The Biggest Differences Between Online & Traditional Colleges

So when this is going to be posted I’ll have just finished up my first two classes of the school year. Which is totally weird considering it’s only October but if I’m being honest I have actually come to prefer the accelerated speed of the classes that I’m taking. It’s a lot of work but it feels like every assignment is actually worthwhile instead of being busy work.

And actually… That’s a lie. I hate the accelerated speed of the classes and I have to spend every day trying to convince myself not to drop out again 🙂

I will say though that if I wasn’t required to work full time (and wasn’t already struggling with that whole crazy aspect of life) and could focus more on school I definitely wouldn’t be having the issues that I’m having currently. I’m pretty sure that if I had a different job with different hours and different responsibilities I wouldn’t hate school as much as I do right now. And who knows, maybe I’ll enjoy it more when I start taking different classes.

In my post today I’m going to talk about the some of the biggest differences that I’ve noticed between attending online school and traditional school since I originally went through two full years of school.

Right off the bat, scheduling is completely different. It is up to you to make sure you’re meeting all your deadlines. You don’t have set “classes” that you have to attend throughout the week so when assignments are due, it’s up to you to make sure you dedicate enough of your time to them to complete each one. For both of my classes I have assignments due every Tuesday and Thursday and one of them also has assignments due on Sunday. Do I frantically do my homework every single time it’s due? Yes. Should I probably get better at time management? Yes. But I also really only work well under intense amounts of pressure because I really don’t care about my schoolwork. I talked more about that in this post.

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One thing that I really like is that I go to a school in a different time zone so all my assignments are due at “midnight” which is actually two AM my time so if I ever needed to use the full deadline time, I feel like I have more time to do it. That’s another huge difference. You can go to school anywhere at any time. This is great for people who have a family to care for or have to work full time. Balancing school and work and life is definitely difficult and I wish that I could give you advice on that topic but I am failing miserably and always have so I would recommend looking elsewhere for that kind of advice 🙂

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For me personally, talking to professors and asking for help is harder. Like hard to the point where I still haven’t filled out a form for disability accommodations because it’s online classes, my mental health shouldn’t matter in terms of needing to be accommodated for… It’s not like I have to miss classes or anything. And in terms of talking to professors. You don’t get the warmth of being in someone’s physical presence. It feels so much more formal than traditional schooling and I hate that. Online school has definitely turned me off from school even further, which sucks but at this point I’m just trying to get my degree and be done with it.

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That formality also carries over to how I feel about my classmates. School feels more like “clock in, clock out” than ever before. When I lived on campus I was constantly immersed in the goings on of literally everyone I interacted with. While online classes can attempt to foster some form of community, unless you put in the effort to get to know your classmates it’s not going to be there the way that it is at traditional schools. For me, this isn’t that big of a deal. I hate getting to know people and one of my defining characteristics is that I’m not part of any sort of community. I get my assignments done and log off. (Which they tell you not to do, but I genuinely don’t care, whoops).

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At this point I think that’s everything that I’ve really noticed that’s different. Other than also that the school that I attend has accelerated classes which means that classes last about 8 weeks each instead of the traditional 16 of a semester. So while I take 4 classes each semester, I only have two going at a time. I do like this because it’s a lot less to keep track of and helps me from getting too bored with one class because it goes by so much faster than a traditional class. It’s definitely a lot of work but at the end of the day I would probably be doing that much work from 4 classes anyways.

I think the main draw to online school is flexibility and I appreciate that but I really am starting to miss traditional school and I’m very sad that I’m not allowed to pursue that anymore. So here’s to more classes and hopefully getting my degree over with sooner rather than later.

 

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Today I Am… Discouraged

I grew up always thinking that for one reason or another I wouldn’t live long enough to become an adult and have to make adult decisions. I’m pretty sure that’s why I never actually had a “dream job” or big aspirations or anything like that. I’m pretty sure I told my peers a different job every time they asked me what I wanted to do when I grew up… I had teachers in high school who tried to encourage me to pursue the things that I was good at (American Sign Language and photography/graphic design/art) but then I had other teachers/professors tell me that I would never be good enough to pursue those things. So I pursued none of those things.

