Truth Is, I Don't Know

Truth Is, I Don't Know

I don't know what I want to do after college, but thats okay.

When you were little, I'm sure you can remember being asked, "What do you want to be when you get older?" The more I grew up, the more realistic I got with an idea of what I would want to do with the rest of my life. I started college with the burning desire to achieve what I set forth to accomplish in my mind, but I still get asked, "So, what do you want to do after college?" I always seem to answer something cliche such as, "Move to New York in search for journalism opportunities," but in actuality, I still have no idea what I want to do. What do I want to pursue with a degree in journalism? Do I even want to pursue a job? What if I want to build my own empire? What if I just want to live in the present and not have to worry?

When I first began my college journey, I was a Cell and Molecular Biology major (what was I thinking?), but shortly thereafter I switched to Mass Communications with a concentration in News and Editorial Journalism. I started to figure everything out all over again—planning for internships, extracurriculars, searching for jobs and beginning to network. However, the more I seemed to plan out my future, the more, "What do you want to do after college?" questions I would get, making me truly wonder what I want to do after college.

Writing is something I am extremely passionate about—I know that for sure. Does that necessarily mean that I want to move to a crowded city and leave the year-round warmth of Florida? Of course not. To be honest, I don't see New York in the future for me. But I am tired of letting the future terrorize my present. As a student, the end goal is to get my degree and start my life. I must first start with my present and focus on what I am working with now rather than add another item on my list of things to stress over.

The truth is, I don't know what I want to do with my life, and that's okay. I'm a firm believer in "going with the flow" and that's what I've been starting to do. Of course, I'm going to work my butt off to end up wherever I end up, but I'm no longer worried about where that place is. Journalism degrees can get you a job in magazines and newspapers but also within teaching, advertising and web management. I don't know where I'll be or what I'll be doing five years from now, but I know what I want to do. I know my strengths and weaknesses and I'm hopeful that my skill set will be able to guide me and pave the way to a road of excellence.

Cover Image Credit: Angela Lumsden

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When People Respond to My Major With 'You Better Have a Rich Husband'

The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.


This past week I have been working at the local elementary school's art camp as an assistant teacher. I've been helping with the camp for three years, and I've worked at a preschool as well. Now I'm in college at the University of North Alabama as an Elementary Education major. More and more lately, I'm getting a sour face when I tell people that I'm an education major." Be prepared to be poor," they say. "You better get a rich husband."

But I'm here to argue against the preconceived notion that I have picked my career based solely upon the fact that I won't make as much as a doctor or engineer. Is this the mindset that you want the people who are teaching your children to have? If so, good luck to you and your family. I've been incredibly blessed by my short time spent with kids so far. Working with children has greatly improved my life and I'll tell you why.

Working with kids is not easy by any definition; I think that's something we can all agree with. But isn't that what makes it so wonderful? I've always heard that being a teacher takes a special kind of person, but I wholeheartedly believe that working with kids makes you into a special person. The things I've learned working with kids are worth more to me as a person than any college class I've taken. Most days, the kids teach me more than I could ever teach them.

I know you could see this one coming: kids are patience builders.

Coming from a perfectionist who began teaching with a low tolerance for anything that went wrong, I've learned a lot about patience. Children are just learning, just beginning their lives. They haven't had enough experience to shape their conscious or moral standards. In their eyes, they have two models to form their foundation upon: their parents, and those around them. So how can we expect anything less than occasionally acting out or making mistakes? Maybe we're the ones they're modeling their silly behavior after at times. Kids may get into more trouble than we prefer, but we love them all the same.

Kids are, sometimes brutally, unquestionably honest.

If your hair is frizzy and sticking up everywhere, then they'll let you know that you look like a porcupine. Or why, they'll ask with a giggle, are those red bumps all over your face? I'm so thankful that I don't even have to keep myself humble; the kids do it for me… and I don't even have to ask! They will never hesitate to point out your flaws or mistakes, even if it's something that you're trying to conceal; you can never underestimate a child's observation skills. They continue to impress me every day.

They stay optimistic.

