Renaissance Woman

Hello everyone and happy Thursday to you all. It is currently 12:29 am and I am frivolously typing away on my keyboard, my sleep deprived eyes drooping every few clicks of the keys.

My entire life I have never wanted to do one thing. I have never been that girl who has wanted to be a surgeon or a teacher or an artist since she was 6 years. I wasn’t that girl who applied to two schools because they had the major she wanted and great internship and job opportunities, pertaining to her major, upon graduation.

I was the girl who wanted to be a princess, an artist, an actress, a writer, a  mathematician, an actuary, a business woman, a world traveler, a math teacher, a nutritionist, a marine biologist, an english teacher, and so many more by the time she was 18. I applied to over 15 schools because I couldn’t make up my mind about anything.

I always used to think this was because nothing interested me. I was a depression filled, anxiety ridden teen, who couldn’t be wooed by one thing or another.

It wasn’t that nothing interested me, it’s that everything interests me. There is not one thing I can see myself doing for the rest of my life, not because I want to do nothing, but because I want to do everything. I want to star in a hollywood production, see the aurora borealis, do someone’s taxes, invent something, learn about animals, and help a struggling teenager get into college.

There isn’t one job that fits me. I am a puzzle piece that fits into every puzzle while simultaneously doesn’t fit into any.

I think I keep thinking about this because I don’t want to transfer again. I need to pick Ohio or DePaul and I need to pick one soon. My grandfather keeps pressuring me to visit DePaul, call DePaul, look at DePaul’s website and so on, and it is making me want to rip my hair out.

What happens if I pick DePaul and then want to do something else with my life that DePaul doesn’t offer? Or if the same thing happens at Ohio.

As I lay in my blanket burrito, and as my anxious thoughts completely take over me, I wonder… why does no one else have this problem? Why did every single person I know apply to 5 or less colleges and then just pick one? No one transfered, no one waited until April 30th to make an admission decision, no one is laying in their bed, two years later trying to find a new school so they don’t make the same mistakes they had made two years prior.

The only sounds I hear are of a dog snoring next to me in bed (we are only watching her for a week… unfortunately) but inside my head is like a Final Four March Madness game.

Everyone keeps telling me that it doesn’t matter where you go to school, but let’s be honest… it does. I have to like it, it has to be affordable, and they have to have a major(s) that I like and want to pursue.

I like both schools and  once I get financial aid we will talk about affordability. However, the latter, the majors are what I’m coping with. The difference in majors along with my inability to make a commitment and stand by it are the reasons I am still up at 12:48am with a loud and messy head.

I keep weighing the pros and cons. Both schools have pros. Both have cons. Both pros outweigh the cons and there isn’t one that stands out to me. I think I need to just go to DePaul one day and then see if I can get back to Ohio for a few days to really see if I can picture myself on either campus.

Sorry for all the rambling but writing is my way of thinking.

On the bright side, just about 2 weeks till Peru. I have begun packing, and am talking to a girl about going to Machu Picchu over Easter. Half of my life is stressing about college and the other half is pure joy about going to Peru and volunteering. I guess that’s compromise for you…

Alicia

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What do you want to be when you grow up?

I was babysitting for my neighbor’s kids the other day and as she got home, she asked me if I had picked my major for school. When I told her chemical engineering, her jaw almost dropped. When she finally spoke and asked why, I told her it’s because I’ve always been good with math and science and I’ll get a job easily. She then asked me if I enjoyed it. All of my extracurriculars had involved the things I liked doing (photography, writing, design, leadership) , not what I was known to be best at (math and science). So, what do I really want to be when I grow up?

We all can recall the first time we heard this question. When our teachers asked us this question, our eager 5 and 6-year-old faces lit up as boys shouted president and firefighter and girls exclaimed princess and nurse.

Sadly, I haven’t been asked what I want to do with my life recently. People just assume I will do something in the math and science field or something international (I’ve taken spanish since I was in 5th grade) because these are things I have always been known for excelling at.