My first year of college I changed my major six times before finally declaring communications as my official major. I ended up dropping out at the very beginning of my junior year thanks to a disgustingly messy breakup and an existential crisis that triggered a complete breakdown. When I started looking into going back to school, I realized that most schools didn’t offer a communications program that would be similar to what I had at my previous school so I had to change my major yet again. I finally decided upon English because I might as well just get a degree instead of nothing.

I’m not super interested in school. I haven’t been in years. If I’m being honest, the classes that I thrive in are math classes but I can’t picture myself doing any sort of career that utilizes math. I just like having concrete answers. Books have genuinely been the only constant in my life. They’re the one thing that I will always end up turning to. They are always an interest of mine. When I started working the job that I have right now it was out of desperation to pay my bills… And now I’m stuck here until I finish my degree. So I’m forcing myself to get through a degree that I’m really not that interested in, to hopefully get a better job that will allow me to pay off my debt so that maybe, just maybe, someday I will be able to retire or own a house.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll probably start enjoying school more once I get more into major specific classes but also being an English major, I’m stuck doing all sorts of things that I don’t like doing… Like peer reviews. So I guess I’m just really discouraged to be in the spot that I am right now. I royally screwed up my life and I’m just constantly wishing that I was in a different spot than I am now. I saw all my peers graduating and moving away and just all over thriving this year and it makes me really sad to look at my life and see where I actually am. I just want to be happy and thriving and not barely making it paycheck to paycheck despite the fact that I don’t even have a rent or car payment.

I’m struggling to not constantly wish for things to be different. I wish that I had made different choices in my past and I wish that the future was more clear. I wish that I could see that everything will be worth it in the end. I’m an incredibly logical person and it’s difficult to be optimistic when there is so much wrong with not only my life but with the larger world.

Sigh… I don’t want to keep going on and on about this but I’m just really discouraged with where I’m at. I want to take a break and find motivation again but I can’t. Which makes things even worse. And now I’ve just got more work stuff to stress about so that’s fun……..

Sorry to be such a downer on a Friday. I’ve just been overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I have to do that is getting me nowhere. I’m just going to try and hold out hope that something good will happen to me and that the world doesn’t end before that has the opportunity to happen.

 

 

5 Things I Really Wish I Knew Before I Went To College

Since I’m going back to school this month, even though it’s technically online so I won’t really be going to school, I felt like I should share some stuff I learned the first time that I tried giving college a go.

This post is going to be five of the main things that I really wish that I would have known going in to my freshman (and sophomore) years.

It is perfectly okay to eat alone.

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I actually worked at the dining hall at my former college for three years. It was one of the best jobs that I ever had and it was a great work-study opportunity (so if you’re looking in to on campus jobs and the dining hall is hiring don’t push that one aside, it might be worth it!). Anyways, most freshmen are required to buy meal service plans if you live on campus. With working, however, I also got a free meal every single shift I worked. I also never went to the dining hall alone to eat.

If you’re wondering what that means, I basically wasted $2,500 because I didn’t utilize my meal plan in the slightest. I lived off of granola bars and ramen and oatmeal and the meals I ate during my shifts at work. I felt awkward and uncomfortable going to the dining hall by myself because I didn’t want to be that weird person that ate alone… Even though I was already the weird person that no one liked anyways so would it really have mattered? Absolutely not.

So if you’re in the same sort of mindset that I was in where you feel like you can’t go and get food by yourself, just know that it’s perfectly okay to do so. Food is more important than the potential judgment you might get. And in all honesty, how stupid is it to sit there and judge someone for eating by themselves?

And once you start eating by yourself? It’s really hard to go back to eating with other people. You can eat as much as you want, as slow or as fast as you want, and if you want to listen to music or read a book while you’re eating you can do it all in peace!! Definitely one of the best decisions was realizing it was okay to eat by myself.

Though I will say that if you don’t feel comfortable eating by yourself because you have to walk across campus to get to your dining hall, I completely understand that fear. I was lucky enough to go to a school where freshmen lived in the same building as the dining hall so I only had to walk down a few flights of stairs in order to get food.

Accessibility services aren’t just for those with visible disabilities and along with this, learn how to stand up for your accessibility!

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My next tip has everything to do with accessibility. If you are unaware, I struggle really badly with mental health. By the end of my freshman year I was in a horrible place with my anxiety and it really only kept going downhill. Two of my roommates sophomore year were registered with our accessibility services on campus and they urged me to do the same. I kept putting it off though because I was convinced that there was nothing that could be done to help me in my struggles.

