It’s been an emotionally transformative week as I come to terms with the start of the school year. I want to devote the time to write for myself, especially during the school year when so much of my writing is academic. I began to journal this out and decided to post it on the blog to connect with any of you out there going through significant life changes as well. SO much love to all of you out there.
*sorry if this is formatted at all in a way that makes it difficult to read. My kind boyfriend lent me his laptop since mine burnt out this past weekend. That’s why there are no photographs either. womp. womp.*
This week, I started my senior year of college. Yesterday, I had four classes back to back, and while usually that would leave me feeling exhausted, I left the day feel rejuvenated. It felt good to be back in the classroom. I took two classes over the summer, but they were both online and practically self-taught, so it felt like coming home to be surrounded by my peers once again, scanning through syllabi and mentally preparing myself for upcoming exams and essays.
Surprisingly, I’m going to have a light(er) load. It’s my first semester since freshman year I’m taking the recommended units for a full-time student. Usually I took one or two more courses. Not only that, but I’m in classes that are primarily electives (aka a breeze). After semesters of hard work, I’ve earned the bit of reprieve… if I do say so myself.
In chatting with my peers, we all gawked at the idea of being seniors and the conversation quickly turned to the oh-so familiar notion of senioritis. It brought me right back to those same discussions back in high school when the phase of life began wrapping up. And again, my feelings were exactly the same: I don’t have senioritis. If anything, I have the oppposite of senioritis.
I love school. I don’t want school to end. I’m terrified for what comes next.
Sometimes, I wonder if I’m applying to graduate programs solely because of the fear of moving beyond school. While it might not be the sole reason for furthering my education, I cannot deny the fact that the idea has crossed my mind and it likely does factor into my decisions.
On the other hand, I truly do love school. For example, I don’t have class on Wednesdays (today), and all day long I felt antsy. Even though I accomplished a lot of housework and homework, I still missed being in the classroom. I don’t know how I’ll ever permanently say goodbye to it once I finish school permanently. Maybe this is all a good sign though- I’m working in the right direction, toward becoming a professor or a teacher.
That leads me to my next conundrum- what have I been working toward these past three – going on four- years? Did I do all this work to go on and get my teaching credential to work at high schools? OR – Did I do all this work to go get my PhD and seek out archaeological excavations around the globe?
If I had it my way, I’d choose the latter of those two options in less time than it takes for someone to make me the offer. At the same time, however, I know I’d live a content and happy life working as a teacher. The former option would also provide an easier path toward starting a life with my boyfriend and having a family. Being an archaeologist who travels the world would never be fair to our relationship, and there is no amount of encouragement that could change my mind about that.
So where does this all leave me?
I recognize that the seasons of my life are changing, just as the summer around us turns to autumn (at least- that’s what they tell us. Over here in San Diego, there’s not much to speak of for autumn). I have these next upcoming months to take a step back and really think long and hard about where I want my life to go, which direction to pursue, who I want to be. I don’t have the first idea how I will attain the answers, but I know there out there waiting for me to come find them.
My mind seems to run faster by the day, just as life hardens in and complicates itself. When I look around at the world I have today, I cannot go without saying that I am immeasurably blessed. I do my best to recognize that, but I know I can continue to think mindfully of that. I have options. That is a privilege in and of itself beyond my own comprehension. It’s my responsibility to be grateful and to do good with these options, regardless of the decisions I make.
Senior year snuck up on me- I don’t know what happened to the two college years in the middle. I vividly remember freshman year, but sophomore and junior years have molded together, with the only marking able to separate memories is whether or not my boyfriend was there. It’s hauntingly bittersweet to come to terms with how swiftly time slips away from us. Before I know it, I’ll be on here writing about my 27th birthday or a baby or something super adult and crazy like that.
For now, I’ll stick to the small stressors I have as I ease into adulthood. Paying bills, applying to graduate programs, trying to find funds for a new laptop (happily taking recommendations!), and remembering to devote time to the relationships that matter- those are the priorities. My preferences for the future should reveal themselves so long as I keep an open heart and mind.
Cheers to the new school year! I know many of you readers out there are students, so I hope you all are merging into this season with joy and a love for learning.
- If you started school, how is it going for you? What grade are you in? What’s your major?
- In an ideal world, where everything works in your favor, what’s your perfect job?
- What was the first job you wanted to have as a child?