Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, Mar. 10 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Last updated Monday, Mar. 10 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Hey students, drop out of university now! You can thank me later.
I am a university dropout, or at least I was for 10 years. Quitting was the best thing I ever did.
I’m 29 now, and after a lot of living (some successful, some not) I have returned to university as a mature student. And what I am seeing around me are a whole lot of students who need to drop out just like I did.
This might sound radical, even blasphemous, since parents everywhere are encouraging their teenagers to stay in school. But hear me out.
When I attended university for the first time, I was doing it because that was just what you did. I was accepted to Concordia University in communications.
I did great academically, but my mind and heart were on a different planet. I sulked through the hallways, talked through lectures and did assignments like a programmed robot. I cared more about what club I would be going to on Friday night than what was in my $100 textbook.
I did well, maintaining a 3.5 GPA, but emotionally I just didn’t care. I couldn’t – not because I was a bad teen, but because I just didn’t know any better. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life. I didn’t take university seriously, and I knew that I was wasting my time and my parents’ money.
So I spat out the institutional Kool-Aid and dropped out after the first semester. My parents were shocked but, to their credit, they let me be.
I floated around for a few months, worked at a bank for a year, then attended the National Theatre School of Canada in hopes of becoming an actor. After three years of rolling around on the floor and finding my inner child, I moved to Toronto to become a star.