I’ve never had issues with getting my work done on time and I’ve never had issues with testing. If you’re like me, you probably think that all the services could offer up would be the opportunity to take longer on tests or that someone would be able to take notes for you in class. But surprisingly I was wrong.

Some of my accommodations were the ability to have no consequences from calling in “sick” to class (especially in those classes that you could potentially lose entire letter grades from missing more than 2 classes) and also extensions on assignments if I needed one. Other people I know had accommodations for bathroom use during class, for the use of computers, and even for the requirement of speaking in class.

I think the biggest thing with this point is that you know what will help you succeed the most and if you’re in a position where you can request accommodations then do it. It’s not just for those with physical disabilities and there are a lot of ways that these people can work with your professors in order to help you succeed and thrive in school.

And if either a professor or someone else keeps you from using your accommodations or anything like that then always stand up for yourself and bring it to the attention of those in the disability/accommodation office and ask them for help in solving the problem. Sometimes this requires you to send multiple emails or make multiple phone calls but in the end it comes down to making sure that you are getting what you need.

If your advisor doesn’t work with you, find a new one.

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When I was given my official major advisor sophomore year I was thoroughly unimpressed with who they’d assigned me to. The first time I ever set up an appointment with him he told me that he refused to even meet with me because he “had no proof of me as his advisee”. I almost had to register for classes late and ended up not even discussing what classes I was going to be taking with him. Instead, I was “advised” by one of the heads of academic advising stuff solely because my advisor refused to even acknowledge that I existed.

That same semester I had also had a class with this professor and was thoroughly unimpressed with who he was. The class itself was interesting but that also came from the fact that I had a friend that I sat next to and we spent a decent amount of our time doing other work on our own computers and laughing at the absurdity of his teaching style. By the end of the semester I was well on my way to finding a new advisor and ended up making the official switch to a professor that I often frequented the office hours of and really enjoyed his classes and was very helpful and knowledgable in what I actually wanted to do with my future.

If you start off your college career with an advisor and you find out that they are not a good fit for you, find someone else. Don’t spend your time frustrated and annoyed with who is helping you decide and shape your entire future. Advisors are, yes, supposed to help you pick and find classes and guide you towards graduation but if you feel like you can’t connect to them in any way, I urge you to find someone that you can. It will be better in the long run I can promise you that!!

People can be just as catty and cliquey as they were in high school. Just because you’re all adults doesn’t mean that everyone will act like one.

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Be careful who you make friends with. Be careful who you spill all your deep dark secrets to. Prioritize yourself, your well being, and who you are as a person and if other people can’t handle who you are then how good of a friend were they in the first place? I feel like this statement is universal even to the real “grown up” world of full time work. People can be extremely immature forever. If your group of friends chooses to ditch you because you work at the only time they ever want to meet up then move past it and find some people who actually want to put the effort into spending time with you. There are better people out there.

Do your laundry and printing at weird hours.

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If your laundry room and printers are available at all hours, I urge you to find the weirdest times to go and do your laundry and printing. I would often go to the computer lab after 10 PM and there were many weekends where I would go do my laundry before 8 AM. Mid-week around early to mid afternoon were also a really slow time for the laundry room too. Don’t get stuck in the mile long line trying to print off your essay 10 minutes before your class starts. And laundry is so much less stressful when you don’t have to worry about someone else dumping your wet clothes, or your clean dry clothes, onto the floor because they’ve decided that they want the machine they’re in.

 

So I’m not really sure how helpful this post is but I hope you took something away from it. If you’re heading off to your freshman year this year, what are you most excited about? If you’re in school, what weird piece of advice do you have for freshmen?

College or Bust!

When I started this blog back in 2015 I had just graduated from high school that spring and was about a month away from starting college. I was looking forward to going to school, I’ve always liked school at least a little bit but my opinions of it had definitely gone downhill the longer I was in high school. Part of that, though, was definitely the fact that I decided to take five AP classes my senior year which essentially destroyed any kind feelings that I had towards school.

