College is a Waste of Time – Spoken by a Lifelong Learner

“Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.” – Jim Rohn
I’m nearly 30 years old, and for most of my life I have been in school. As a little one, I was in preschool for two years before kindergarten.After I graduated from high school, I’ve managed to sprinkle in 16 semesters of college education. If you know much about college, you know that equals 8 years of college and well over the amount of credits one needs to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree, however, transferring schools and transferring programs means that I’m still an undergraduate. With that being said, I have instructors that are younger than me! It’s crazy, but that’s not the problem I have with them. The problem I have with college instructors can best be summed up by a recent quote from one of them:

“I should point out that for Explorations, the highest achievable grade is B+, as there isn’t the scope in those assignments to exceed the requirements for assessment in each case.” – Instructor

In that class we have an exploration assignment due each week, a midterm, and a final. Can you see a flaw in the grading structure here? If I get a B+ on every weekly assignment, that gives me a “perfect” grade for that part of the course, but it’s still only a B+! Perhaps this quote from another instructor would be a better representation of the decline in education:

“I’m not here to teach you. I’m here to grade your work. I give you an assignment and it is your responsibility to figure our what you need to learn in order to complete the assignment. Then it is up to you to learn it, complete the assignment, and turn it in on time.” -Instructor

I don’t think it would be so hard, if the assignments actually had detailed instructions, if the instructor made it clear what he expected, or if when we received a poor grade on an assignment, he told us why.

In my English class we have three papers to write for the entire semester. The grade we receive on the ROUGH DRAFT – which is graded as if it is a final draft – has just as much weight on our final semester grade as does the final paper. We turned in our rough draft, and the final was due two weeks later. The day the final was due, the instructor finally gave us back our rough drafts and extended the final deadline by ONE DAY!

I struggle each day to decide what to do for my business. I struggle to prioritize my life because I still want to do pretty much everything. In addition to being a full-time student, I am also a full-time wife and a full-time business owner. Currently, I am dealing with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) which is a form of orthostatic intolerance that is associated with the presence of excessive tachycardia on standing. Many POTS patients experience low blood pressure on standing, fatigue, headaches, lightheadedness, heart palpitations, exercise intolerance, nausea, diminished concentration, tremulousness (shaking), syncope (fainting), coldness or pain in the extremities, chest pain and shortness of breath. If that wasn’t enough, I’m also recovering from a brain surgery in March which effected my balance as well as my ability to do normal every day tasks. The hardest part of this recovery was learning to walk again. We wouldn’t want to leave out the fact that I have extreme back difficulties for a 29 year old woman. For this, I go to 1.5 hours of therapy 4 times a week. So, as you can tell, I’m a very busy lady.

The truth of the matter is being this busy is not working for me. It is far too stressful, and we all know that when you are trying to regain your health, extreme stress is not going to help. We can’t always dictate what our health will do. Sure, we can eat healthy, exercise, and take care of ourselves, but sometimes or bodies just do their own thing. the best thing we can do about it though is keep working to make it better, continue going to therapy, eating right, exercising, and treating our bodies well, so for obvious reasons I can’t get rid of that from my life right now.

Another area of life that requires attention is the fact that I am a full-time wife. Relationships require work and love in order to grow. It’s important for me to spend time nurturing my marriage and spending time with my husband. He deserves that! Part of this nurturing requires that I put in just as much effort around our house as he does. It’s not fair to expect him to mow the yard, do the dishes, clean the clothes, vacuum the floors, take care of the dogs, take out the trash, and cook the meals. We are partners and therefor we work together to keep the relationship and our home maintained. I can’t alleviate this from my life either.

Last week my husband and I talked about my business. We discussed what our life goals were and what needed to happen to accomplish those goals. For us, Pretty Much is one of the most important pieces of my life right now. It is the one piece that makes the most sense and makes me the most happy.Despite the business taking a lot of love, dedication, time, and work, it seems to be a stress reliever more than a stress creator. Owning and operating Pretty Much keeps me sane and makes me feel good. It’s such an important part of my life, and of our future that I would be crazy to cut it out of my life right now.

