things they don't tell you...
I'll say what you're thinking on all things family, friends, food, fitness & fashion.
It is that time of year again, high school seniors across the country are writing college essays and submitting applications to top choice schools. Many will be making one of the biggest decisions of their lives without knowing the end goal.
I often wonder what I was put on this earth to do. I have been struggling with this question since high school where I felt forced into applying to college. At the small private school I attended, the only option was college. Do not get me wrong, I wanted to go but it wasn’t as if I were aware that I had other options. So I shipped off to the University of Rhode Island to study Fashion Merchandising- don’t laugh, this is a real major, and URI has a reputable school- but I dropped this major within the first year because apparently to study fashion, one must learn to sew. I eventually took enough English and Women’s Studies classes to graduate with a Major in English and Minor in Women’s Studies.
Pick a job, any job.
I graduated college without an understanding of what I would like to do. In fact, the only thing I was sure of was that I enjoyed both subjects I studied. My lack of direction led me to a door-to-door sales job for a company that was outsourced by Verizon. I never had a desire or the personality for high pressure sales, but what else is there for an English major to do? Needless to say, I did not make any money doing this job. After a couple more short-lived jobs, I decided to go back to school.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s Back to School I Go.
In the spring semester of my senior year of college, I obtained an internship that involved tutoring students in a GED program in Providence. I enjoyed the curriculum and the relationships I built with the adult students. This experience helped me decided that I would make a good teacher. So I applied to graduate schools, was accepted into Westfield State's English program, moved in with my mom, got a job and began classes the following spring. I loved grad school! A group of book lovers sitting in a room talking about themes, conflicts, writing styles, philosophies and schools of thought, and complex characters. These were MY PEOPLE. I fit in with those book nerds.
Fast forward a few years and I am teaching English in an alternative high school. I am good at my job. I love my job, I love my students, I love my coworkers. I am even lucky enough to love my principal and my superintendent. But there is something missing. When I hear teachers talking about the number of years they have left before retiring with a pension, a knot tightens in my chest.
Love What You Do, Do What You Love.
There is more to me than teaching grammar and literature to a group of teenagers. I want to share my own ideas and experiences in a way that teaching stifles. I don’t want to filter my language and my ideas. I want to have conversations and express ideas that might not be classroom appropriate [and even my classroom lessons sometimes border inappropriate]. I want my voice to be heard. I haven’t figured out how to do this, yet, at least lucratively.
Lies, All Lies!
I remember back to my senior year of high school when my college counselor told me to pick a college based on two criteria: 1) my SAT scores 2) programs of study. Choosing a school based on programs of study meant knowing what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I want to tell her that 12 years later I am still trying to figure out what to do. I want to tell all the future collegiates that it is ok to be unsure about the future, that they may do a few irrelevant jobs along the way to finding what it is they are meant to do. In actuality, nothing is irrelevant; every step is part of the universe’s plan.
Work Hard & Breathe
Life is too uncertain to worry about the future. Just work. But while you work, work on finding what you were put on this earth to do. For some, this will be a life-long process.
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About the Author
I am Dom. A mom, teacher, novice writer, cook, wine drinker, and so much more- filling the internet with unsolicited stories, questions, dreams, recipes, and advice. I'll be the voice that tells you what everyone is wondering but no one wants to ask!