Growing up I never really had a clear idea of what I wanted to do with my life. My future career prospects came in and out of my life faster than I ever realized, nothing ever sticking as the end all be all career path. No one in my family ever pushed me to apply to college (or anyone that mattered at least) but I always felt like that was the only choice that I had. Doesn’t help that I went to a high school that boasted of high college attendance from graduates. There was just a lot of pressure that I was putting on myself to move on and get a degree even though I really had no idea what I wanted to do.

The more I grew up, the more I found myself surrounded by people who had clear ideas about what they were passionate about. There were the kids who dreamed about engineering classes, the ones who couldn’t wait to get into the healthcare fields, some who delighted themselves in talking about teaching or art or politics. I found myself jealous on more than one occasion because for once I just wanted to be like my classmates and find something that truly made me feel passionate.

My list of failed ideas for careers:

  1. Teacher: I have never learned how to explain things to people other than the way that I have learned. So I would never be able to come up with alternative ways to teach kids if they don’t understand what I’m trying to tell them.
  2. Youth Ministry: The big questions about life still scare the shit out of me and I know I wouldn’t be able to help guide kids in learning about the big questions.
  3. Artist/Graphic Designer: Been told too many times that I would never make a living with this… And art classes ruined my creativity.
  4. Author: Never been able to finish writing a book.
  5. Lawyer: Cool idea, but no.
  6. Actor: I got anxiety. Kind of ruined that dream.
  7. Scientist: I mean I excelled in high school regular chemistry and I thought that maybe, just maybe I could go into chemistry in college. And then I took AP chem and threw that idea off a cliff.
  8. ASL interpreter: Of all the things that I wish I wouldn’t have given up on, learning ASL is the one thing that I beat myself up on the most. My high school ASL teacher used to tell me all the time that I should look into going into interpreting and for a good year and a half that was my plan. But I always got anxious when I signed and was scared that if I tried to make a career out of it that I would constantly make mistakes and I knew that me making mistakes would do more harm than good. And then in college I had a professor that basically told me that I was no good at signing and was really, really hard on me in classes because I had leveled out of the first year of basic classes. I felt so incredibly discouraged that even though I only had a few credits left in order to get an ASL/Deaf Studies minor I dropped it as soon as I was done with her classes.

My anxiety has ruined a lot of my future potential for me. But a lot of other things have played into it as well.

In 2017, I decided that it was in my best interest to withdraw from school. I not only was very confused with what I was doing with myself but my former university handled a personal situation of mine incredibly poorly and I found myself feeling unsafe and unhappy in many ways.

I am finally able to apply for new schools and even though I’m still at a place where I have truly no clear idea with what I want to do with my life I’m ready to get back into the academic swing of things. I actually miss homework y’all… How sad is that (jk, I actually find this really funny).

In thinking about future careers, it would be really cool to work in publishing. I’d love to design book covers someday. I would also love to work behind the scenes in a museum, I’m not sure as a curator but I’m sure there’s some role that would fit what I’m interested in. Another thing that really interests me is blogging and small business ownership. I like the idea of being employed by myself. However, I’m not sure if either of these will be more than just side hobbies. But I think I’d be okay with these being side hobbies/hustles if I was more comfortable and content with what I am doing as an actual full time job.

I should probably say that the point of this post is saying that I am reapplying for schools to start classes in the fall! Hence the title: College or Bust! It’s a lot more nerve wracking than I expected it to be but I also have spent a good two years trying to convince myself that I would be okay if I was never allowed to attend college again. It’s really weird being at this stage again, researching schools and spending so much time on applications. When I first applied for colleges I applied to two schools and got into both. I’m not sure how many I’ll apply to this time around but so far I have one application in and I’m working on sending out my transcripts to that school.

When I first started school I was 19, naive and scared out of my mind. This time I’ll be 23, a lot less naive and still a whole lot of scared out of my mind. But I will say though that I am excited beyond belief to finally be taking charge of my academic future again.

I’ll continue to update and make college related posts as time goes on. And even though I will forever drag myself down for withdrawing from school, even though I will always consider myself a failure for choosing a different timeline know that if you are in the same boat that I am being a mean ass bully to myself. Everyone does things at different paces. Everyone can change their mind and choose to do whatever they want to do. There might not ever be a time where you feel like you’ve truly figured everything out and honestly that’s fine.

So here’s to weird life timelines. And for second chances and starting fresh. Here’s to college round two.

