Back to the Future

Before I even start, I’d just like you to know that this has nothing to do with the movie, so sorry if my post heading is misleading.

First, I guess I should say: Hi. My name is Janelle Terry. I am twenty years old.  I am a college junior/senior, and I don’t really know what I want to do with my life. I know that’s nothing huge; I would imagine that I am in a league with many, but . . . I’m getting ahead of myself.

As of currently, I am pursuing a Mathematics and Education double major at the college that I attend, training to become a secondary high school math teacher. The classes that I have to take for the Mathematics portion are not going so well. I needed to pass the class that I took last semester with a B, but I passed it with a C. My professor told me that I while I was home over break (which is about to end), I needed to think about what I wanted to do and come back to school and meet with my secondary advisor. So here I am, about to head back to school and have no idea what I need to do or where I’m heading two and half years into my college career. I feel like I should be freaking out a little bit more, but I just can’t bring myself to freak out because even though I want to teach math, it’s not my one and only, if that makes sense.

While I’ve been home over break, I’ve been talking to friends and just thinking about how this whole college system is set up. Depending on what you choose to do or just the factors that affect your life, you either enter college right after high school or you go back later. (The college I attend has a crap load of non-traditional students who are like thirty and up with kids and commute to and from campus.) You spend the next two to four years of your life pursuing a specific degree, and then you have the option of continuing two to six more years to earn another degree. Once you’re finished with your schooling, you’re pretty much expected to work in your specialty–whatever you earned your degree in–for the rest of your life, and personally, I think that sucks. Of course, you don’t want someone who’s not educated in a certain area to work in that specific field, you know? Even though Patrick Dempsey plays and extremely handsome doctor on television, I wouldn’t personally want him to operate on me. He can just continue making movies and looking beautiful . . .

As I was saying, basically, you go to school, you go to work, and you die. That seems to be life for most people. Of course, you always have the option of going back to school, but not everyone has the time or the money, especially with the rising cost of postsecondary education nowadays. I wouldn’t be going to school if I didn’t have a scholarship because my family is broke as a joke, so I’ve got to get it right this time around because I most likely won’t have the option of going back to school. Or at least, not anytime soon. Which kind of brings me back to the fact that I don’t want to be stuck doing one thing for the next twenty years of my life. I was telling a friend of mine that if I could switch jobs every five to seven years, I would, but I can’t. Because that would be another two to four years and some thousands of dollars that I don’t have to go back to school to receive another degree. 

(I know I’m sitting here complaining about what I have and what I want but can’t have instead of being grateful for what I do have and what I’ve been blessed with. I am grateful, truly, that I am able to get a college education, and practically for free, but . . . I’m going to finish up outside this parentheses.)

I guess what I’m trying to get at is that, now that my plan is kind of falling apart, I’m being forced to look back at my future and ask myself where do I see myself after college or in five years or in ten years, and honestly, I don’t know anymore. I would still like to teach; I like knowing that I have the ability to help someone overcome a challenge that they’re facing, whether that be academic or not. I like working with teenagers/young adults, and I think it would be awesome to make a career out of it. However, my according to the college that I’m attending, I’m not qualified, and that’s okay. I’ve generally always succeeded at things I’ve tried, but this doesn’t happen to be one of those cases. And now that I’m kind of being forced to think about what I really want to do, I’m not so sure that high school math teacher was the right choice for me. I do think that I have come to this conclusion because I’m not doing so well, but . . . Being a teacher made sense to me. I’ve always been a tutor; I’ve always been good at helping people with/through situations. I consider myself a pretty rational person/thinker, and like I said, I like working with teenagers. However, after having thought about it, I know that being a teacher isn’t the only option I have for wanting to do what I want to do–for wanting to work with teenagers and help them figure out who they are and what they want to do.

I would really like to work as a director of an Upward Bound program, or to work with organizations with the same goal. I was an Upward Bound graduate and employee, and both experiences were–not to sound too cliche–life changing for me. I feel like the program gave so much to me, and that the least that I could do is give back to it. 

And I think that’s about it. Even if it’s not, it’s enough. It’s almost 5:00 am, and I’ve written way too much. If you actually read this thing, thanks, and I promise that further posts won’t be as ridiculously long or whiny. (:

– Janelle


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About jnlletrry

Janelle. 20. Lots of things in my brain that I'd like to say but am too afraid to say. Lovatic. Reader. Writer. Semi-perfectionist. Music lover. Sister. Aunt. Daughter. Granddaughter. Friend. Student. Wants to make a difference. Avatard. Terry.

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