this fall and if I do you better believe I’m making you show me all these awesome trails!
If you come here WE MUST EXPLORE!! YES, yes, YES!
Amy @ A Desert Girl
Good for you!! It’s sometimes really hard to listen to that gut feeling and do what it says, even if it’s not what’s “expected”. It sounds like you’re keeping yourself open to opportunity and staying true to what you WANT to spend your time doing. It doesn’t get much better than that. 🙂
B I’m so happy for you!! Do you know how freaking hard it is to “quit” something? So hard! I’m incredibly proud of you 🙂 That being said, are you MOVING TO ARIZONA? Does that need to happen.. please so nooooooooooo!!!!!!! I’m not interested in you leaving Washington, you need to stay close to me!
XOXOXO Cant wait to see where this adventure will take you!
NOOOO, no no. I forgot to mention it’s ASU online, so anyone can access this opportunity through Starbucks! I’m staying right in the good ol’ PNW close to YOU baby boo! ❤
Good for you! I’ve quit many things in my life, and my only regret is that I didn’t quit them sooner. Does this mean you’re moving to AZ? I love Arizona :). My mother in law lives there, and hikes her mountain every morning. It’s gorgeous!
No not moving, ASU offers so many online programs which is partially why Starbucks chose to work with them! I do love Arizona though, and visit often. I have family there too. 🙂
Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
I think you’re being so smart taking advantage of the program that Starbucks offers! I read about that last year and was blown away by what a cool program that is! Everything will fall into place for you 🙂 but this is basically a gift being handed to you and you’d be silly not to accept! Can’t wait to read all about your new adventures 🙂
Beautiful pictures of your hike that wasn’t meant to be! I am so happy for you. It takes A LOT of courage to change your path, and I’ve done it quite a few times… with a house, puppies, majors, classes, and more. I agree with you that the line can be hazy, but trusting your gut and knowing yourself helps. Cheers to FREE education!
Jessica @ VEGGIE RUNNING MOMMA
You didn’t quit.. you just changed directions. Sounds like you are doing what is best for you, but that’s all that you should be doing.!! How exciting and interesting 🙂 best of luck to you.!
and yess. well I never start things unless I know I’m not going to quit. so I hate making decisions. does that make sense or count.? lol idk
100% agree. Quitting is hard, it messes with our emotions, it can feel like giving up… When in reality, we’re letting go of one thing to pursue something even more beautiful. I really struggled with quitting grad school 2 years ago. I felt like it meant I was a failure, and I was worried what my (potential, in the far-off future) kids would think of me leaving. I finally realized just a few months ago that I actually took the harder route: instead of playing it safe and staying in grad school like mainstream society told me was the right thing, I quit and… started a business. Holy cow. So anyway, I am so, SO proud of you for knowing what did and didn’t feel right and going with your gut. Changing directions until everything feels perfect is always a good thing to do, and I really hope you feel more comfortable with this path!
Your far off in the future children will be lucky to have you as a mom. You followed your dreams, and that’s one of the best examples you could have set!
That means a LOT to me Brittany. Thank you!!!
Lindsay @ A Runnaroundd Life
YASS –> “I believe there is a difference between quitting something because it’s hard, and quitting something because it doesn’t feel right.”
I think it’s great that you can “quit”. Not many people know how to when they’re pursuing their degrees, and then find out later they don’t love or want to stick with that profession many years later. This of course doesn’t apply to those who “really” knows what they want to pursue… Most get stuck; some get out, but either way, it’s not always fun and can be a hard to transition into something else. It’s easier to do this when you’re in school or younger. I know many people who are out of school and decide they don’t want to do anything with that degree they went to school for. So, take your time in deciding what you really want to do. 🙂
I’ve quit many things that I’ve started and for the most part I’m grateful I did. I want to spend my time doing things that I love, not things that I dread. However I do wish I had stuck with ballet all those years ago. Just think at the pirouettes I could be rocking today! 😉
That’s so cool they offer that, but also weird it’s in Arizona since they’re based in Washington. But that’s great your credits transfer over!