Why I Hate the “College Student” Stereotype

I’m sure you’ve all seen these memes before:

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The memes that treat college students like the dumbest, laziest, pettiest people on earth. These memes frustrate me a lot. I hate how the college student stereotype has evolved into such a negative thing.

College educated people used to be looked up upon as a higher class of society. To even be able to go to college was an amazing feat. Now, college is pretty open to most people and many students take advantage of it.

To me, college is an amazing privilege and I think that too many of us attending nowadays don’t take this seriously enough. There have been many days in the past year that I’ve considered dropping out just because I don’t feel like I’m putting my all into my education and I feel guilty about that! Like I’m spending thousands of dollars per semester to get some of the most important education of my life and yet I was so depressed that I could barely do any of my work.

Then, when I attended classes, there were people sitting there that were in the same situation as me grade wise and with hardly any work done but they are in that situation because of excessive partying or laziness. It just blows my mind that some people are willing to throw away this amazing opportunity in order to have a good time.

And that brings me to another point. Since when is college supposed to be the best years of your life?

For me, I am trying to make the most of the time I have at Saint Scholastica and now that I’ve gotten a lot of my mental health under control I can finally realize why people love college so much. There’s so much freedom and being able to spend time with your friends whenever you want is pretty amazing.

So I get that these memes do relate to people, I fully understand that there are people out there like that, I know for a fact that there’s at least one in every class for me. But at the same time, why do we have to stereotype college students in such a negative way. My friends and I are working our butts off, with activities and work every single day and upwards of 18 credits worth of work every single semester. We put our all into our education because we want to be successful and we want to prove that the college student stereotype is false. (At least I want to anyways).

College is more than parties or homework, though. It’s about finding out who you are in this big scary world but still having a buffer to fall back on if things get in your way. We can still change our paths, pretty frequently if you’re me! Or you can just sink into your original path and realize just how meant for you that truly is. There’s so much to learn about and I am so excited for everything I get to do before I graduate.

I hope that those of you who read this post come to appreciate college as much as I have and I hope that more people fight back at the college student stereotype and really show people that we’re more than lazy drunks.

Happy Wednesday everyone!

An Open Letter to my Media Literacy Professor

Dear Rob,

First off, I’d like to sum up your class in nine words. Thank you for scaring the shit out of me.

I really do mean that. I appreciated how thought provoking and downright terrifying this class was for me. I think the one thing that stuck out to me over the entire course were the words “if you’re not paranoid, you’re not paying attention.” This really struck a chord with me and opened my eyes to the way I think.

Today, I couldn’t help but wonder about what anxiety really is and why people have it. It obviously has something to do with the way our brains are wired but I almost wonder if it has anything to do with heightened sensitivities to the world around us. The more I think about it, the more I feel like my anxiety has more to do with the “big questions” than with the stupid rules I make myself. I feel like people with anxiety have a heightened sense of the world and a gut feeling that things don’t necessarily have to be what we’re told they are.

Going into this class, I never expected it to be the way it was. It was weird, and unnerving, and a strange way to start my day every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I learned so much more than I would have expected to considering when I told my roommates what we would talk about they thought you were crazy. I appreciated the strangeness though, I saw a lot of myself in the way you lectured, my friends could probably attest to that. It’s fun to get to talk about stuff that you’re excited about.

This class actually got me pretty motivated to do my own research, to actually learn more independently. I love learning, and I can’t wait to continue on with that for the rest of my life.

So with a final thought:

I think that a heightened sense of media literacy comes with being paranoid, and always questioning things. I think that it comes with the crazy talk and the conspiracy theories. There’s so much of the world that is unknown to us, so much of the universe that hasn’t been seen yet. There’s no way of knowing anything that goes on outside of our own bodies. I hate realizing it, but I have to. Our world is a lot bigger than I want it to be and there’s a lot about it that we don’t know about. We’ve been born into the middle of it and there’s no way out. We can just live.

Anyways, Rob, thank you for being such an awesome professor. Have a great day.

College Doesn’t Feel Like Home

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I’ve been struggling a lot this semester with things. I’m not going to talk outright about what I’ve been struggling with but it’s been difficult and has caused me to really think about where I am as a person and if it’s the right place for me to be.

