Monday, July 31, 2006

What do I want to do when I grow-up?

I keep thinking that WOW--I should be finishing grad school right now. Unfortunately for circumstances beyond my control I wasn't mentally and emotionally able to pursue grad school fresh out of undergrad. I thought that would be find since for my chosen career I need substantial experience as well as education. However now I'm so ready to pursue further education and realize there is not time like the present. I keep thinking "What do I want to do when I grow-up?" And then I hear a voice within me saying, "Good Morning Dollface--you are grown-up, now what?"

It's a horrible realization that I don't think I really know what I want to do with forever besides spend it with J (Awww, I know!). What I thought I always wanted to do has changed...several times.

I used to think that I wanted my MS in College Student Personnel. This came from being super involved on campus as an undergraduate and loving what the Graduate Student Advisors with my organizations did. That has slowly dwindled when I think that pursuing that means always living in a city with a college that has need for such positions. And fighting all that daily college stuff but without the extended holidays and summers off. I hadn't really thought about that option in awhile and was definitely assured of that as I visited campus today for an appointment. DO I HAVE THREE HEADS? I totally felt like I was being stared at and that I didn't fit in. My goodness I only graduated two little years ago.

Another option that I always wanted to pursue was getting my MS in Public Relations, which was my undergraduate major. It would be simple and easy (as simple and easy as possible) since I have all the prereqs and that kind of work comes really naturally for me. UT also has a magazine writing program which I think is amazing. I always wanted to write for a magazine. I wanted to start with a trendy magazine for young girls such as YM. Is that still around? It was my favorite magazine as a teen. Then I thought I'd move up to something like Elle, Glamour, Lucky, or Domino. From there I'd move over to Better Homes and Gardens, Real Simple, or Southern Living. Finally, I'd end up with Parents, or Child. Yeah, I had it all figured out. So I haven't ruled out the PR/Writing option, but since I already have a background in that do I want to change it up a bit?

So my final option is School Counseling. If I were to write a short manifesto of the escapades I was exposed to as a child and adolescent, they'd probably give me a MS in School Counseling! I do love children, I'm into the counseling thing, could be a nice fit. It opens doors for social work type fields as well as being a guidance counselor. I could be around kids but not in a full time setting. It has a great schedule for when I have my own children and is a position where I feel as if I'd be making a difference. Plus I could be a cheer/tennis coach! How fun! With further classes and licensure processes I could also move into being a teacher if that is what I wanted to do. I would love to teach creative writing classes to students. (See--everything goes back to writing! I love it! Simply love it!)

So what is a girl to do? With working a full time job it will roughly take a million years to complete my MS. In addition if I'm doing it through UT (most likely given my geographical location and my love for all things orange) what if they change the program and it adds extra years. J and I have talked about my going part time for a couple years and he'll be finished with his MBA. From there I could go to school full time and finish in just one more year.

What I do know is this. I. Do. Not. Like. Working. In. The. Summertime! Summertime is meant to be doing stuff that isn't working. Hence the school counseling option looks very viable because (drum roll please) I have summers off! In addition that means when I have children I would work about 180 days per year (Thanks for that stat Mrs. Bex!) and be able to be at home with them a lot.

Which raises other questions. Will I be a stay-at-home-mom? I know everyone reading this is shouting a big, emphatic "YES!", but I really don't know. I feel as if I have to be doing something. I want to feel as if I'm contributing something to my family besides raising kids and also to society, besides raising kids (i.e. I can have my own secret checking account and since I have a job won't feel like I have to be the one to do the laundry all the time! wink, wink!) . I feel like working part-time would make me happier than being a stay-at-home-mom. It would be easier to work part-time with the PR degree/magazine writing emphasis. However, having and educators schedule is basically the same thing but different format.

Since having children and being a mother is very important to me, I really want to think about what is best for me and my family as J and I grow up (that's right, up, not old!) together, have children, and move on to other places in our lives. Who knows where we will even be in a couple of years? His job could take us a variety of places and I want to be able to be flexible in what I pursue. That being said, I think my above options are flexible.

As T2 says no matter how long it takes I'm going to be the same person this time next year and the year after that. I can either be where I am now or taking steps closer to goals and graduate degrees. That T2! She's so smart.

Search for "what I want to do with the rest of my life, " is that a Google option?

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