i am about to be a senior in college.
I am about to be a Senior in college. You don’t grasp the reality, until you’re staring at the 25 credits you have left until you graduate. I am an Elementary Education major. Typical right? A young, blonde, bubbly, female wanting to do crafts with adolescence all day. Nope. But, that is the easy way to categorize my future job title. The difficult way would be to actually imagine the underlying word behind “teacher” — educator.
However, I haven’t been an Elementary Education major throughout my entire college career. When applying to my liberal arts college, I did so in the same way any 18 year-old who was unsure of what they had planned for the rest of their long existence, and declared a major in…liberal arts. As freshly high school graduate, I asked myself, “what even is liberal arts, anyway?”, and without a good answer, I switched my major to the broad subject of communications. But, wait, let’s take a few steps backwards.
My mother and my aunt were, and currently are, teachers. In the natural order of life, most young people want to do the complete opposite of their parents. I fit this category. However, as a kid I pretended to have my own classroom, and eventually landed my first ever job as a summer camp counselor. I thrived in that summer camp environment, and even was crowned “Head Camp Counselor” by my second year. That was the beginning of my love/hate relationship with working with children.
Prior to my summer camp counselor glory music, art, photography, writing, and anything creative drove me to go to college. I lusted after an artsy studio apartment above a flower shop, making art, taking photographs, writing for a magazine…anything that would get the creative juices flowing. And getting paid for it? That was the dream. I still have that dream, but another has grown alongside it. So, towards the end of my Sophomore year of college, I again switched my major.
After hearing from my aunt that right now is “not a good time for teachers”, I took a leap of faith. I could not deny my passion for harvesting young minds any longer. I discovered that the way I felt when prompting a student through sounding out a word or factoring out a math problem, was the same way I felt when my paintbrush stroked canvas.
In college, I have learned many things; however, the most valuable of things was that I don’t only have to have one passion, one career, or one “life path”. For my future to be fruitful, all I have to do is take the gifts God has given me, and run with them. So, ultimately, maybe I will be a teacher. Or a traveling photographer. Or business owner. Or maybe all of these things. In the end, when I walk across that collegiate stage to accept my diploma, I don’t have to walk on a single path. I am honored to be able to walk through many wild, unexpected, and beautiful paths that will be placed in front of me.