Sometimes I hate hoping…

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Like mah buddy and partner in crime, I’m also working toward getting into school this upcoming (spring) semester.  Like her, the first digit in my age is a 3.  Like her, I’m aiming toward the local community college.  Like her, the biggest thing standing in my way in the past is the fact that even with a 3 in my age, I have no idea what I really want to do when I grow up.

More specifically, I’m afraid anything I DO in school will be aiming me toward something I don’t like after all.  At which point I’ll be stuck with something I dislike as well as saddled with the pile of debt it took getting there.

She has a direction she’s moving, something she’s going for, something…  I honestly think she’s going to do really well with.

I have the eternal indecision, where I’m telling myself to go the safe route, or go the easy route, or not take chances, risks or anything else and just give up.

Currently I’m researching starting the nursing track.  PVCC has a good (though intense) program which you can use to either leave after 2 years with your RN or use their handshake agreement with UVA to slide into the nursing program there.  I wouldn’t likely meet the requirements to start that program in the Spring, I’d need at least a semester to get myself caught up with the requirements before entering the program.  (Also, I still don’t know if I could start in the spring, or if the program requires a fall start date.)  Either way, it works out.  It’s also the safe choice.  Nursing is a field I can pretty much guarantee I’ll be able to find employment in.  It’s hard, but it’s not too hard.  I’ve worked as a hospital volunteer in the past (candy striping all through high school) and I enjoyed working in a hospital environment, particularly the oncology floor.  Wanting to be an oncology nurse would also likely make me more hireable.  People want to deal with babies, not with the fact that you’re around people who die.

It’s the safe choice, and… it’s not a bad one.

It’s just not a choice which excites me…  Should I even be worrying about being excited about a future career at this point?  Or should I just be doing it because… enough with the slacking already.

Then there’s the hard choice… the scary choice.  I love history and languages.  I love doing research.  I love going off on power rants about Mesopotamian religion (I’m currently playing Planescape…  Ishtar is listed as being NG and living on Elysium.  I call bullshit), or waxing poetic about my love of the Epic of Gilgamesh (I love it.  I can’t help it.)  The history of the Middle East, specifically Fertile Crescent-era, is a series of awesome building on awesome.  (Seriously, did you know that the first record of someone writing in the first person was En-hedu-ana, a priestess of Inanna/Ishtar.  Girl pride!)  I want to learn more.  I want to read Babylonian.  I want to learn to speak Farsi.  And…  while I can do that here (UVA being a major university and all) it’s… risky.  Future employment will likely be solely in the academic world (unless I want to get a job with the gubmint doing translations or something) which is…  scary competitive.  Additionally, I would likely be in school at least 8 years before becoming employable with it.  And…  I’m afraid I’m just not smart enough.

This is likely not aided by the fact my sister in law is a super-genius Harvard PhD student in a quasi-related field.

Hi, my name is Marianne, and I have an inferiority complex.  I also sometimes hate David for encouraging me to take risks, to try, to potentially fall flat on my face.

Ugh, I just don’t know.  I’m so good at talking myself out of things, out of risks specifically, and just curling up in a ball of DO NOT WANT and..

You know what, I’m just talking myself in circles and not resolving anything on my end.  I’m just going to end this now.

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3 responses »

  1. Why does one preclude the other?

    Why not do nursing as your “major” and take the other classes all as elective? Sure, it’ll beef up your student loans, but the one thing I truly regret about my college years was not taking more fun classes.

    Not because I regret my career, but because I had the CHANCE and I didn’t take it. Even if you got a career in nursing, there’s no reason you can’t also learn all those other things you want to know, is there? Aside from time and money?

    A job in nursing isn’t necessarily exiting, but neither is a job in academics, to be honest. With teaching, you can love the SUBJECT and not love the TEACHING, if that makes sense. I have a friend with a polysci degree who is having a very hard time with the job hunt, but even when he did have a teaching gig, he was constantly unhappy with the school politics and apathetic students.

    Which isn’t to say you should avoid shooting for your dream – simply that you’re right – finding your dream job even when you are in possession of your dream skillset isn’t easy.

    Both are entirely possible dreams. One is, as you noted, a more obvious gimme of a career. In your shoes, I would take the safe route, but pepper it with classes in my dream career, and spend a lot of time job-hunting to get experience with that dream career. =]

    • Unfortunately, one precludes the other, which is where part of my angst comes from. When I say the nursing program is intense, I mean that literally. It’s a program track, where you’re spending a fulltime courseload just on that. Meaning, once I stop with the precursors and declare myself a nursing student, that’s my option. :\

  2. Nothing says you can’t be a nurse and pursue other areas of study as a hobby.

    I know pretty much exactly how you feel, though. Not that this will come as a surprise to you. This post reminds me, though, that I need to update my own blog about my progress toward school.

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