ASU offers a TON of online programs, which is partially why Starbucks chose to work with them, It’s online! 🙂
I didn’t know Starbucks offered this for their employees! That’s great!!! And it takes many times to find where you’re supposed to be and believe me, I know it’s hard.
Sounds like a terrific change in direction. I know what you mean about quitting – grew up with the same mindset and it’s served me well in 90% of life…and really effed me up in 10%. But learning how to find that line is key, like you said. Now I’m able to see quitting as not so much giving up but choosing to NOT give up on something that’s more of a priority. So good for you for choosing to pursue your greater priorities!!
PS: Now you’ve got me all going and looking up ASU’s grad programs. Thanks a looooot. #tobeapartner #thanksunclehowie
DOOO it, #tobeapartner all the live long day. 🙂
Only all the time.
But remember – quitting something isn’t wrong if it means starting something better! Cheers to your new better! xo
I’m currently going through a quarter life crisis myself…I literally have like 20 credits left to get my Bachelor’s in computer science but I am so done with it! I wake up every day just dreading the crap I’m going to have to endure for the day. Now I want to go to culinary school…I’ve been brainwashed also to never quit and doing so feels like killing part of me. Ohh the woes of life! When I’m not cooking or doing homework I am desperately searching for a way to pursue my new dreams and not make the last 5 years of my life a total waste @_@
Oh man, that’s tough because you’re SO close, but if your heart is in something totally opposite perhaps you should take that leap towards culinary school!! That would be a blast of a career.
I think I’ll just do both 😛
kathy at real talk
given how healthy you are and your passion for healthy food, i think this is a better choice for you. finding out what we want to do with our lives is all trial and error! so awesome that you’re half way through your degree already!
Very deep thoughts! Good luck finding your path and congrats on following your insights
My Ryme My Reason
I struggle all the time and it is most likely due to the unrealistically high standards I hold for myself. Other reasons are because I care what people close to me will think and lastly foolish pride. On the one hand I’ve achieved things that I wouldn’t have if my pride didn’t keep me going; but on the other hand, I’ve stayed in situations it would have been more beneficial for me to quit because of pride. It’s hard to know when.
I relate to each of these feelings and thoughts, and they held me back for so long!
I would not call this quitting but growing up !!! “Only fools never change their mind” …xoxo
I couldn’t agree more with today’s post. Yes, there is a fine line between quitting and knowing when you should be going on a different path, and I loved reading about your journey (which is on-going!). For about 6 years of my life I thought I wanted to pursue physical therapy as a career. Whether you call it laziness or knowing that now may not be the right time, I took a different path almost three years ago. Now, as a personal trainer with a physical therapy background, I’m so glad I didn’t continue down that path. I can also see potential for growth with what I’m doing now. LIFE IS SO COOL SOMETIMES. Sorry for the rant. xoxo!!
I love the “rant” which I don’t consider a rant at all. Thank you for sharing!
Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
Be glad that you didn’t pursue dental hygiene. I am(was) a hygienist for 12 years. I just got a job that is not cleaning teeth. I almost feel like a quitter but not really. I am really excited for another “career!!”
Intersting opportunity at ASU. Sounds very exciting!! Good luck!!!
A lot of the hygienists I talked to and shadowed knew people or themselves were planning on working the job for a handful of years and then moving onto something else. I’m finding this to be a common trend with a lot of professions, it definitely keeps life flowing! Thank you for sharing. 🙂
Leslie @ TriathleteTreats
Yes!! It is hard to move on after you have had an amazing schedule and really good pay for so many years!!! 😦
I feel so connected to your story. I have gone to three colleges because they didn’t feel right. I still have one more year of undergrad, but am in no hurry to rush anything because I’m not sure the first three years were worth it. I am becoming a fan of certification programs for a specific skill. I have a few areas that I want to pursue, and none that really require or would utilize a formal degree. Most importantly, I’m happy with that, quitting and all 🙂
Here’s an opportunity to back up your already healthy living blog with authority. My experience from raising four of my own kids, coaching and many countless more, is that it’s rare that a young person knows what He/she wants to be when they grow up. God knows I don’t know yet and I’m 60! So what! The important thing is to keep on learning because every experience is a lesson. And a credential along the way won’t hurt. Be well, and be happy. Keep writing.
