Six Years to Senior Year

Flash back six years ago, I was registering for classes at orientation when I realized I was getting myself into a lot more work then I ever realized. I was planning a track that would allow me to have a sustainable career that was dependable and would always have job opportunities. For me, this meant I was going to have to go to nursing school. First semester, I attacked some of the harder prereqs, and guess what? I failed. I hated it. I was miserable every day and hated college. And what was I taught to do when I failed? Try again, try again, and try again. I tried for two and half years until I finally said f*ck this. Would I have made an awesome nurse? Absolutely. But would I have loved it? I'm not so sure. I was working as a Nursing Assistant at the time, and I loved the people but hated the job. I settled for it because I didn’t want to let the people around me down. I wanted my coworkers, my friends, and especially my family to be impressed and proud of me. 

What about me? Was I impressing myself? Was I proud of my choices? That’s when I started to really think about what mattered and what I wanted to do with my life. 

I thought back to the time when I most enjoyed school. It was when I was a junior in high school and was writing for the school paper. Sure, my stories were pretty rough, but I was truly excited about learning from my teacher, getting edits back, and doing rewrite after rewrite. I even remember telling my parents all about how I wanted to be a journalist for the Salt Lake Tribune when I was older. So what the hell happened to that girl?

Well, long story short, I got into a serious relationship and felt like I had to get a dependable job in order for our future to be good. I also had pressure from my parents to ensure I was in a field that wasn’t going to run out of jobs. This pressure made me decide to follow a path I would never be passionate about. I loved helping people, but I could not help sick people — it took everything out of me. Nurses are badass, I will never say any differently, but that career wasn’t where I was going to be badass. 

So here I am finishing up my communications degree, and even though I am still not sure what career I will achieve my badassery in, I am so grateful I got to finish up my college career learning from professors and internship mentors who are passionate about the same things as me, who have complimented my work, and who have pushed me to do more and be better. 

Never sell yourself short and never give up on what you are really passionate about. I know that may seem cliché, but I have had firsthand experience with letting go of my passion, and I can tell you it’s been a long year making up for four years of missing out on getting experience within my field.

My advice for anyone who is following something they don’t love? Give it up and be a little selfish with your time and your education. At the end of the day, this is your life and you’re going to have to live with it. Life is too short to spend it doing something you don't enjoy. We all face pressure to make responsible decisions, get stable and dependable careers, and focus on our careers over our passions. Learn from my experience that your life plans should be more than just dependable. Despite added stress, college is a time to discover who you are as a person, what you like and dislike, and most importantly, what you want to do with the rest of your life. Take four years, take six, take it all in and enjoy your time in college. This is the chance to really pursue your interests, and find where you will achieve your own badassery.

I am grateful for six years, and am excited to see what else I am able to accomplish in six more.

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