The Next Steps


I was having some major dejavu. There I was, again, sitting in my favorite college professor’s office fretting about life- my career path, classes I needed, where I would be in a year, my relationships, etc. This particular professor has a gift at making you reflect and analyze till nothing and everything seems right- all at the same time.

But, I wasn’t his student anymore. I’ve been two years removed from him. In fact, it had been a year since I had seen or even communicated him last. This was just supposed to be a surprise catch up after a horrible interview for what I thought was my dream job.

That dream job was something I have secretly prayed for over the last, classroom-free year. The more and more that I watch old college friends get teaching job after teaching job, my heart breaks a little more. It’s not jealousy, it’s a mix of nostalgia. I truly miss my time as a teacher. It ended too soon.

The last year sans-teaching has been a strange bag. I find myself living with a boyfriend in a better neighborhood and taking the L to my job as a program assistant in a graduate program. I’ve been taking on more and more for my job, becoming oddly comfortable with terms like biomaterials and can easily distinguish between your biology and engineering undergrad courses. Oh, and I’m running a half marathon in 4 days. I could call it a 180, but that would be stupid. It’s more of a 120.

My life, oddly enough, feels as if it should. I’m perfectly content living a little above paycheck to paycheck at a job while dealing with the emotional toll that is my post undergrad years.

But, as I found myself grasping at straws in that interview, I kept thinking… what if? What if I was still teaching? OR What if I got this job? What would my life be like? Would I miss living in the city and utilizing public transportation to read smutty romance novels in the morning? Would B and I be happy, or would I be stressed to the max with RTIs and lesson plans? Could I have a dog, if I wanted?


I gave myself twelve hours to mope over it- to pretend that I was a failure because I wasn’t teaching for another year. And then I got to planning the NEXT STAGE of my life.

This stage includes working on my Masters.

I’ve been hesitant. I wanted to make sure that my job, which provides beyond excellent tuition benefits, was right for me, and somewhere I could continue to work while in school. After thinking over how not getting that dream job wasn’t as depressing as it should have been, I realized that the job I have now is what I make it. I could keep at this for another two-three years. And if I need to, I can explore other options at the university.

So. I’m making it official. I’m looking in to grad school so I can begin phase 2. This is the right time, and I’m ready to make that next step. I filled out the majority of my application this morning with the hope of being admitted for the winter quarter.

I’d normally write that “I hope I’m ready,” but I am. It’s time.



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