Before you read any further, you should know this is not about me sparking up in my car between classes.
Sorry college hipsters, but my schedule, and budget, do not allow for that.
However, what did happen in my life sparked quite the collegiate change.
Babysitter, bartender, captain, dancer, news anchor, staff writer, on-air DJ and commuter are just some of the titles I took on my junior year.
Some may say I am spread too thin, but I think I have never been more successful.
After two years as a psychology major, I needed a change.
Studying a field I felt no passion for, I started to feel confused.
I constantly felt disappointed. I did not feel like I was excelling like other students. Did I even belong in college?
If I did not know what I wanted to do now, would I ever know?
I have heard this question buzz on campus since my freshman year.
My opinion now?
I absolutely belong here.
College is a time for exploration and experimentation. Take advantage of it.
I chose to switch my major to communication.
I have never felt more at home and passionate in my life, but let us rewind to the first day of school.
Imagine being in my shoes, a junior in all freshmen-level courses trying to both understand this field while building relationships.
Work of dedicated students hung on the walls, links to their flawless portfolios taunted me on Facebook and each professor knew their strengths.
I never thought I would be able to catch up.
After that day, I made myself a promise. Within this year, I would know what they knew.
I dedicated myself to 12 or more hour days. I would not fail.
I was commuting from almost 45 minutes away everyday twice a day, but that would not stop me.
This would no longer be my major, but my lifestyle.
My car was my dorm.
As the world news anchor for the school’s Loqation news program, looking professional was essential. If I had to be on camera, I always had a blazer to change into.
After that, I would most likely have dance practice at night so there was always a sweatpants graveyard in my backseat. Between filming, class and dance I would be driving the kids I babysat to and from after-school activities.
Not only were my days mentally exhausting but physically as well.
Meals were packed in the morning. It was not easy, and it was certainly tiring, but I would not trade this year’s experience for anything else.
I tested the waters and learned to swim in a department I knew nothing about.
Take a chance in college, over-schedule yourself and make things difficult.
Do not settle for mediocre. Let yourself feel passionate about your studies.
Be able to say you babysat and bartended to get yourself through school. The experience itself is not only humbling, but has taught me so much about myself.
It has made me a better student and also a better person.
Before this year, I did school work just to get by. My grades were not great and class was a chore that I was paying for.
I appreciate my peers and the work they put in every day to produce collegiate material.
I admire my professors and all they do so we succeed and are prepared for “the real world.”
But most of all, I am proud of myself. And that is something I have not been able to say in a long time.