Thank you Jim, your comments always speak volumes!
Heather P. at Fancy Alter Ego
As a teacher, I often run across students in your position who are burnt out with what they’re doing, or it just isn’t right for them. I always say follow your gut – it’ll lead you where it needs to be. It may not be an easy trip, or a direct one – but you’ll get there!
Don’t think of it as quitting…think of it as another turn in the path leading to your summit!
(*I’m an English teacher, can you tell? Haha)
I don’t know if this was a hard or a difficult decision for you, but either way, it must feel good, now that it’s done and you’ve made up your mind? 🙂
I think going with your gut feeling is the best when it comes to making really tough decisions. But it sounds like your new academic goal is like an off-shoot of the previous one. Like you said, you can probably combine your passions of nutrition and writing together, and your degree will just be called something different 🙂
Girl! I can’t BEGIN to tell you how many times I have “quit” school/something! I JUST listened to a podcast about this a couple weeks ago and ya know what, I think we need to start applauding people when they figure out it is time for THEM to quit something. If they have pushed through and TRIED, and really know this isn’t for them, or the right time, or whatever, why waste time and money going to the end when you KNOW this “thing” isn’t for YOU!? I think it’s a grown-up thing to do. It isn’t failing. You are just realizing what is right for YOUR life. AND! Now you can check something off your box of “potentials”.
Amanda @ .running with spoons.
I love that you strayed from the safe course to follow your gut. Sometimes I feel like people unfairly label something as “quitting” when the person is only doing what’s best for them in the long run. I went through the same sort of thing with school and trying to find a path that felt right, and while it may have taken me a little longer than others, I’m in a place now that I absolutely adore. Wishing you all the best, lady! ❤
I love the pictures from your hikes!
But I wouldn’t call it quitting. I think you’re becoming very aware of things that make your life less enjoyable and it’s great to get rid of that stress and just be who you want to be. Life is too short to sit in classes you really despise. Keep climbing those mountains 😉
that hike looks beautiful! you’re so lucky to live somewhere that has such gorgeous nature and mountains so close to you! the degree sounds like a great idea 🙂 hopefully it turns out to be something that you love!
Lucie Elizabeth (@CollectingLight)
(love your hikes!)
It takes courage to go with your heart and say no to the things that arent truly fulfilling you and making you happy Most people would just continue for the sake of completion….but sometimes it takes that true grit to look around and realise youre not happy in the direction youre going and then take a different path. Love you girl!
To be honest I think quitting usually needs more courage than just simply carrying out… And the people who have the courage to stop, think and quit if they think this is he best option… These are the best people. So: WELL DONE!
Oh, that’s a tough decision, but it sounds like you gave up something good to pursue something better. I think nutrition communications sounds amazing! You can’t beat 100% tuition either! That’s so awesome. I love all of your hike pictures too. Unbelievable!
I am really excited for you! The nutrition world needs more voices like yours, speaking out against big ag lobbyists who try to argue that Kraft cheese is healthy and pizza sauce is a vegetable.
Amen sistah, amen.
I totally agree with this post. You’ve gotta do what you gotta do! If something’s not right, bail. We have intuition and instincts for a reason. Education is such a huge investment of time and money… It’s so important to do whatever it is you actually want to do!
I left the first college I went to after just one semester. I was devastated and I felt like a total quitter but it just was so wrong for me on so many levels. I ended up earning a full scholarship to my alma mater and pursuing a totally different (and what would become my dream) career path. You’re not a quitter if something is not the right fit! What an amazing opportunity you are pursuing. Good for you! (And I love Starbucks!)
