I don’t think anyone can properly prepare for graduation. You can take all the right classes, secure the high profile internships and fill your resume with campus leadership experiences but none of that prepares you for making your first career moves.
As a senior strategic communications and Spanish major, I am currently on the so-called job hunt. It’s more of a battle than a hunt to me. A month-long, exhausting, soul-searching, insecurity-filled, exciting battle that exposes you to feelings you’ve never experienced before.
I consider myself a self-reflective person, which has both helped and made this process all the more difficult. I came into college not quite sure of what I wanted to study. I jumped around a bit, from exploratory to journalism to finally landing on strategic communications and Spanish. All the while, a little, persistent and sometimes quote annoying voice kept putting the thought of education in my mind. I suppressed it, forged ahead with my public relations and advertising classes. Writing press releases, analyzing advertising campaigns, working with local clients to secure media coverage and eventually executing a semester-long campaign for a local non-profit. Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed every last bit of it. I love developing ideas and projects into full-blown creative and strategic campaigns. But the ever-present voice was there and was starting to get louder. “Explore education” “Teaching is the way to go”.
I compare it to that light in the distance that you see in those terror movies. You’re sitting on your couch at home cuddled under a blanket or at the movie theatre with your knees to your eyes saying ‘don’t go there you idiot’. But they do, they always do otherwise there wouldn’t be a story. So I went closer and closer to that light, started actually listening to the voice in my head and stopped hiding the feeling. I accepted that teaching is something I feel called to do and looked at all the opportunities that were out there.
Teach for America is a program that serves communities that need a little (some bigger than others) push to grow into the wonderful and innovative educational systems they can be. It’s transformative and wonderful and calls to me in all the right ways. So I applied and am currently preparing a lesson that I will teach at my final interview day in two weeks. I’m not sure where this path I’ve chosen to go down will lead. I’m excited and scared and nervous and inspired.
My favorite author, Shauna Niequist, sums it up best in her book Bittersweet. She writes about the twenty-something life and describes my emotions in an ‘I think you’re my soul-sister’ kind of way. I’m looking forward to what’s to come and enjoying this new learning process. I hope this quote resonates with you as much as it does me.
“Now is the time to figure out what kind of work you love to do. What are you good at? What makes you feel alive? What do you dream about? You can go back to school now, switch directions entirely. You can work for almost nothing, or live in another country, or volunteer long hours for something that moves you. There will be a time when finances and schedules make this a little trickier, so do it now. Try it, apply for it, get up and do it.” – Shauna Niequist
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