After spending three years in college running away from my responsibilities and hating the way I lived my life, I decided to do something about it. I dropped out at the end of my junior year, left everything behind to move to Portland, OR, where my parents lived, to start fresh. I needed to seriusly find myself, and in the last 4 months since i landed here, I seriously have. The system shock to my body and mental state forced me to deal with many conflicting thughts and emotions, instead of running away from them as i had been doing for years through highly addictive video games, marijuana, or other excessive escapist tendancies.

For the longest tme I believed that I was never good enough, and that I just couldn't bother to care enough to do the things I had wanted to do. I thought that because I had done so well dspite self-destructive tendencies in High School and before, once I got to college and wasn't doing well, it was because I didn't really know how to try. And I was partially right, I didn't know how to try, not in the way I thought I was supposed to. I thought I was supposed to be machine-like, pumping out success and work like there was no tomorrow. I believed that I could accomplish anything; hell, I had been told that since I can remember, and I've always exceeded expectations, so why couldn't I exceed my own expectations? But the reality was that my expectations were unrealistic, because I was human and I was flawed as all humans are, I just didn't get that. I didn't understand stressors and anxiety and the like, and didn't recognize that I was going into a new environment alone, without the help of my parents, friends, or family after recently having failed something huge. I expected to be able to juggle failure, my new living situation, classes and homeowrk (and making sure I was up on time), while also learning how to handle my financial situation, and keeping myself fed, two things I never really had to worry about before. I ony recently realized that the reason I struggled to handle all this and eventually started to do poorly in school was that I was taking on too much.

When you are surrounded by people with different motivations than you, it doesnt feel like you belong, similar to if they reject you. In college i had huge aspirations for myself, including starting a business and handling my finances and expenses and doing super well in school. I wasn't very successful, and I spent my time with people who either weren't incredibly ambitious or they were also not very successful. That combined with a lack of mentorship and advice led to stagnation.
Deep down my ambition and drive would never die. So eventually I took a big step and dropped my life to move to Portland. This crazy decision has turned out to be the best decision I have ever made, for I am more observant, logical, and meticulous in my planning and I have developed my own firm beliefs.

Change, especially big change, is incrediby powerful at making you think. Outside stressors really push you on the inside I guess. I recently spent a week on my new girlfriend's college campus a state away and i learned how big of a deal the environment you place yourself into is to how you grow as a person. I am very much a product of my surroundings and will always compete to be the best at whatever I am doing. If i am surrounded by people who, like at her college, are extremely motivated to do well in school and be physically fit and to be active in community, then I will grow in that direction. On the other hand, if I surround myself, like I did in college, with lackadaisical and boring individuals, then I would never achieve the success that I had always dreamed of.

It's easy to tailor your surroundings based upon people being interested or being generally nice, and it is significatnly harder to tailor your surroundings based upon people who actually want to do something with their lives, and are actually willing to put the work in to get there. It is very hard work to achieve your dreams, and those people who will don't have the time to screw around, and they often don't stay in one place for very long. Let go of those peole who will keep you where you are and latch on to those few who pique your interest and you will go far.

Jesse Hobson