One of my biggest struggles throughout college is trying to figure out what exactly I want to be when I grow up. My parents don’t have a business to hand down to me, I never stayed in phase long enough to find a career in it; going over my strengths and weaknesses over and over in my makes it hard to find something that seems fitting.
Currently, I’m stuck between becoming a teacher or a guidance counselor. When I transferred to SDSU, I wanted to be a teacher. That’s about three years now of considering the profession. I’ve even changed my major (for the fourth time) to better suit my possible future of being an English teacher, preferably an intro class to literature or creative writing.
I love the thought of being able to teach a class that the majority of students hate. Everyone seems to think English class is all about writing essays, which quite frankly, it is. But that’s not all it’s about! Critical thinking and analysis are hugely important concepts that can help you throughout your future. Learning/knowing correct grammar makes anyone look and sound better. And one of my favorite quotes falls perfectly here: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” I find this quote to be so accurate. When you find a book that completely submerges you into the lives of the characters, there’s no letting go of the book. I’ll forever carry the love of Scott Fitzgerald for Daisy, carry the passion and zest for like Elizabeth Gilbert has in Eat Pray Love, remember about the kids in the series The Boxcar Children – the first series I ever read on my own and the books that started my love for reading. Someone who has read Harry Potter, Mary Barton, and Brain on Fire carry all of these different experiences with intimate detail that you can’t get from a movie, or from never having read at all.
English class can also teach you about politics, the media, and history. If it weren’t for reading Macy Shelley’s Frankenstein, I would have never known about her friendship with Lord Byron (who is one of the biggest poets from the romantic period). If it weren’t for books like Chicken Soup, I would have never learned from others mistakes, experiences, and loss. If it weren’t for books by Jane Austen, Mary Shelley, or Virginia Wolf I wouldn’t know about the struggles women went through on a first hand basis (all you’d know is what they’ve taught us in history classes).
But this is where the counseling comes in, another huge reason I want to be an English teacher is to be able to have office hours and help kids figure out their futures, remind them that high school is only four years not forever.
And then there’s the huge part of me that loves academic advising.
Having people (whether they be friends or family or coworkers) come to me for advise on what to do with school; what classes to take, what major best suits them, what degrees they should aim for, what school to go to – it gives me butterflies, fills me with happiness, and all those other cheesy phrases. I literally thrive in this conversation. Even if I know they’re only taking my opinion into consideration, or I was easy dropping and invited myself into an unwelcome conversation, I know what I’m talking about.
I began community college without the slightest clue as to what I wanted to do with my life or what major I wanted to join. Since then, six years later, I’ve changed my minor four times, added a minor, taken classes I thought qualified for general ed that ended up being useless, having to retake classes I didn’t so well in, and God knows what else I’ve done to get here. I didn’t even get into SDSU on my first try! I was denied accepted, then appealed on the purpose that I’ve worked for the same company for the last six years, and some how managed to get in on appeal.
All of these things are valuable not only to my college experiences but to others who don’t know what to do, how to transfer, or are just starting out and want some sort of a guide – which I wish I’d had when I first started.
As much as this post sounded like a complete ramble, this is exactly how my thought process is right now. I want to teach a subject I love and am passionate about, but I want to help people transition through school and help them understand what exactly they’re doing. I know I have a strength in working with smaller groups and a weakness in standing in front of crowds.
But can one weakness knock out an entire list of strengths?