Five years-- as of this spring 2019 semester, that is how long I have been pursuing my undergraduate degree. Three universities, several sick days, deaths, a bipolar diagnosis, several major changes and even more withdrawals, and here we are.. I just changed my major again.
Some of you may be wondering why in the world I changed my major knowing I walk in May and have classes to finish over the summer. Well, it turns out that learning future and past tense in Spanish is really difficult and trying to get registered for even one literature class is like trying to win the lottery. I have tried every semester for the last ten semesters to get into a literature course and have registered for the second six-hour intensive Spanish class for the last two semesters (including this spring). Well.. I never succeeded to register for literature classes, and I have not succeeded to stay in the second Spanish course.
Early last week on Wednesday I was stressing so much about getting caught up in all of my classes while continuing to recover from the flu, and I finally met with my advisor in the College of Liberal Arts and told her very bluntly I had to withdraw from Spanish and I was concerned I would not graduate on time because of this, and she told me that I definitely had some options. Little did I know that all of my questions about the frustrations and worries I had from the last five years were about to be answered.
That advisor told me that there was no way I could get out of taking these classes and that the only degree program she could think of who did not require a language off the top of her head was general studies-- okay cool, so in other words I may not graduate and finish my classes by the end of the summer.. great. I did not even stop to think about the last part of what she said until I left the building and called my mom and that is when it hit me, so bear with me!
The day before classes were to begin, I had this feeling that I should try to enroll in another course. Well, I want to go to law school, so I looked into taking intro to law and there were seats still available so I happily clicked "add course" real quick, which put me at taking 18 hours this spring semester. Then, last week before I met with my advisor, I dropped the second six-hour Spanish course. After that happened, I emailed three different professors about joining their class so late into the semester (two weeks and past the add/drop date) and only two replied immediately with the unfortunate responses.
The next morning I received a response from one of my previous sociology professors I emailed telling me that if I could catch up on the readings that I could certainly join his class. WONDERFUL news, right? So that same day I rushed back to the College of Liberal Arts and tried to add the course, but it was an honors course and I am not in the honors college-- the panic set in. The receptionist called over to the honors college, but they were in a meeting and would call back. I am extremely impatient, so I walked across campus and went to find someone to talk to in that college so I could find some answer. No big deal at all except my chest is on fire because this is my first day back on campus from being sick and could not breathe. The woman in the honors college went to enroll me into the course and then there was a registrar hold… cool. She went to send an email to someone in the Registrar's office, but I had a separate question and decided to just walk back across to the other side of campus and ask this new woman about enrolling into this course and it ended up being no problem. So, here I am taking 15 hours instead of 18 hours, which was a relief in and of itself.
When I called my mom after leaving the advising appointment, I told her what the advisor told me and she said: "wait, so you wouldn't have to take Spanish if you did the general studies major?" And I realized at that moment that I needed to make an appointment with a general studies advisor and get some answers. (And for those who do not know, general studies is a degree of three minors.) So I am walking and talking to my mom about this, and the next thing I know I am bumping into my introductory criminal justice professor from last spring and then I was hit again- I have already had the intro to CJ class, so I can take all of the remaining courses I need for a legal studies minor this summer. AND THEN it hit me once again- the introductory law class I signed up for last minute this semester is a requirement for the legal studies minor. Another hit- I took aforensic criminal justice course at UAB that transfers over to this minor. And one more time in this 60 second long sequence of hits- I was able to get into the honors sociology class as a late enroll, which means if I could change my major to general studies I would not have to worry about taking a second Spanish or trying to get registered for literature courses I have not been able to get into for the last five years.
So, I am going to say it again… you cannot convince me that a higher power does not exist when a series of events that have caused me so much trouble, anger, stress, anxiety, and doubt have "coincidentally" turned out to be all for the best in the long run and the most rewarding feeling of my entire collegiate experience. Not only did everything that has or has not happened begin to make sense, but I also found so much clarity in my graduate school and professional interests by meeting with this new advisor in the general studies department to the point that I have never felt so hopeful and solid in any decision I have ever made.
I say all of this say that regardless of what you may or may not believe in, everything makes sense eventually. It may take a really long time to get the answers you are searching for, this time it took five years. The time before then it took roughly ten years. And there are AT LEAST two more things off the top of my head right now that I am still struggling with to find answers and to this date, we are working on year seven and I probably still have about ten more years to go with one of them. It is kind of like looking at the world from an ant's point of view-- you just gotta take it piece by piece. So however lost and frustrated and defeated you may feel right in this very moment of your life-
I promise you will find clarity.