I had orientation tonight. I haven’t been to one in over 11 years. I could tell I was certainly one of the oldest ones there. Dang, all you ambitious young’ns! 12 years of secondary school, the 4 years of college…then you want to go straight on to your Masters? One of my Business professors gave me some sound advice. Take some time off from school and work a bit and get a sense of what you really want to do. Your Masters degree should be in something that you love to do, because it is hard work and might as well spend your time and money on something you enjoy. I knew during my college graduation that I wanted to pursue my Masters. I expected I’d follow right on through to an MBA and work in some corporate job hopefully at a Marketing firm. The dream of many other 25yr old women in a big city. I didn’t love Marketing that much, per se, but I knew I was good at it. Also, I couldn’t wait to take a break from school. I worked full time and switched from part time to full time student off and on until I was 26. So I had been in school for almost 20 years straight. A break was very much needed.
And I’m so glad I did. I bounced around to a few jobs of different areas and discovered that while I can see the challenge and used my skills and felt proud of my work, my heart just wasn’t in it. I worked in retail/management, accounting, sales, administrative. I worked on the docks on a boat. I scooped slush and picked up live bait. I worked 16 hour days. I worked nights, weekends and holidays. I made commission checks. I folded sweaters. I sold ridiculously overpriced clothing to rich women. I’ve worked in tattoo shops. I worked in restaurants. I did all these things mostly because I needed a pay check and not because it was fulfilling me. If you have a job that you love, you are one of the luckiest people alive.
I am now one of the luckiest people alive.
Since I was so good at being in school, I thought why not work at a university? The stars aligned after many interviews and I finally got my foot in the door at a private university downtown. It only took me a week to realize I had to get my Masters in Education, preferably Higher Education Administration. Academia is exactly where I was born to be.
I’ve never had a job with such amazing benefits before. And I’m in an office full of people who want to be there. I’m constantly being challenged. I feel needed and welcomed. I contribute to the education of future generations. I wake up and I feel like ‘today, I might make a difference in someone’s life’. That is what I had been chasing for years.
Had I trotted off to get my MBA, I’m not sure if I would have found my passion. I’m glad I took the time to focus instead of running full speed at everything (which I have a tendency to do sometime). So to pass on some word of advice, if something doesn’t work in your favor, take it as a good sign. I’m not one to believe ‘everything happens for a reason’. I’m more of a ‘make the best of what you got’.
So if there was anything I got out of orientation, it was : “‘You will work hard. We will pressure you. It will fly by. You will be poor. You will be stressed out. We will help you. And it will be worth it”
I’m taking a legal course this semester. I already received the syllabus and my first assignment due at the first day of class. I got homework a week before class even starts. The academic policy for grad school is to maintain at least a 3.0. Sounds a little intimidating. I received a 4.0 my senior year of college, and that was 5 classes AND a full time job. We were told we are held at a much higher standard as grad students. Rightfully so. We are trying to ‘Master’ something. Which is probably why you should like the field you’re trying to get into.
I went to the bookstore after, to get my one “book”. I say “book” because it was about 300 loose pages, unbound and no cover. And it cost me $90.
Sigh. Some things never change.
I realized I may not have as much time for reading and painting, I wanted to take advantage of my free night. So I worked on my series of painting. Here is No. 3.