If you're not happy, quit or quit bitching

Arizona Daily Wildcat


Making the decision to join my high school wrestling team was difficult. Practices were hellish and putting up with the harsh training regiment required thick skin and 100 percent commitment.

I questioned whether I had the drive it took to be there. But the idea of being part of a championship team with a great coach pushed me to join.

Little did I know that two hazing ceremonies were part of team membership. First, you had to get your head shaved, period. Second, previous team members had the "right" to welcome newbies to the team with a wedgie.

So I got my head shaved. At the first practice, the coach had us rolling around doing reversals so fast, I didn't know which way was up. We ran stairs until three guys puked. Afterwards, a bunch of guys elected themselves as the crew of my wedgie welcome wagon. They pulled my shorts over my head and hung me from a towel hook.

It wasn't a good day, and I went home asking myself whether it was really worth the humiliation. I knew I didn't want to be there.

Making the decision to quit the team was as difficult as deciding to join. When I turned in my headgear, I actually cried in front of the coach. But those feelings of depression were quickly replaced by the liberating feeling of quitting something I didn' t want to do. It was a lesson in the fine art of quitting, and I learned that quitting is a necessary part of the journey toward our dreams.

Sure, some might call me a wimp, a quitter who dropped out when it got rough. Who cares. I considered myself empowered to know when enough was enough.

That's what the quit is all about. It liberates us from the shackles of depressing work schedules, classes we don't like, significant others we don't love anymore...

No doubt, quitting has a negative societal connotation. It's linked with that saying, "Quitters never win and winners never quit." A quick look at William Henry Gates III makes me question that outdated cliche's validity. He quit Harvard and went on to fo und Microsoft Corp. In 1995, he was worth $9 billion.

We live in an age where work is considered a chore rather than enjoyable, and complaints about work are way too common. To avoid that trap, find a job you like and then you won't have to "work" a day your entire life.

Are you in school because you want to be here, or because you're following some ingrained pattern your parents scribbled out to ensure your success? Do you wake up every morning feeling bored, depressed, and just plain disgusted at the thought of going to work? Are you living your life for someone else?

If you fit in one of these categories, then quit something. Quit making time for things that don't interest you. Quit your job and look for one that will make you happy. If you wake up every morning saying "I hate my job," then quit. No one's stopping you but yourself.

If you hate school, then take some time off. I couldn't stand the University of Michigan, so I took a semester off. I went back for a year, and hated it so much, I quit and came to Arizona. The liberation I felt from starting fresh was a powerful antidote to depression.

Inevitably, your quitting won't make everyone happy. Remember, though, that everyone is replaceable. It's a hard fact to fathom, but there are others who will be more excited than you to do the job you quit. So move on and give them a chance.

According to Evan Harris, author of The Quit, quitters experience quitting euphoria when they move on to something new. Supposedly, the feeling fades and is replaced by depression.

But quitting shouldn't be depressing. After you quit, don't look back. You quit for a reason, so enjoy your new-found freedom. If you don't like what you're doing after you've quit once, then quit again.

Author Pico Iyer summed up the art of quitting nicely in the October 1996 Utne Reader: "Quitting, for me, means not giving up, but moving on...; It's not a complaint...but a positive choice, and not a stop in one's journey, but a step in a better directio n. Quitting - whether a job or a habit - means taking a turn so as to be sure you're still moving in the direction of your highest dreams."

A friend summed it up more succinctly: "If you're not happy where your at, either quit or quit bitching."

Adam Djurdjulov is a journalism senior and Wildcat opinions editor. His column, 'Airing it Out,' appears Mondays.