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
Hi Brittany! It’s okay to change direction when you need to, so no shame in “quitting.” I think it’s awesome that Starbucks provides tuition reimbursement, so yes, you better take advantage of that. Your new program sounds awesome! Being a student is something I sort’ve miss. Hope you have a great weekend feeling happy with your decision!! 🙂
Heather @ HeatherRunsFast.com
I just love that you stay true to yourself. If you’re doing something that doesn’t feel right or that you legit don’t want to put effort into, it’s time to change. CHANGE not quit. There have been several times I’ve wanted to quit trying to have a baby… it’s been such a struggle with all the waiting, unknowns, weight gain, no running, not to mention the cost! BUT it’s all about the big picture right?! And what an opportunity that SBucks is paying tuition… that’s pretty darn hard to pass up! Goooo Sun Devils!
There definitely is a fine line between the ‘hard’ and ‘not right’. And I think you just have to sit back and really evaluate how it is affecting your life. I have become a lot better about staying true to myself and being authentic as well.
Thank you for your honesty it is so refreshing to see someone who is young and really trying to figure things out. So often people get into something and think they can stick it out or feel trapped to do that. I am motivated by your post and how much you are willing to accept change. Stick with it girl and keep your chin up you will find something you love!
anxiety is the worst, and school-induced anxiety can just feel… unnecessary. i experienced something similar in grad school, but it was during the final two courses — any sooner and i might have stopped. it seems like the asu program will be perfect for you though, and this blog is only gonna help demonstrate all your communication prowess 🙂 I do wonder, however, how you could ever worry too much surrounded by all that gorgeousness in your photos ❤
Barbara Bamber | justasmidgen
I think that statement “Zero visibility meant it was time to turn around.” would be a great metaphor for your writing/ideas today. I heartily agree and am impressed that someone as young as you has already figured that out! I was still just messing around in bars at your age;)
An Unrefined Vegan
It’s absolutely the right thing to do to follow your instincts and your heart. What a great opportunity thanks to Starbucks!
GiGi Eats Celebrities
You know my thoughts and words on this!!! I feel super dang special that I can text you and can the VIP conversations about ALL OF THIS!
You gotta listen to your gut and follow your heart, even when your head may be telling you something else. You’re doing the right thing for you and that’s all that matters.
Hooray for free education. Go Starbucks!
As far as I’m concerned, you ARE winning. Doing what’s right for you is way more important than quitting school.People put way too much of an emphasis on school. Your mental and physical health are just as important as an education! You do what feels right for you, and it will all fall into place 🙂
Arman @ thebigmansworld
so much yes.
You know I can totally relate- That is so awesome that Starbucks have such an initiative!
Best wishes on the nutrition course! My daughter is in her second year of a Health Science degree majoring in nutrition and while it is challenging she is passionate about the area too. It sounds right up your alley. And of course, you won’t know until you give it a good go, will you?! Having tuition reimbursed is fantastic. 🙂
tiffany @with sparkles
follow your heart and you will figure it out 🙂
I know exactly where you’re coming from- I spent last week having epic anxiety attacks at work and had to keep it together so people would take me seriously. You’re not quitting- as they in say in the corporate world…you’ll circle back to it eventually.
Chemistry can be daunting, but sometimes it makes sense when it wants to (trust me, I know because I wasted a lot of time trying to understand it!) I wish you all the luck in your endeavors, and may you find what you love the most! And…gorgeous photos and writing as always.
One foot to step on your dream, the other planted on the rock of reality .
Thank you! 🙂
Luv What You Do
What an amazing post! Best of luck to you!
BTW, are you moving to AZ?
Noooo no, not moving. It’s all offered online!
Luv What You Do
Gotcha! Even better!!! How exciting!
Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy
I totally agree with you. I don’t think that quitting always means you are giving up and failing, it just means you know yourself well enough to know that something isn’t working.
I’m always so inspired when others can make authentic choices for themselves–even if it isn’t the mainstream, or “right” thing to do according to other people. Proud of you for listening to what is right for YOU!
