Well, after attending the Southern Literary Festival in Nashville, Tennessee, I was encouraged to start a blog- here goes nothing!
Following your dreams is something I've always struggled with because I have always been a very free floating spirit who cannot decide on what ‘dream’ to follow.' My interests are too many and far between to really settle on one thing, but right now, I have to make a decision on various opportunities given to me.
Graduation is 11 days from today, which leaves me feeling like a damsel in distress, staring at the face of an oncoming, high speed train. I, so far, do not have a job lined up for this summer, but I will be moving to one of three places in early August. Honestly, I haven't really pursued looking into it as much as I should due to family health issues, three weddings, a wedding to help plan, and my pending second knee surgery all during this summer. On top of that, I have glorious beach vacation, and I have to move out of my apartment, which has been home to me for the past year and a half.
Alas, I do have options for after this summer, but choosing which path to take is my unfortunate challenge. Life, so far, has presented me with three options for after graduations, which are as follows-
1. I have been accepted to Western Carolina University's Clinical Mental Health Counseling graduate program. This would temporarily land me in Cullowhee/Asheville N.C. While this program would encompass my love to help others, I have some major doubts about doing this as a profession. I’m afraid of losing the compassionate, empathetic side to me that I greatly value. While this is an ideal location, the program is just the opposite for financial reasons. Considering I live outside of the glorious state of North Carolina, my tuition would run up to the substantial sum of about $60,000 for 2 years
Yes, $60,000. There is no way on the precious Lord's green Earth I can afford that, even after receiving my graduate degree. You may go ahead and zoom in on my empty wallet, if you wish.
2. My second option is The University of Richmond's Paralegal Law program. I would not have to pay out of state tuition, it is really affordable, includes a trip to Ireland, and it would only take me a year to complete. The starting salary out of this program would be double the starting salary of the previous, and it is incorporating all of the things that I love about English. Due to my profound interest in international, government, family, and cyber law, this could be a really great route to law school in the future. Yes, that would probably burn a hole in my already empty wallet, but paying student loans back wouldn't be quite so difficult after law school. The pros certainly outweigh the cons, so it looks like I actually may be moving to Virginia in August.
3. My third option is North Georgia College & State University's Counseling program. I just received an invitation in the mail requesting my presence at the faculty/potential grad student interview. This is not the most ideal location or program for me, but I really like keeping my options open.
I'm guessing you're wondering the actual point of this entry, aren't you?
Here it is. Read carefully.
At the beginning of this academic year, I truly underestimated myself and my potential; I didn't want to apply for graduate school because I did not think that I would get in, the G.R.E scared the living heck out of me, and I didn't believe that I was smart enough, period. Basically, I wanted to save myself from embarrassment. Well, low and behold, a fire was lit, and I got into grad school, have an option for a career in law, did surprisingly well on the G.R.E, and discovered that I'm actually pretty smart for a person with varying degrees of learning difficulties.
I got over my fears and reached out for opportunities.
People get discouraged and have difficulties believing in themselves. You have to have faith and confidence in yourself to succeed. Some opportunities arise, while others, like in my case, have to be sought out. Either way, believing in yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself life, even when your path darkens at times.
Believing doesn't cost a thing.
In the words of one of my professors (which I believe the idea might have been stolen from Jason Mraz)-
Take a leap. A net will always catch you, no matter what you decide.