Friday, September 26, 2014

SENIOR YEAR

Three years ago, I was just getting ready to start classes at Western Washington University. At times, it feels like it was just yesterday. Other times it feels like it was ages ago.

Yesterday was my first day of my last year of school. I know, I know, it's so stereotypical, blah blah blah, but I'm so thankful for the opportunities that college has brought me. As a first-generation college student, I didn't really know what to expect out of college, but I'm so glad I came here.

When I was young, I wanted to be a doctor. I didn't know what kind of work that entailed until I got older, so eventually I switched my goal to be a nurse. In high school, I went through a phase where I wanted to study photography and go to art school but realized that wasn't exactly doable. Then, I came to Western thinking I wanted to study environmental science (boy, was that short-lived) and eventually switched back to biology, with the hopes of becoming a nurse after school.

I took chem classes, bio classes and math classes and my grades suffered. I sucked at chemistry, biology was interesting (but really hard) and math is just... math. I couldn't picture myself graduating with that degree but I also couldn't picture myself graduating with anything else.

Then my dad got sick. Really sick. I dealt with this during school, and again, my grades suffered. Finally, before the second week of winter quarter of my sophomore year (and what was going to be my hardest quarter yet) I got a phone call from my mom saying I needed to come home immediately because dad wasn't doing well.

Two days later, I dropped all of my classes for the quarter. I knew what was going to happen. My dad was going to die, and I wasn't going to be able to focus on class. I was right; he did die. That's easily the hardest thing I've ever had to go through in my life, especially as a 19-year-old college student.

However, in the weeks that I sat at home recovering, I realized something needed to change. I couldn't continue with these classes that made me unhappy. I had adopted a new perspective on life — you've gotta do what makes you happy. My dad had always engrained that in me, but balanced it with a "as long as you can make a living" mindset. I signed up for a few easy classes that seemed to be more in my niche for the quarter that I returned to school; art (well, technically visual dialogue), art history and newswriting. I heard all these classes were pretty easy to get an A in, so I was excited.

I didn't expect what would happen next. Newswriting became one of my favorite classes. It was interesting and I was good at it. I searched through the journalism department website and noticed that one of the options was a visual journalism major.

Visual journalism had everything I wanted in a major. It had the writing aspects and the artsy aspects. This was everything I never knew I wanted.

Now, a year and a half later, I'm nearly done. I've yet to take a class within the major that I didn't like. I don't expect that I'll dislike any, but for now, I'm enjoying every second. You know how they say that doing work that makes you happy isn't really work? I'm finding that it's true.


Fall quarter 2011


Fall quarter 2012


Fall quarter 2013 (and my first published story!)



Aaaand there's me on my last first day of school (Fall quarter 2014). It got a ton of likes on Facebook. I felt pretty proud.

Side note: I was scrolling through old emails a few months ago and found that in response to an email of me whining about how hard chem was, my dad suggested I switch to journalism before I even realized I wanted to do that myself. Funny how that works.

In nine months, I'll be done with school. I have no idea what I'll do then, but I guess that's part of the adventure. Maybe I'll move across the country. Maybe I'll move across the world. Maybe I'll stay in my cozy little Bellingham bubble.

For now, I'll just take life as it comes.

xo,
allie

3 comments:

  1. Brilliant post- I'd love to go to collage one day. Hope you enjoy the rest of the year! x

    Beauty Soup || UK Beauty Blog

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  2. Hope your quarter is going well! if you woke up late for class would you still have time for makeup or would you be too frazzled to bother and make a mad dash for campus?

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  3. It's crazy how quickly time flies, and it only seems to go faster and faster now that I've graduated. For some reason it never clicked for me that you're up in Bham! My best friend is finishing up her last term there this quarter, and my baby niece is just starting out her college experience at The Ridge o_o

    Really glad you were able to find a major that you enjoy so much (and the best of luck to you as you pound out this last year)! Life is too short to not be spent living.
    ♡Em

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