July 8, 2010
Obviously, with orientation last week and move-in day a whopping 33 days away, I have college on my mind. College is going to bring some major changes to life. Changing friends. Changing teachers. Changing churches. Changing clubs. Changing rooms and even changing showers..daily. I wonder how much the changing environment will change me and how.
Orientation was a wakeup call as to just how much is going to change in 33 days. There was that wakeup call that you know is coming but is still super annoying..like when your first alarm rouses you 15 minutes early. You know you have a little more time to sleep but you still hate what it’s predeceasing. I’ve always been very dependent on my friends. My friends weren’t at orientation with me last week and I realized for the first time that I’m actually gonna have to reach out and meet new people and find friends at school. That means loosening my grip on my friends here. Not letting go. But not being dependent on them either. I still have a month to cling to my best friends, but there is the lingering beeping in the back of my mind reminding me that I leave them shortly.
Orientation was also that loud obnoxious wakeup call that goes off when you know you have got to get up. Right Now. These alarms always piss me off because they usually wake me up from a really good dream and unlike the first alarm, I know I don’t get to slip back into 10 more minutes of fantasy land. The dream is that I know what I wanna do in life. The alarm tells me I’m wrong and I need to stop settling for something that I’m not passionate about. I’ve been thinking all this time that I wanna be a nurse because I know there’s always going to be a job opening somewhere and my mom is a nurse practitioner so it feels safe and I know there is an easy way to help people mission-wise should I choose to do so. There’s nothing wrong with any of these excuses. But I’m not passionate about nursing. I hate science and I definitely don’t want to go to UGA for 2 years and then transfer to a nursing school, which, to be fair, would be poor excuses to not follow a calling if it is in fact a calling either.
I’ve always had journalism in the back of my mind because I enjoy writing more than I enjoy any other school subject. My test scores definitely point directly to english…and directly away from science. But do I really want to write for a living? Will people really want to read what I have to say later in life? You might be interested in what I have to say now, but will someone actually want to pay me to write..pay me enough to live on? The life of a writer seems much less stable, less secure than that of a nurse. But when have I ever aimed for security? Why do I seek it now?
“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.”
– Alan Cohen
I didn’t have the courage to declare a journalism major or even an undecided major at orientation. Many would say declaring a biology major is pretty courageous when it’s literally your weakest subject, but the goal at the end is cowardly. Not to say that nursing is easy or weak in any means. But it’s within my comfort zone. It doesn’t scare me. It bores me if anything to be completely honest. My dad helped me realize how much of a pilgrim I was being while driving me back to Athens for a second advisory appointment. (Get it? A pilgrim settles..ha.ha..well I thought it was funny..). So I told Dr. Espelie that I am not committed to nursing..not yet anyways. I am going to explore my other options before putting myself through biological and chemical hell for 4 years.
Journalism seems scary and unstable to me and I have a harder time connecting it with missions in my mind, but this is no reason to sweep it under the rug of possibility..or probability. It is less familiar, but is Cohen right? Is there more security in the adventure? Is this how I will find life and power?
I still hate not knowing what I want to do for sure. I’m a goal oriented person and when I have a goal in mind, I can usually do whatever it takes to reach it. How do I reach a goal that is invisible to me? How do I pick a major without a career in mind? How do I make a practical class schedule without first declaring that major? They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step, but a step in the wrong direction pushes you further from the destination, right? I can’t hit the bullseye if I don’t know where the target is.
I know I’m not the only college freshman being kept awake at night by indecision and complete lack of clue as to what to do. In fact, I know there are college seniors lying in bed stressing about the very same thing. I will probably never know what I want to do even after I’ve retired..at least if I take after my dad I won’t.
Until then, I’ll continue to sail with as much speed and precision as I can muster without a clear destination.