Author's Note in Yann Martel's 'The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios' begins like this:
When I was in my second year of university, aged nineteen, my studies ground to a halt. Just as the curtain was lifting on my adult life, with promises of untold freedom, what I might do with that freedom began to trouble me. I had always expected academic degrees--a bachelor's, a master's, a Ph.D. -- to be the banister that would steady me up the steps of my successful life. But that year I stared at paragraphs of Immanuel Kant in a state of dumb incomprehension, I failed two courses and the banister fell away. The view gave me vertigo.
And I am wondering why is it that despite having a somewhat similar existential crisis throughout my 14 long and miserable months at the College of Engineering, Guindy, I did not know about or consider the possibility of a writing life.
The only thing I knew for sure was that I needed to walk away, even if I didn't know what I was walking toward...
In retrospect, it has been a good, long walk, maybe even a demanding hike, but with plenty of inspiring scenery.