Options (A Somewhat Negative Blog)

Published February 9, 2013 by Carmen Lamiarum

It seems this week that the theme is options. According to my spouse, I think quite pessimistically about the matter. He believes that at this moment in my life I am being put in a position in which I am presented with a blank slate. I can do or be anything I want.

The biggest example is with school. He thinks now is the perfect time for me to get back into college and do whatever it is I want to do. Unfortunately for me, “what I want to be when I grow up” is a subject I’ve been pondering since childhood, and I still don’t have an answer. I mean, I do, but I don’t. I want to be a domestic engineer, as my mother calls it. A housewife/SAHM. I want to spend my life homeschooling kids and cooking dinners and clipping coupons. But for some people, that’s not a good enough answer. I need a fallback. A career that I can turn to in case of an emergency. So what do I want to do? Well, anything I’ve ever considered would require a degree. At least I know which college I want to go to. Just not what I want to go for.

When I was in college, I was an art history major. I wanted to be a curator. That’s still on my list of things I think I’d enjoy. But so is being a teacher (of art, music, elementary education, English, French, or history), librarian, therapist, novelist, SEO writer, college professor, painter, wedding coordinator, zoologist, and more. And so many people have told me, “Well just take your core classes and then decide,” which is all well and good. Except that I haven’t figured out what I want to do in the last (almost) 27 years. What good is two more years of pondering going to do? And this is where my negativity seems to come in. That and in the fact that I don’t have money for school. If someone paid for my tuition for me, that’d be one thing, but really, no one is going to do that. I doubt I’d even qualify for any scholarships or grants at this point.

Just thinking about it all is so overwhelming and stressful. Applying for scholarships, figuring out the (real) cost of tuition and books, adapting to college life, choosing my course schedule…these things were never taught to me. Some idiot out there thought it was more important that I learn the Pythagorean theorem than stuff like college prep, credit scores, and how to file my taxes. That, coupled with my anxiety, can be pretty crippling when it comes to actually moving forward and doing something with my life. Even now, I’m getting tense and anxious just thinking about it. I want to do some research and get the ball rolling, but I have no idea where to start. My mind races and I do nothing.

This is turning into a blog that’s more about anxiety and less about college and options that I have. Which sucks. I think I’ll stop here. If anyone out there has any suggestions, tips, or just opinions, feel free to leave them in the comment section. I, of course, read them all. Thanks.

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4 comments on “Options (A Somewhat Negative Blog)

  • Ok, about the what to learn, you are right I started by seeing what I didn’t want to learn first and just scratched it, then I searched for something I liked but that was wide enough to allow me to do many things as I graduated. While I was studying I liked some subjects, then while working I realized I really liked to do something else than my favorite subjects. And after working 4 years in something I am good at, but not my favorite stuff, I went to do my Masters, and I really liked it (still something that allowed me to be general while specializing, go figure) then I returned and even while I was unable to exercise what I learned, well, it made me realize that I wanted to continue studying, and now I am in the same place as you, just with a narrower point. Anyway, money, I read about this grant, maybe you can apply and at least take away the money factor, because, if it is about brains and resourcefulness you have them all. http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/grants-scholarships/pell

  • Well lets first make it clear the Pythagorean theorem is really important. And the fact you sound like you understand separates you from the no hopers. I would use that theory many times a year. Off course you may not and possibly never will. But it is really comparable to the force in Star Wars. The Pythagoras theory is really all around us. It can be used in every room of the home or your kitchen or you name it. It is beautiful.
    When you grow up you should do what makes you happy. That is what every child should be taught. A saying inspired by the late great John Lennon. I really believe in it as much as the Pythagorean theorem because if you are happy it will make the people around you happy. This will make the people around them happy too. It will become contagious and everyone will want to be happy and it will lead to a better world.

    So the answer to this blog lies with Stephen and not with you. Does Stephen want to be happy? If so does he want you to be happy? So why cannot you strive for the thing that will truly make you happy. Find the thing that will truly make you happy. Make it your goal in your life. Explain it to Stephen. Strive for your goal and make your dreams your future reality.

    Replied from my mobile so forgive me for little mistakes. But the post couldn’t wait.

  • I second the importance of the Pythagorean Thrm, but then again, I am biased in that I think of the world through mathematics and logic. College is a big step, a hard step, but I think, in the end, if you have the tenacity to do it and the motivation for it, then in the end, it will be worth it. Coupled with the fact that College means different things for different people. For me it was about expanding my knowledge, and not feeling like the Dolt of the family, for other people it is about meeting people, partying, and getting laid.

    We can talk later if you like, at some point I’ve had to navigate all aspects of the college experience, grants/tuition/books/money/work/social life/being pissed off/ etc.

    One thing I always do in life is keep a weary eye on where I want to be 5 years to 10 years out (bloody hell, my fingers don’t want to type) and every large action I do I see if it affects my trajectory. I’ve also done reverse goal setting. I know what my goal, what do I need to do in order to be at the doorstep of my goal, okay got that, what do I need to do to get at the door stop of the door step of my goal, okay, and iterate the process back until you get to the point where you are now (in time.)

    *nods*

  • That’s awesome Amanda. Know your goals, know your path, know the prospects for your goals [ie-will there be enough positions available for the amount of people pursuing the same goal/example-enough job openings as a psychologist for the amount of people who are trying to be psychologists, etc.]. And pick something you’ll love.

    the problem only being, there is so much to love, so many beautiful subjects and possible paths. but, that’s life. pick one first…

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