No college for Salsarita's supervisor

Spinnaker

SO, WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

As we walk from building to building, our paths collide with hundreds of faces each day — some familiar, others foreign. As we look into the eyes of these passersby, we know they serve a purpose toward the betterment of themselves or the university at large.

As students at UNF, we are lucky enough to be getting a degree that will guide us toward careers — one for which we have been studying and paying plenty. Rarely do we look at someone we pass on the goose dropping-covered sidewalk and think about what’s really going on in their lives: Why are they here? Where did they come from? And where are they going?

Many assume college is a necessary tool for a successful future. But it’s not for everyone. Patrick Enos is 22 years old and spends the majority of his time at UNF, but he doesn’t step foot in a classroom.

Enos is a prime example of someone who has aspirations, dreams and creative ideas of what he wants in life. None of them involve going to college.

Enos graduated from high school and decided to take a year off. He finally decided to attend Florida State College at Jacksonville in hopes of earning a degree in business administration.

He once thought about attending Full Sail, a private arts college in Orlando, but was unable to because of the high tuition costs.

“No one has ever gone to college in my family until I went, so I was everyone’s biggest hope,” he said. “My family would push me to go because they wanted me to do what they wanted.”

Unfortunately, Enos was unhappy and unmotivated to fulfill his parent’s wishes. He began to realize he wanted something for himself that a business degree could not give him: creative freedom.

“There’s no point in dedicating time and energy into something you’re not passionate about,” he said. “Even if you’re not sure, just wait until you figure it out and go from there.”

Enos dropped out of FSCJ after one semester for several reasons, but one of the main reasons was a lack of funding.

“I couldn’t get any grants or scholarships, and I didn’t want to have to take out thousands of dollars in loans that I would have to be paying back for years and years,” he said. “I didn’t want to put that financial burden on my family.”

Enos’ parents, who were expecting their son to be the first in the family to graduate from a university, were upset but understanding.

“My dad saw it coming, but it took my mom awhile to understand that college isn’t for everyone, and that I needed to do something that fit my personality,” he said.

He decided to remain close to the campus atmosphere by getting a job as the supervisor for Salsarita’s in the UNF Student Union.

“It’s cool to not work weekends and hang around kids my age,” Enos said. “Even though I don’t go to UNF, I hang out with a bunch of people that go there, and I still feel like a part of the environment.”

Now that Enos opted out of going to college, he is looking to save some money and apply for aviation welding school in 2012, in hopes of being able to work outdoors and with his hands.

“Every time I hear my friends talking about classes and jobs they want to get after graduation, it motivates me to work hard.”

Although Enos decided to take a different route into his future than most of his friends, he is still just as driven and excited about his upcoming ventures. Enos’ roommate also works at UNF. They want to start a T-shirt company so Enos can put his art into the world.

“We’re learning the process, but were just trying to perfect it,” he said. “We want to make sure it’s something we can be proud of. “

With an on-campus job, a potential career in welding and a new T-Shirt company in the works, Enos has proven that you don’t necessarily need a college degree to fulfil your dreams, you just need to follow your gut.

“If you’re not going to put all your heart and soul into something there’s no point in even doing it, right?”

As for a dream job, Enos said, “My dream job, honesty, would be anything that has to do with art. I love to draw, and I want to let the world see that.”

So, What’s Your Story? is searching for students, faculty and staff to profile in upcoming issues. If you are someone — or know someone — with an interesting story to tell, contact the Spinnaker at [email protected]