A common issue among young adults is the pressure to get a degree in four years. There is also a lot of pressure to get it done right after high school. I wanted to share a story that showed someone’s success that didn’t happen fast to prove that success has no timeline. Vanessa Johnson proved this point by sharing her story of figuring out her path and getting her degree.
Vanessa is an attorney at the firm I work for. She has always encouraged me to not stress about having a couple years of my undergraduate degree left at the age of 23. She is the perfect star for this article because her story will inspire anyone who reads this to keep going.
Born and raised in Connecticut, Vanessa finished high school by the age of 18 in 1985, and didn’t have interest in going to college. She worked full time instead for the state as a secretary. She eventually moved to Boston where she worked full time for a Architect firm and took a couple of night classes at Northeastern.
Three years after graduating high school she decided to move home and attend college full time. She majored in Graphic Design for two years and then felt like she wasn’t talented enough for it and took a year break from school. She returned to her local community college where she studied for two years and had two jobs as a bartender and server. Then she transferred to University of Rhode Island, where she received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology during the year 1994.
This whole process took her about ten years. Right after receiving her bachelor’s degree, she studied for the LSAT and went to law school in 1995. She then finished law school in 1997. Overall she went through 12 years of school after high school and never gave up or let society hold her back.
To students who are struggling to complete college she advised to keep going. She said, “Don’t get distracted or frustrated because you don’t see what you’re going to do in the end, just focus on completing this part of your life. Do the best that you can, just like you would in a job. Not everybody likes their jobs, but the end goal is to just get a paycheck and look at your schooling the same way. This might not be what you want to do but you never know who you are going to meet in the process.” She met some good professors that really helped and guided her with things she never would’ve thought of. They showed her new paths and encouraged her that there is no shame in changing your plan. Staying in that community was a great thing for her because she met people that helped her with her process of changing her major and switching schools.
She has no regrets about getting her degrees at all. She wouldn’t change a thing. Today Vanessa is a very successful lawyer working at a firm in downtown Tampa as a defense attorney. She spends her days helping others and she is one of the hardest workers I know. Vanessa’s story is not only inspiring but proves that success has no timeline.
I am interviewing Vanessa Johnson because she is a very hardworking and successful lawyer who has always shared her advice with me about not rushing to finish college. Society can put a lot of pressure on young adults to get a degree in four years after graduating from high school. Vanessa is a great example as to why society is wrong. I selected a series of great questions to ask Vanessa about her life as a young adult and her college experience. I also chose a couple of deeper questions so that her story would be influential. Some challenges that I had were choosing who to interview because I hope for this story to show that there is no need to stress, you will all be successful if you follow yourself. I am excited to share it soon with you all!
I don’t know Lorde and I have no access to interview her so I am telling the story about successful people who have defied societies standards. College is a very stressful time in all students life. So many people give up because some people in society look down on those who don’t finish school in their early twenties. One of the biggest stress students carry on their shoulders is to finish school in four years right after high school. I am interviewing successful people who defied these social standards and chose to follow their dreams.
10 questions I am asking:
- How old were you when you graduated high school?
- How old were you when you started college?
- Did a family member pay for your school?
- Did you have a job while in school?
- What was your major when you first started school?
- Were you afraid to change your major because it meant more time in school?
- How long did it take you to get your degree?
- Did you ever compare yourselves to others and get insecure?
- Do you have any regrets about getting your degree?
- What is the best advice you can give to a student who is struggling to complete college?
Someone I would love to interview is the musical artist Lorde. I would love to interview her because her lyrics are so deep and meaningful. Also because she is from New Zealand and it would be cool to learn more about her culture. The biggest reason I want to interview her is because she is extremely unique compared to other celebrities and avoids the celebrity lifestyle.
Some questions I would ask her are:
How old were you when you first started writing lyrics?
What is the most meaningful message you want to leave people with after listening to your music?
How has your culture inspired your music?
What is the worst and best thing about having fame?
Overall if I ever was sitting across from Lorde I would be freaking out on the inside because I look up to her and am a big fan. Lorde if you ever see this, thank you for inspiring me!
Hello! My name is Abagail. I’m from Tampa Florida where I currently reside. I lived in NYC for a couple of years where I studied theatre. I have always loved the theatre or anything to do with music and art.
Some of my favorite things to do are going to concerts, hanging with my friends and family, traveling, listening to music, anything involving nature and water and playing guitar! I recently started teaching myself guitar and I highly recommend learning a instrument if you’re looking for something else to do in your free time. I also recently have gotten into photography to capture some of the beautiful places I visit. You’ll find lots of those photos on this blog as I continue to build it.
My favorite artists are Lorde, Lana Del Rey and Billie Eilish. Some recent shows that I just watched and loved are the new season of Stranger Things, Only Murders in the Building, Loki and Derry Girls. Some recent movies I loved are Everything Everywhere All At Once, Deep Waters and Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
If I was given a million dollars I would invest majority of it and travel the world with my family and friends.
My values are self love, empowering others and always having a sense of humor.