Tonight, I am in the mood of “looking back.” Instead of brooding, I decided to blog about it.
When I was in high school, the big “to do” was college. What college were you going to? What’s your top choice college? My junior and senior year I even had teachers read letters of former students who went off to college and told stories of their own quirky roommates.
Turns out I ended up in community college my first couple of years and really had no intention of bragging about my bus route to and from college and no intention of telling them about the school who told me their only expectation was that their students had a pulse.
Then, the college thing. Like I said, community college gave me my first taste of cynical “real world” candy. Trust me, it doesn’t taste good. The message there? Get into a 4 year college. I got great grades. I managed to get into an honor society. Eventually, I did transfer to a 4 year college.
When the 4 year college happened, I did change my major a couple of times and landed in Communication. I was in English for a while, but somewhere along the way, I grew tired of reading and analyzing books to the point where the enjoyment was gone. When I switched, I thought I would have a greater chance of enjoying my classes and finding a career that I enjoyed. Most of all, I wanted to graduate.
When I did, I loved my graduation. I was so proud and it was awesome seeing my family out there cheering me on. Not to mention, I was the first in my family to graduate from a four year school, and boy I was proud. That is what I wanted – I wanted to graduate.
I’m now in that one long semester I’ve prepared nearly my whole life for. Starting from when I was about 15 years old, I’ve been waiting for this moment. The post-college graduation life where everything finally came together.
Ha. So much for that.
I have to wonder why I wasn’t told enough how to pursue my dreams. I mean, sure, I knew to pursue them. My mom always supported and encouraged my writing dreams. She read my stories, gave me feedback, and encouraged me to keep going. But somehow, I don’t think my schools did enough. I don’t remember at any point them telling me the “how” part of it all.
Is it fear that prevents high school teachers from encouraging us to pursue what we really want to do? I remember as far back as the 4th grade saying I wanted to be a published author. Sure, I could have majored in English. My fear was that I would become a singularly published English teacher rather than the published author I strived to become. But how is that different than what I’m doing now?
But really, what about college? If anyone had stopped me along the way and asked me, “What are you hoping to get out of this” I’m not sure what I would have said. I had started reading books on publishing when I was ten and knew that the moral of the story for writers was to not quit your day job. So, I would have said that I want to get a low stressful, well paying job that gets me by enough so I can come home and write stories. That would have been the truth.
Well, that didn’t happen.
Instead, I’m waiting to go to a job Monday that stresses me significantly, will probably want me to work overtime soon, and doesn’t pay me enough. Not to mention, I hate what I do. So, if I was to talk to my teenage self she would ask me what the hell happened.
Sure, I’m 26 and I have a lot of time ahead of me to change things. But how? How can I really change things? Times goes by really fast and soon I’ll hit the age where what’s knocking isn’t my desire for a dream job, but a frightening biological clock that will tell me I better start trying to have babies soon otherwise I’ll never have the chance.
So, what did college teach me?
I thought I knew. Now, I’m not so sure anymore.