I Know I Picked the Right Career and Grad Program

As I sit in a coffee shop (how cliche) working on a lit review, I realized how I picked the right grad program. I was incredibly hesitant to pursue literacy education. With a degree in history education along with social studies teaching certification, I wasn’t all that sure about how literacy fits. Yes, I know it fits. With the implementation of common core and such, I know there is a place for both degrees in a classroom.

However, today as I am reading articles trying to make sure they all fit for the lit review (due Thursday) I got incredibly excited. All of my major themes started to fall into place and I have begun already making connections in my mind about how the paper will turn out. While research has never bored me, I’ve always been more interested in pulling it all together while writing. To take all of these different ideas and make turn it into something is just so very cool to me. I know the nerd in me is showing hardcore, but haven’t you ever done something that you are so passionate about that you can’t help but be pleased knowing you’ve made the right decision?

Ironically, I am unsure if my career will be in the classroom anymore. After taking a job three years ago as residence director, working in higher education in student affairs is so appealing. I get to do all of the things I want to do in the classroom without all of the restrictions, state assessments and grades linking to my effectiveness (a little merit to this one though). This semester alone, I’ve been able to teach RAs and freshmen about the bystander effect through gender roles. In a presentation that I hope would just make me sound somewhat intelligent as to not waste their time, so many students have approached me weeks after saying how much they still think about it or loved it. It blows me away each time because I just wanted to show students a little of what I’m passionate about. I still get to teach and deeply impact students. My supervisor has already talked me about presenting the topic to other professionals in the region at our next conference in June. A person in another department has approached me about creating an undergraduate course related to diversity using the themes I am already presenting. It’s just all so cool.

In a time where I am supposed to be thankful, I am super thankful for how lucky I am to learn what I love and do what I love. I am thankful for this because I acknowledge that not everyone has experienced the feeling of choosing the right job or field of study. It’s gut wrenching. I thought I was wrong for choosing to become an RD and doing a program in literacy education and it crushed me. It wasn’t until recently that I realized it was the right decision all along. I’m not teaching the way I ever imagined it, but I still get to use all the good info I am learning and apply it to college students. It is a little scary because I want to try to classroom at least one. I think what I am doing is just too much fun though.

I can’t wait to see what decision I’ve made come May 2015 when I’ve graduated from the program. Stay tuned!


Do I Have to Make a New Year’s Resolution?

Yes, yes I do. New Year’s resolutions are usually a list of disappointments that I am going to find in four months and then again in a year when I realize I maybe accomplished one of the things on that list. I am little bit more determined this year because there are things I actually want to do. I want to continue to be awesome in grad school. I want to be so kick-ass at my job that my supervisors can honestly say how proud they are of my work. I want to find who really is my friend and will be here with me in fifty years. To find that out, I need to be a better friend. However, making a list a mile long is what leads to disappointment. I need a concise resolution and I think I know what it is. Here’s fair warning: my resolution is corny and unoriginal. You may actually laugh and judge me. If you do laugh and judge, it’s one of the reasons why I need to make this resolution and hold myself accountable. For the first time in a long time, I want to be happy and love myself.

Simple, right? I believe that if being happy and loving myself is the goal, all of the other things I mentioned will follow. This resolution will force me to figure out what it means for me to happy. I’ve got a bit of a head start on that though. So far, it means me not depending on anyone else for my own happiness or waiting for something to happen to me to be happy. I didn’t think I used to do this, but I definitely do – I wait to have something to look forward to instead of giving myself something to look forward to. I need to be the one that can bring excitement to my life. As far as loving myself goes, this is by far the toughest one. I have gotten much better with this, but still have a long way to go. I’ll be honest and say a decent part of this is appearance based. I’ve gotten comfortable with knowing I’m a larger guy, but I don’t love the way I look. It is not because I’m shallow or because society tells me I’m too big, but because I know I don’t have to be. I know if I consistently put in the hard work the results will come. So at this time, I don’t love myself this way. I don’t love worrying about health risks and if I really need that cookie. I hope in a year, I can love myself a bit more because I set out to accomplish a difficult task and I did it. Support me!

This past year has had the most incredible ups and downs. I’ve made no secret in saying that twenty three has sucked hardcore. I’ve definitely had some really bright moments, but on the whole, I’m disappointed with the past year. A friend kept asking me why I’ve been feeling this way and I’ve realized its an overall disappointment with myself. I feel like I haven’t been the best person. Friends are so important to me and I haven’t been that great to them. So, with being happier and loving myself in 2014, I want to work to be a better person not just for myself, but for other people. This means making amends, but taking huge risks. I want the thrill of taking a risk and being okay when I fail and feeling awesome when I get it right. I told you that this would be corny and cheesy and I am probably making a resolution that millions of other people are making, but it means something to me. What’s most important is that I feel that it is an attainable goal. Wish me luck!