In the past 3 years, no one has asked me what I want to do with my life. My aunt and uncle are both engineers, and have instilled the notion that being an engineer is the best thing for me to do because I’m good at math and science and can make a ton of money. One of their friends told their children that they can study whatever they want, after they get an engineering degree. Why? Because engineering makes you the most money.

Why don’t they ask us that when we grow up? Why don’t they ask us what we want to do when we’re choosing our college or university? Why is it, that we’re so obsessed with money and how much we will make? When did making money earn a spot above being happy and enjoying our job?

People tell me what I need to do. I couldn’t decide on a major, so I just said international business so I could put something down on my applications. I never wanted to do business, everyone around me wanted me to. Because I would make money.

Now that I have changed universities, and majors, everyone around me wants me to major in chemical engineering. Why? Because I will be a woman engineer, will get first priority on jobs, and will make money.

Since when did society decide that how much money we make in our lives is more important than how we live our lives? I never wanted to major in business. And I don’t want to major in engineering now. So, what do I do? Do I major in something that makes me happy, maybe never get a job in that field? Or do I live a miserable life of an engineer and have all the money I could ever need?

I’m not too much of a sap but I do believe that we’re here for a reason. We were not born to work 40 hours a week just to be miserable and then go home and be too tired and aggravated with our lives to be happy around our loved ones. Not saying my aunt and uncle aren’t happy. They get ample time off, sabbaticals, and have so much money that they go on multiple cruises every year.

But, why can’t I do that while doing something I love? I don’t want to have kids, hell I might not even get married. I just want it to be my dogs, maybe a goat, and myself. I want a nice house of course, and a nice car, but at the end of the day, when I’m on my deathbed, looking back on my life, am I going to remember the audi and the million dollar house that I had, or am I going to remember my job, where I spent most of my waking hours, my friends and colleagues that I met at that job, and all of the experiences outside of my house?

Shit, I want to do something I love, but the second I said I even considered switching my major to biology and them getting my masters in marine biology, my parents couldn’t have said the words “what about chemical engineering” faster. Why? They just want me to make money and be successful.

When did we define success as how much money you make at the end of the day? Why can’t success be something less materialistic? Why can’t we define success as something worth living for, something great? Something like how many friends I had, how many new places I visited, how much I enjoy my job? Why is success just money and power? When did we all agree that this is what society is going to be, and, why wasn’t I a part of this conversation?

So, what do I want to be when I grow up? Since I’ve started blogging, I have rekindled my love for writing. I love writing, being able to put all of my feelings down on paper, or on the blogosphere. It’s calming and I love seeing how my writing has progressed through time. I love animals. I would love to live on a farm with rehab animals and just help them escape lives of abuse, violence, etc. I would have farm animals, house animals, exotic animals, anything really. I would love, cherish, and care for each and every one of them. I love design. Over the summer. My life is a nonstop HGTV marathon. I love critiquing, agreeing and adding my own opinions on what I would do with each house, room, etc. I love yearbook. My entire highschool career was centered around my school’s yearbook, and although it may have caused me to turn gray early, I loved that class and I can’t imagine my life without it. And, now that I am not active in my school’s yearbook, I miss it. I love the mind. My entire life has been filled with mental illnesses and trying to understand the mind, why can’t I try to help others understand their minds as I have been trying to understand my own?If I could do any one of these things with my life, it would be grand. But, STEM is the way of the future and despite what you want/ like to do with your life, none of it matters if you can’t make money.

Everyone always tells you to never major in journalism, communications, psychology, philosophy. Basically nothing in the school of arts and letters. Major in business, major in STEM. Why? We need people in those fields, or else that major wouldn’t exist. We need biologists, we need therapists, we need writers, we need designers. Why can it be the other person. Why can’t it be me?

So, here we are. I spent countless nights crying myself to sleep because of how stressed I was, how stressed I was because I couldn’t find a major that suited me. And now, here we are, staring blankly at my ceiling wondering why I couldn’t have just picked something I enjoyed all along.

Talk to you all soon,

Alicia

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