How Becoming A Tutor Changed My Life

How Becoming A Tutor Changed My Life

Becoming a private tutor put me on a path towards happiness.
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If you were to tell me four years ago that I would be in school to become a teacher, I would have probably laughed in your face. All throughout high school, I wanted to be anything but a teacher. By senior year, I told myself that I was going to be a successful businesswoman and attended business school. I do not think I hated anything more in my life than I hated being a business student.

I remember when I took my SATs that I told myself that I would never take a standardized test again, even if my life depended on it. In between the little breaks I get between writing, editing, babysitting, and tutoring, I am studying for the Praxis test.

So, what was it that made me change my mind so dramatically on my career choice? During my freshman year of college, I was low on cash (honestly, who isn't in college?) and I sat myself down trying to figure out an easy way to make money that did not require me to sell my body. One day, while on one of the many Facebook pages I am a member of, a woman was looking for a tutor for her child. It suddenly clicked for me. I can tutor. Tutors make a lot of money, and don't work crazy hours. I then went crazy and posted on every group I was a member of that I could tutor children who are struggling in school.

Within give minutes, I got a hit. It was for a family in Springfield, New Jersey. I could not tell you how nervous I was walking into their home for the first time. While sitting with my student for that first hour, I realized that I was not happy with what I was doing with my life. From that moment on, I could not stand going to my business classes. I knew that business was not my calling, teaching was. Helping others was what I was brought on this Earth to do.

I immediately changed my major to Education and began looking for more tutoring opportunities. Soon, I began working with 4 families simultaneously. Quickly, I found a family that lived really close to me (literally right down the street) who needed a tutor. I truly don't think I knew how much I wanted to be an educator until I met this little boy.

This little boy was not struggling tremendously, but his parents called on me to help him develop stronger math skills. The look on his face every time he finally understand a new concept is what I want to experience everyday as an educator. (Side Note: I know this doesn't always happen, but one can be hopeful right?)

The moments of pure bliss this boy went through when I was teaching him is something I think about everyday. He is my inspiration and driving force to become a better teacher.

When I first became a tutor, I did not think that I would be changing my career path because I enjoyed it so much. Tutoring opened up a whole new world for me by teaching me that everyone can make a change for someone else, no matter how small the change may seem.

Cover Image Credit: sunykorea.ac.kr

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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The Ups and Downs of Being a Double Major

Its more complicated than I thought it would be.

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Before starting university, I was in love with the idea of graduating with a double major. What an opportunity, I thought, to be able to do two degrees in four years. Why would anyone not graduate with a double major?

Although I still believe in all of these things, I would say that my relationship with my double majors is over its honeymoon phase. As I write this, there is exactly one week before I have to pick the classes for the second semester of my sophomore year, and I am freaking out. Possibly due to me changing one of my intended majors at the end of my freshman year, or simply due to the heavy amount of credits and pre-requisites that need to be completed for two majors, I think that enrollment day is much more stressful for double majors.

Doing a double major in four years takes a lot of organization and thinking ahead, and these things are especially hard for a teenager starting college. Something that is necessary for planning ahead, is knowing what you want. Even though this sounds simple in theory, it is hard to imagine that a seventeen or eighteen-year-old coming into college is completely sure in which direction they want to take their career. I thought I was sure, and planned ahead and organized myself, but after my first year, I completely changed my mind. Teenagers and young adults probably change their minds so much because their personalities and interests are still changing and evolving, compared to adult minds, which although still experience some change and development, this happens at a much more slower rate.

The transition from adolescence to adulthood that happens around the age in which most people start university makes this process all the more complicated. There is a crazy difference in the amount of advising I had during high school compared to how much advice I get in college, as high school students are treated more like children that need guidance as opposed to college students being treated as independent adults. Although I think this independence is something positive, there is no denying that it comes with an abrupt change that takes some getting used to and adaptation. But with a double major, there isn't much time to adapt.

In addition to this, part of the experience of studying in a liberal arts college or university is being able to explore various areas of interest to you. I have found that with a double major, I have little space in my schedule for other classes that aren't fulfilling general requirements for the core curriculum (most of which are also requirements for my majors) or aren't major requirements. Although I get to explore two different areas in great depth as majors, I can't help but feel like I am missing out by not taking many classes in other departments.

Even though I have just written 500 words on the downsides of double majoring, I still stand with my decision to graduate with a double major. I believe each one of my majors opens up different doors for my professional future and this way I won't have to decide so early on in what area I want to work in or to stop pursuing some of my interests in great depth.

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