It doesn't matter if they've never painted before; they're going to paint a picture of a Tyrannosaurus Rex for their dad and he's going to love it. Being an optimistic person myself, it gives me high hopes to be around children who love life and look for the good in people. I think their optimism is quite contagious. If only I could catch onto being so excited about something that early in the morning.

Also, with children comes continuous laughter and fun.

Working with them brings out the 5-year-old in me (not that I don't act like I'm five years old all the time). Whether it's bringing inanimate objects to life or imaginary friends, kids know how to have fun no matter the circumstance. You have to be creative with them, constantly making up games and characters to keep up with their imagination. You kids keep me young... or age me twice as fast. You decide.

Their innocence is refreshing.

They haven't experienced the world yet to spoil their minds, and I continuously wish that I could be so innocent minded. In the words of Patrick Rothfuss, “When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind." You took the words right out of my mouth, Rothfuss. It's nice to be around little ones so untainted.

They're always there to lift you up.

There is truly no better feeling than a child making something for you, because they used their time and their resources that they could've spent doing anything else. When I have my own classroom, I'll be eager to display all of the gifts my kids have graciously given me. They love seeing their work hanging up because they know we treasure it. But the tangible gifts are only a small portion of what truly matters, which is the sentiment that I so often receive from kids. If I'm down and out, they can tell. If they run up and give me a hug or a smile so big, it never fails to brighten my day.

Lastly and most importantly, kids are authentic.

They're completely themselves, because the cruel world hasn't given them a reason not to be. They're unashamedly bold and that's something that we should all strive for. Kids are friends with whoever they want, and they don't distinguish each other by race or beliefs, but simply see each other for who they are. It's OK to be different. As the older generation, it's our job to set an example for our kids to be themselves and to love life.

Now you understand how interacting with students has shaped me as a person, and I'm sure those who have been around kids would agree. My passion for teaching has given me so much more than I ever thought it would, and I've barely gotten started. I can't wait to see how much I've grown as a person at the end of my journey.

So next time you cringe at the life decisions one has made because of financial reasons, consider that they have a huge heart for teaching and all that it entails. Maybe they're in it for more than simply the money. Never discredit an individual's passions because of your worldly attitude.

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There’s No Such Thing As Not Being A School Person, You’re Just Lazy

Stop with the excuses and just do your homework


We have all heard the multitude of excuses when it comes to friends or yourself making excuses for not wanting to do their homework. Everyone knows that one person who identifies as not being a "school person". I think it is a myth. It is just an easy way out of putting in some extra effort into their schooling. News flash people nobody wants to write twenty-page papers, or spend multiple hours studying for exams, but my fellow students do it all the time.

I think growing up through elementary school everyone goes through that phase of when they think not being smart is funny. For myself, I always had blonde hair so living by the dumb blonde stereotype was easy. Everything that I did not understand or the jokes that went over my head were "because I was blonde". Being young we do not necessarily understand the importance of school and how each transitional period between school is to prepare us for the next level.

As we continue on this path, growing up for the smart kids or the students that just follow directions they were called nerds and freaks. Well, now those nerds and freaks are probably some of the most successful people you know because they chose to take their education seriously.

When you overlook the struggle of education through out our lives, everyone starts out as not wanting to be the smart person in elementary because it has a negative outlook. But continue through junior high and high school being the most educated person in the room usually means you are or will be the most successful. For example, all of the students that make honor roll in high school go to the best colleges or universities because they have the grade point averages to receive admission.

I understand that being a school person is not easy, but it is about the choice an individual makes to become one. Think about it, life is full of choices that have the free will to make as individuals. Making the active choice to study for that test, or write that paper is what separates the want and desire to thrive in education.

I think in the end, everyone remembers that one time that we fell short at something, and we all know subconsciously if we would have contributed more effort into it we could have gotten a better grade or percentage. Do not let those times control your outlook on school, let it be your driving force to be something greater than an average student.

Therefore, I propose all of the non-schoolers to step back and be present in the decisions that contribute to your education. Understand that the excuses upon excuses can only get a person so far. Put that extra effort into your studying, writing, reading, even mathematical skills... yes I said it math people. In the end, wanting to be better and believing in yourself to be a more educated individual will help you rather than hurt you.

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