When I was a kid, I always dreamed of going to college. I got so caught up in the stereotypes that we see in television, books, movies, that I always imagined my life to follow these same patterns. Then as my friends who were older than me began to graduate and leave for school I got even more excited and nervous about the future that lie ahead of me. Finally, it was my turn to go off to college.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of my first year of college but I’ll say this: by the time I moved out I left my dorm room with no friends, roommates who couldn’t care less about me (they literally didn’t even think I was still going to continue school this year), and the sense that this school would never quite feel like home to me.

I feel kind of lost this year. Like I don’t quite belong here but also that I have nowhere else to go. I like my classes, for the most part, and I like my job, but other than that I feel like I have no purpose here. Sometimes I wonder why I’m even getting an education except I know that I really have no other choices.

I’m still caught up in the stereotypes. Where you meet your best friends at school, you have fun, you experience things you never have before, you finally live your own life independently. This isn’t my reality, in fact it’s very far from it and I’m having a hard time accepting it.

Lately I’ve gotten better at being able to say that I don’t really need to be the stereotypical college student. I can survive just fine on my own, I know for a fact that I can thrive in solitude. It’s just hard knowing that people look down upon you for that.

I figure I’ll learn to like where I’m at. At least tolerate it long enough to get my degree and then get out of here. I have nothing holding me here, which I enjoy.

I’ve been hesitant to share my experiences at school because I feel like they stray so far from the norm. However, I think it’s a good idea to share. Why? Because I want to help other people understand that there isn’t one way to experience something. I don’t want the stereotypes to win in the end and make everyone try to act the same.

I hope you all enjoy this post and if any of you have had similar experiences, or want to share I’d love to hear about them.

I hope you all enjoy your weekend. I’m going to try and make a post every day for the next week or so and then ease my way back into twice a week posts as the semester comes to an end.

Why I Chose My Majors

So I haven’t quite had the time to sit down and really focus on writing a blog post and I didn’t have any scheduled to automatically post so I decided to let myself take a break from the blog and just start again this week!

So without further ado, I want to talk about why I chose my majors:

History:

First off, I want to share with you a wonderful video about why we should all study the humanities. I thought the information that the information Jean provided was spot on to a lot of my thoughts.

To me, history has always been something that interests me. My favorite books as a kid were Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and Dear America books. I think I read every single Dear America or spin-off book that my library had growing up. I don’t think I ever really translated this interest into something tangible until I did begin college and had to start thinking about what I really wanted to study. I really found my love for history through my love for reading and I feel like the two can really go hand-in-hand.

I chose history because I believe that you have to learn history to make any progress. You have to learn about the mistakes and the triumphs from the past in order to make better decisions in the future. I can’t even begin to emphasize how important I think it is to learn about this world’s history. I constantly want to be able to learn more because I love learning and I really think that by majoring in history I will get to do that.

Now my second major is communications with a focus in media relations. This one would probably surprise a lot of people because I don’t seem like the type of person who would want to communicate with people for a living.

First semester freshman year I took a communications class, one that was required for all freshmen, and I ended up loving it! I find that when I can completely plan out what I’m going to say and give speeches I really enjoy it. I hate public speaking and yet I love it too.

So the degree in communications that I am shooting for is in I guess what I think of it as, a more advertising/graphic design/media path. It’s definitely my kind of communications path.

I chose this because I really enjoy graphic design and media really interests me. After taking that communications class I knew that this could actually be something that could work for me!

I think if it wasn’t obvious enough, I really just chose my majors because I liked what I would be studying. And that’s exactly why you should choose what you study.

Have a nice night everyone.

Why it’s Okay to Change Your Plans

There’s always this underlying look of pity when I tell people that I probably won’t be graduating in four years, and I have no idea what I want to do with my life yet.

I was on break at work the other day when I overheard two freshmen girls talking about how they couldn’t understand how anyone could possibly change their majors after beginning school. They were both set on what they imagined their futures to be that they thought it absolutely insane to hear of someone who had changed their major once, twice, or even five times. It made me sad to realize that there are still so many stereotypes regarding a “typical” college career.