I honestly think that this is one of the bravest things you could do. It takes a lot of balls [or ovaries!] to completely stop midway through something and go another direction. ESPECIALLY when it comes to schooling. Parental pressures, peer pressures, worldly pressures…. those are all things that can make you feel trapped and stuck, so kudos to you for following that heart of yours ❤
Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
Agreed, there is a HUGE difference between being a quitter, and giving something up because it doesn’t feel right… and only you can determine when something doesn’t feel right for you. Awesome to hear that you’re pursuing a degree in nutrition! I was considering goes back for my Masters in nutrition, but after going to IIN for my health coaching certification last year, that kind of quenched that desire for the time being. But who knows what’s to come in the future right?! 🙂
Lucie Elizabeth (@CollectingLight)
love you girl x
My employer also offers tuition reimbursement but only for degrees that make sense for working at this national lab. I thought it would be stupid to pass up free college so in January 2010 I started going to school for a computer science degree. Then I quit that and switched to practical but boring accounting. I had zero passion for it and quit school totally twice and don’t know what to do. At 48 it’s hard to get motivated to spend what little bit of free time studying things I don’t give a crap about. So, I’ve decided to write a TV show and become a famous producer. Wish me luck! 😀
WOW, what an exciting path you’ll be embarking on!!
Christina Does It All
That’s so awesome! I think I switched majors almost a handful of times before I found what I was most passionate about. Getting to graduation become a fun journey after I got to that point. Excited to watch your journey too! Go, girlfriendddddd!
Christina Does It All
and by become, I mean became. haha 😉
Good luck with your journey along the exciting new path you have chosen.
Rach @ This Italian Family
Oh girl, yes. My whole life I had the same thing pounded into my head. I remember thinking that my entire family was going to be totally disappointed in me when I quit graduate school after the first year. But they weren’t. My reasons were solid and my family and friends were supportive, not judgmental. That meant the world to me at the time. Anyway, I LOVE that Starbucks offers to pay for your tuition through certain schools. That’s such an amazing opportunity! I’m excited to see where life takes you next! I feel sure this new program will be great! 🙂
This was a great post, I agree you’ve got to trust your instincts to do what’s best for you as an individual regardless of what anybody else thinks. It’s a line I feel I sometimes tip toe, I want to please people but I also want to do what’s right for me. Important to keep it straight that it’s your life not somebody else’s, I think I got the post haha I majored in biochemistry it made my life hell sometimes I can empathize with your hating chemistry. Got me thinking about some things right now, thanks for the read 🙂
Nicole Marie Story
a very wise man once told me that value exists in improvising plans as needed. 100% true. i heart you! xo
I am a long time reader but have never commented. I wanted to comment on your chemistry post a while ago because at the same time I was taking chemistry and struggling. I have a degree in special education and have been teaching for three years. My last job was at a school for behavior disorder students and students with Autism that also had severe physical behaviors. I had a really tough class and was put in some situations that made me question my future as a teacher. I decided to quit and become a nurse. Well…as it turned out, I hated the nursing classes and ended up missing teaching a lot. I didn’t tell anyone for a while because I felt like a quitter and I already had spent so much money on my nursing classes. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and decided to quit nursing. I am back teaching again…but I just wanted to tell you that we are still young and sometimes it is hard to know exactly what you want to do. You will get there though! Just keep doing what you love!
Thank you so much for your comment! My sister has autism, and I’m very familiar with the environment you were first put into while teaching. It is NOT an easy one, so thank you for what you do.
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I quit school when I was 16 and entered the military at 17. Here, 34 years later, I hold a BA in Psychology, a Masters in Public Administration, and an MBA. Know what? I went down the wrong path. That’s a scary thing at 51 (I recently wrote about it on my site too). Take your time and find what it is you truly want to do, and do that. Even if it takes you 40 years. Don’t push yourself down a path that you will wake up at the age of 50 and realize you hated every minute of it. Take your time.
Thank you! Your comment is comforting and reassuring. Also, it’s never too late to do what you love, so now is your chance to go for it!
Gorgeous pictures, fabulous blog! Good luck with your decision. We’re AZ natives, it’s a great place to live, although not quite as green as Seattle 🙂 We’re in New Zealand now and I’m really going to miss the green when we move back to Arizona this summer, but I sure do crave that desert sun!
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