Twenty years old, a third-year (that's "junior" for you normal people) at a prestigious university that some would probably kill to get into, and the reality is beginning to set in that I may, in fact, end up working at the 7-11. (If I'm lucky.) Because today I decided to, as my brother put it, "abandon ship," which is to say I am withdrawing from the School of Education at my university and have absolutely no idea where to go from here. (You can see the flaw in my plan, or lack thereof.) The School of Education is a renowned teacher education program which I excitedly applied to (there was a form and everything- very official) that would have earned me a Masters in teaching, complete with an in-demand profession, a bright future, and summers off. But I turned all that down in a fleeting moment of clarity during my first real Education class when I suddenly found myself thinking, "What am I doing here?"
Finally I let myself think all the terrifying thoughts I had suppressed since my entry into the Education School: I don't want to teach. I hate speaking in front of people. High schoolers scare me. Kids these days have guns and knives and homophobia and misdirected resentment for authority figures. And I don't do well with children, so that rules out elementary ed. (They're cute, but they're like aliens to me. I just don't understand them. Which is odd, since I was one. But I digress.) And as I'm thinking THIS WAS A HORRIBLE IDEA and trying not to burst into tears, which would no doubt alarm the friendly new acquaintance sitting next to me whom I've just learned from another ridiculous getting-to-know-you exercise (the Ed School loves these) has a brother and thinks blue is an above-average color, I feel a sense of relief come over me. And I don't care what my sweet and diminutive professor is saying because I will never come back to this class again. And I will never take the boring American History 201 class that they required I take IN ORDER TO TEACH SPANISH. (Seriously- how ridiculous is that?)
My startling realization brought on a new wave of panic as I contemplated what do I do now? So you're an Ed School dropout. Now what? This wouldn't be an issue if I was a naive young freshman with my whole college career ahead of me and semesters worth of fucking-up to do, or even a spry-but-weathered sophomore, but, no. I am over the halfway point. And classes started yesterday. This means that all the nice classes I would now be free to take are already beyond full of smart, happy little people who know exactly what they're doing with their lives. And then there's me: jumping off the boat without a raft or an island or even a floating door like in 'Titanic.' And it would appear I do not know how to swim because I'm drowning in this enormous ocean, but at least I won't miss 'The Office' every Thursday this semester because my Thursday night class has just become irrelevant, along with 5 of my 11 other credits for the semester and 8 of my credits from last year.
I tell myself, lots of Spanish majors graduate and find jobs and become successful. Surely there will be a job for me somewhere. (And don't call me Shirley.) I mean, it's not like the economy is bad or anything...
So this is the story of how I found myself suddenly without a future and how my college conspired against me.