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How I knew I meant to be an Education Major

When I first started my college career as an English Education Major, I doubted myself. What if I do not make a lot of money? What if the kids hate me? What if they do not learn anything from me? Is there a more glamorous job for me? What if I chose this major, simply because it was all I have ever known? I was scared and I asked myself a million questions. The first semester of college is a huge and extremely difficult transition period. I had never been in a worse place mentally at that time, and I was not sure if I was ready to get a college degree or what to get it in.  

Fast forward to my third year of college, and amidst a national pandemic, I have learned a few things about myself since my freshman year of college. One of those things was that I had chosen the correct major for myself, but how did I know I was meant to be an Education Major? 

I had to start from the beginning, I love to read and write. I always excelled in English class as a student, but it was more than that. Outside of the classroom, I spent my free time reading anything that interested me from historical fiction to true crime, to poetry. I also did very well writing essays, and soon learned I could create other things as well. Writing helped me make sense of the world around me and also helped me mentally. I knew I wanted to do these two things for the rest of my life. 

Looking back, I began to think of my childhood. I read and wrote a lot then too. As a kid, I wanted to be many different things when I grew up, from a vet to a hairdresser, to a trashman. I did not have a dream job. I did remember playing school with my siblings. I would always be the teacher. Maybe it was because I was the oldest of three and I had more school experience than my brother and sister. Maybe it was because I had instincts to teach. 

         Throughout my kindergarten to high school career, I always enjoyed learning. I went to the local public school, which is now one of the top schools in the state.  I had a great experience with school. I learned a lot in many different aspects of life because I grew up in the school system. At times I had difficulties. I was shy and insecure, which I now attribute to anxiety and some trauma, and I wish that those experiences could be negated from my life. I thought there was nothing I could do now but to learn from them. That’s when I realized there was something I could do. I could become a teacher. I could give my future students amazing experiences within the school, all while making improvements for students’ mental health. I do plan to eventually become a guidance counselor as well, but I wanted to start within the classroom. 

         I started taking education and English course to attain my degree. I realized that I am a lifelong learner and loved being a part of the learning environment. I know that I chose the correct major because as a future teacher, I get to discuss and learn about our world constantly. Ultimately, education lets me work with people, specifically future generations, in hopes to make the world a better place and inspire others to do so as well.   

Julia Harpel

West Chester '23

Julia Harpel is a third-year student at West Chester Univerisity. She is working towards her BSED English Writings Track with a Creative Writing Minor. She hopes to one day earn a Master's Degree. Julia is a mental health advocate, environmentalist, and feminist. When she is not at school, at work, writing, or reading, she loves to spend time with friends, go on adventures such as kayaking, and listen to country music.
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