It took me a while to really accept that there is more than one type of college path and it’s more than okay to have a non-traditional path. I myself am on that path, my boyfriend is as well.

ryan

My boyfriend, Ryan, has decided to pursue college after working on more career type things. He’s interested in politics and has chosen to get his foot in the door before focusing on his education. He’s comfortable with knowing that he has something (college) to fall back on if he needs it, and it’s great knowing that you can still expand your life in the future. I think it takes a lot of guts to be able to admit that the path you’re on isn’t “the one” and that you need to change it. Even more guts to be able to jump off the path onto a different one.

I’ve gone back and forth numerous times on whether or not education at this time is relevant to me. In the last few days I’ve come to realize that even though I’m really struggling with where I’m at, I need to stick it out and continue to work towards whatever it is that I want to work towards. I realize that I’m enjoying what I’m doing and life can just keep on trucking. Plans are just plans, they’re not set in stone unless you literally write them on a stone. We have no reason to do things that we don’t want to, or keep working on things that make us unhappy.

At this point in time, I highly doubt that I will be graduating in the cookie cutter four years of college. I’ll probably be spending at least an extra semester here, if not a whole year (though I really haven’t gone too in depth with all the classes I need to take and scheduling and stuff because my advisor isn’t that great of a help, although that’s another story). I could even be graduating on time, although I have no idea. I just know that I’m educating myself in topics that I’m actually interested in, pursuing a degree in both history and communications and minoring in art. All topics that I have come to learn that I loved and feel passionate about.

So I just want to say to the people that pity non-traditional students. Don’t. Not all of us are as happy to accept our educational fates but we have no reason to be pitied. We are all on different paths and that’s okay. Plans change and that’s okay.

And to the two freshmen girls that were “hating” on people that changed their majors. Good luck to you. I hope all your plans work out, and if they don’t I hope you find security in knowing that the future will happen and you’ll graduate. You just don’t have to have a set date.

Well I hope you all have a fantastic day and I’ll talk to you all soon.

Major Issues

Okay, I just had to make this the title of the post because I thought it was so punny!

So last year, I ended up changing my major… TWICE.

I know that so many people (or at least those at CSS) say that most students will change their majors at least once before deciding on the right path for them. Now I definitely started out my college career with a completely different mindset. I was completely set on my major, felt in my heart that I could never change my mind and yet, here I am, one year later, on a completely different academic track than I was on last September.

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At the end of last semester I started to really question my choice of major. I was enjoying my religion class, I found the work to be interesting but then I stopped and thought, do I really think I could handle working full time in a church? Can I handle the tough stuff? Am I going to be okay with all that I might encounter? When I really and truthfully thought it all through, the answer to these question was, no. I love my church, and I love the community that I have with my fellow Christians but in the process of learning more about what it would take for me to be in the role I wanted to be in I realized that with my personality it really wasn’t the greatest choice for me.

So I did something I never thought I’d do. I made an appointment with Career Services (at the suggestion of my counselor). Now, if you are questioning your major in any way I could not suggest meeting with a Career Services advisor more. It honestly changed my life. I thought about my interests, took a career profiling quiz and met with the advisor. Fun side note, she couldn’t believe how much the quiz showed me as not wanting to work with people, she said she’d never seen someone lean that far in the “working alone” direction. Hahaha, socially anxious introvert personality really shined through there.

Anyways, this appointment helped me to realize that I didn’t have to have a clear pathway right away, I didn’t have to have a super specific career or major in mind as a freshman. Over the summer I definitely developed my interests more and did a lot of research regarding various careers that I’m interested in. As of right now I am planning on double majoring in History and Communications and minoring in Deaf Language and Culture. I’m interested in being a librarian, a museum tech or curator, or possibly a graphic designer.

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All in all, what this experience taught me is that you don’t have to have your life figured at 18, or 19, or even at 20! However, don’t be afraid to dive into your interests and develop yourself as a person. If you realize that college isn’t right for you, that’s great. If you realize that you need to completely reevaluate your major, go for it. If you decide that you want to curl up in a ball and forget about all responsibilities, I support you (just don’t do it for too long, I promise things will look up eventually, it just takes time and a lot of trial and error). If people look at you funny for saying you have no idea what you want to do with your life, who cares! You’re working your way towards your goals, be they big or small, and to know that you are happy and excited about your future is what matters.

If you have any questions about this post, feel free to shoot me a comment or an email. I’d love to chat.

Have a lovely day everyone.