Saturday, March 25, 2017

Another Existential Crisis?

It is finally, finally spring break. I've cleaned the entire apartment (I even bought fabric Febreze!), sorted out all the minor tasks that I totally had time for but didn't feel obligated to do while I had essays, and napped for about 36 hours straight. The plan for tonight is movie and spa night, then more minor tasks and sleep, and then after Monday, back to work on essays. While I'm at it, I'm trying to get back into a regimented mindset to get shit done. It's been a weird semester, and March has been the weirdest month of all.

The first round of essay midterm grades were returned at the beginning of this week, something I've been mulling over all week. After getting an A- and two As, including the high score for a class, I received a C for ED182AC. It really threw me off — I know I'm not a bad writer, clearly, from the highest scoring essay for my other class, but nevertheless, the existential despair once again set in. The grade option change deadline just passed on Friday, so whether I like it or not, I'm going to have to put my nose to the grindstone and take whatever grade comes at the end of the semester.

I keep telling myself to hold out and take the stress because it's going to be the last semester of academic grind. Five classes is a bit much, and maybe aiming for 3 A's and 2 A-'s at least this semester is a bit ambitious, but I think it's doable. I'd then have to get 4 A's and 3 A-'s minimum for my last two semesters in order to achieve a 3.8 GPA. Of course, I could also take an easy A GPA boosting class my last semester, or take the 8-unit Greek course I'm planning to do for fun for a grade instead, but that feels like cheating somehow.

For my last year I want to shift toward a more career oriented focus, learning about certifications and experience and whatnot. It's frustrating to think about everything I need to do in order to get to my ideal career because I expect instant gratification, but everything I want to do not only needs a degree, but also years of experience. I don't want to be schlepping through mediocre positions for five years after I graduate — I want to make a real difference doing real work. It is every college student's constant conundrum: what am I going to do when I graduate?

At this point, my best course for action seems to be Teach For America. I can simultaneously get work experience, a certification, and maybe even a Master's degree if my location has a joint program with a local university. If I do go that route, I'm interested in a Master's in Public Administration (or Education Policy, haven't figured out the specifics). It's reassuring at least knowing that I'm building enthusiasm toward a career in public school administration.

To me, making a plan is reassuring, rather than being anxiety inducing as it may be for other people. But of course, I am not without my doubts. Once again, there's anxiety about over-promising and under-delivering, but this is the goal I've set myself to work towards and I am putting in the effort to make it happen. I also realize that this decision to work hard for one more semester feels like falling into the trap of once again thinking, "After this thing happens, I will be happy." I'm not yet sure how to confront this one, but I'm ready to pursue personal growth and character development, even if it may be painful. With little over a month left of Spring 2017 and so much yet to happen, there's nothing to do but try my best and embrace it, come what may. ◊

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