I have spent the last five summers of my life spending about 100 hours at a time facilitating youth leadership seminars. This year, I upped the anti and volunteered my standard 100 hours as well as working two additional summits. I love what I do! I get to be a part of the change in students over the week they spend with me and the rest of the amazing staffs I work alongside; I get to watch young people realize that they can change the world. It has been so rewarding and so incredible to play a role in that growth and keeping up with my students as they apply the skills I help to give them. But please don't ask me to make a career out of it.
For starters, I love the path that I am on in school. I had to fight myself tooth and nail to accept the passion I have for a course of study that does not come with the insurance of one particular job at the end. Public Health and Anthropology are two very broad fields and in combination, there is basically no limit to where I can apply the knowledge I'm working for (so stop asking what I am going to do with my degree at Christmas dinner; I don't know, but it's going to be GREAT). I changed my major from one that would always offer me job security to one where my future is a little less certain, and I have started to love it. I am halfway through college and genuinely have no idea what I will be doing after they hand me that multi-thousand dollar piece of paper, but that's okay. I know that I love what I'm doing, and I know that I am good at it. While a job will never be dropped in my lap or even an obvious choice, my career will be one that I choose and always open to change and growth in an ever-changing field.
Coming to terms with an uncertain future is no small feat for someone who struggles with anxiety. I love planning. My planner is color coordinated. My weeks are planned out to a T, and any small change that comes unexpectedly can genuinely ruin my week, set me in a mood and literally derail my to-do list. If one thing can't go right, why even bother? But the giant question mark at the end of my four years no longer scares me. In fact, it feels like an adventure that is all mine. So my love for what I do is the first and foremost reasoning for not wanting to pursue education or anything else.
Besides that, those in the education field are discouraged from punching students in the face, and I don't know if that's something I can guarantee to abstain from for the course of an entire career. The fact that the people work with children for their entire lives and never once lose their mind is astonishing to me. Maybe they do lose their mind. Regardless, they never let it show. Educators give their entire lives to children. Children who are often ungrateful. Children whose parents couldn't care less and leave the school supplies, supplementary tutoring and motivation to all come from you. Children who sometimes don't listen, who don't stay on task, who cop attitudes. Children whom I simply do not have the patience for.
Now that I have worked with kids and gotten just a glimpse into the lives of educators, I understand that this is one thankless job- one that I couldn't do. I don't have the nerves, the stamina, the patience or the capacity for the wringer they are put through by students. I am so grateful to the educators in my life, who carry through my seminars and have pushed me through all of my schooling experience.
My three weeks or less per summer spent with students is plenty for me, and I love it. Even my pain-in-the-butt students are made worth my while when I see what they can accomplish. If my entire seminar is spent chasing around a problem kid, the one child who has gotten the lesson we are trying to reach makes it worth it. I understand the love for the field, and I definitely understand the love for the kids but further than that, I could NOT do it and truly commend those that do and do it well.
Thank a teacher!!