This brings us back to the talk of school. I’m supposed to devote 10 hours a week per class. That’s 40 hours a week devoted to school. Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with this expectation, however, that number doesn’t even come close to the amount of work that I have to put in. Last week I was required to create a 108 page document for one class in one week. It took me 20 hours just to work on that class, and I still had three other classes to work on. Did I learn anything from creating that document? nope! That’s when I realized that school is taking up way too much of my time and not giving me anything back. I’m not really learning anything, and it causes way too much stress. It needs to go.

So for me, I’ve decided that right now in life, college is a waste of my time. I’ve decided that this will be my last semester for a while. The crazy thing is that several of my classmates have actually said the same thing. At least I don’t feel so bad.

The great news is that this means tons more time to focus on Pretty Much! Hooray! I’m so excited because that means that I am about to have a ton of time to make pretty things! I’m about to have time to blog, create pre-made party details, develop some new stationary collections, and even start making some videos. I cannot wait for this new era to begin with Pretty Much. On Tuesday, I’ll be sharing a bit more about upcoming plans, so come back and find out more!


What’s in a Business Name – Why Pretty Much Rocks

“When you find an idea that you just can’t stop thinking about, that’s probably a good one to pursue.” —Josh James, Omniture CEO and co-founderLong before I opened my business, I knew I wanted to own a business in which I created beautiful things. I’m such a collector of skills and a lifelong learner that it was hard for me to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with my business. I enjoy making things, crafting, designing, photographing, and so much more. How on earth could I possibly narrow it down?

Whenever I would talk about it with my husband, I found myself telling him that I wanted to do Pretty Much everything. Then one day, it struck me – why not call my business Pretty Much? Then, I could do pretty much everything! So, about 3 years before I ever opened my business, I knew exactly what I wanted to call it. I liked the way I could play with the name. I could create Pretty this or Pretty that. When somebody asked me what I did, I could tell them Pretty Much everything. The more I said the name out loud, the more it felt right. Pretty Much always seems like an answer to a question, too! I find myself using the phrase all the time. Why wouldn’t I name my business Pretty Much?

As time continued by, I started to wonder if it would ever be THE TIME. You know, the right time to stop everything in my life and open a business. I started to get discouraged because life just kept on happening and more times than not, I found myself carried on in other directions. I was always too busy, too tired, too involved to worry about setting up a business. but then, in September 2013 something happened. The world stopped spinning around in crazy wild busy circles. I stopped, took a few breaths, and sat down on the couch to rest. This literally happened, and in a way it also figuratively happened.

In September 2013 my life changed in many ways. I got sick, went to the doctor, and got told to stop going to work. It was time to sit still, time to meditate, to think, and to dream. I couldn’t go to work, and I could barely do much of anything, but I could sit and dream. That’s exactly what I did. I dreamed about what I wanted to do. I pretty much just wanted to craft and create. I pretty much just wanted to stop working my life away at a job I hated. I pretty much just wanted to make pretty things, make people happy, and make my life more enjoyable. I decided to plan it all out. I had the time now, why not get started.

On January 1st, Pretty Much was officially born and open for business. Pretty Much became real, and I was pretty much ecstatic. 9 months later, my baby is still growing. It’s still morphing into the business that I want it to be. Each day I make conscience decisions to make the business better than it was the day before. Pretty Much is a work in progress as most small businesses pretty much always are, and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

Three years before I opened my business I knew I wanted to do pretty much everything I could do. As I know that is not a very specific business identity, I narrowed that down. What makes me happy in life is celebrating. I am happiest when I am celebrating life, celebrating accomplishments, people, friendships, holidays, and most of all love. I decided that when it comes to celebrating, that’s where I wanted to focus my time and energy. So when those doors opened, Pretty Much was a business based on celebrating. I am focused on celebrating pretty much all of life’s wonderful moments and creating pretty much anything and everything to make it easier for people to celebrate those wonderful moments. Pretty Much rocks because it is a business all about celebrating, throwing confetti, happy dancing, and being lovely. It is pretty much the best business that I could possibly own!