The Road Map

So many paths in life. When I was in elementary I remember they had us fill out this “road map” and on it mark when we would graduate, get married, have children. According to that map I was married at 24 (half way through medical school trying to snatch that plastic surgeon degree) I would have my first child at 27, buy an expensive car at 30 for no reason. Wow, what a great life right? If only that road map held true, well almost true anyways; I am very content and happy with where my actual road map is headed but the stress to get there has been on hell of a ride of its own.

I have been going to school consistently since the winter of 2015, full time and every summer for the first 3 years and then because of my program and work I have dropped down to half time the last year. I have struggled every step of the way, falling every few months into deep depressions, questioning every move that I was making wondering if it would all be worth it one day. I struggle with the animosity I have held against other students able to maintain the highest of grades, devoting every hour to their studies, while I was at work at least 35 hours every week being taken away from it all. Don’t get me wrong I absolutely love the company I work for, but the struggle of balance between wanting to be my best there as well as in the classroom has been the hardest thing I have ever done in life. I have cried, broken things, wasted gas driving in the mountains looking for a sign, anything to tell me what I was doing was enough, that I was working as hard as I possibly could. I do not have any kids to take care of, but I have a feeling inside that makes me want to prove myself to others, and not strangers per say, but my family and friends back home. Ever since I left Holland in the summer of 2013, I have been searching for myself, for purpose, for a reason to make everyone back home have hope in me again.

I found a path of social science at the local college and became obsessed with it, obsessed in understanding how to better myself in order to help those around me. In high school I was severely bullied and I remember always looking around in the room when it came time to grab a partner in order to find someone else with that sadness in their eyes; it brought a great joy to my life to be there for others who may have been struggling with similar things that I was. 4 years later and I am in the last stretch of completing my Communication Science and Disorders degree and I have no fucking clue where to go from here.

They don’t prepare you in college enough, how to do college when you can’t consider yourself a college student. On paper I look like a full-time University attendee, but off paper I hold a full-time job in an account department on-top of school, try to attend all the non-mandatory guest speakers at the college, take my dog out for some fresh air, and honestly just try to keep myself in one-piece minute by minute from the stress that build up every day. The financial stress of trying to keep an apartment, car, insurance of all kinds, a phone, has sent me down some dark roads. I don’t want to be 75,000$ in student debt, but in order to not have mounting debt, my only other choice is to be employed and have a steady income.

Give us millennial's a break. We talk a big game, need instant gratification, use computers more than communicating in person BUT we ARE trying to change the world, some of us anyway. The pressure in this world to do it all is building everyday and it weighs on us, the next generation. If there are people out there like me then it’s a constant ticking time bomb. It eats at me, little by little every day; what is my next move? How can I help today? What can I do today to change tomorrow? Do I go to grad school to continue trying to help? I am always trying to count my chickens before they hatch, but that is the generation I grew up in. Our parents tell us not to, but society DEMANDS we have a plan 2 years in advance, that we straight shoot a path and do something in this world, and that is not fair.

SLOW down. Take the time. Take the DETOUR. Do not let society and social constructs/norms/pressures eat you alive.