Is It Too Late to Start Over?

5:42 AM

I did this last time. I thought that going to online school would fulfill all my academic dreams, and thus didn't think about college until last second senior year. Last second was enough time to get into my dream school.

Here I am, a junior in college, suddenly realizing that car insurance, school bills, and the cute house on Howder Street need paying. With money. My money. My money provided by a job that I'll hold down longer than a summer break.

Ready or not, here comes the rest of my life.

"When I grow up" is right around the corner. I keep wanting to say "when I grow up," "after I finish school," "someday." In a little over a year, I'll be saying, "Now that I'm grown up," "now that I've finished school," and "now." As in, "today."

Nobody prepared me for the transition from dreaming about your future to living it. And when did dreams become so expensive?

I pursued a Christian studies degree because #liberalarts and #followyourdreams. Actually, I put more thought, money, and effort into my degree than a couple of hashtags. In some ways, though, the me who decided on my degree feels as far back and slightly immature as a teenager on Instagram. I didn't pay any bills then. I didn't own a car. I didn't drain my bank account. I didn't know then that a degree needs to translate into a job unless I want to flip burgers or put away Depends for the rest of my career.

Working an entry-level job is good. It's just good to work. It makes me reorganize my time, makes me realize that I need to get up earlier if I want to write, chat with friends, and work eight hours. And I work a good job -- my coworkers are the best, my boss is awesome, and I get three breaks for when my knees starting aching.

I just don't want to do it forever. I'm a creative. I want to write. I want to think. I want to talk with people. I didn't really know that I wanted to do that until after working my entry-level job.

Because of a brilliant and kind roommate, I got a recommendation for a job at my school -- a special projects writer for the Hillsdale website. That excites me beyond belief. I can do this. I can write things and interview people and tell stories. I can sit in an office cubicle dressed in heels and a blazer. I can send emails and take phone calls. Hopefully I won't have to do much phone calling.

The thing is, only at Hillsdale College can a Christian studies major land a job as a special projects writer. Every internship for which I apply, every job I look up on those monstrosities called job sites -- they all require a B.A. in Communications, in Marketing, in something more obviously related to writing than a couple English classes and a dissertation on hope in Protestant theology.

Is it too late to start over?

Except...I wouldn't want to start over. I wouldn't want to trade my education for something more lucrative. {insert spiel about the benefits of a liberal arts education} I love the choices I've made, even though the future looks rough and entry-level. Time to do more Google searches, take a trip to career services, and dream a new dream -- one that aligns with what I'm actually created to do.

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3 impressions

  1. Aw. This makes me sad because you're so old. :(
    Never fear. If you don't find an internship, you can just stay with me for the rest of your life.

  2. No need to start over. You will get to where you are supposed to be and do what you were created to do. It just might be by a different, and perhaps more circuitous, route than expected. I am a Data Engineer with an English degree, so I know whereof I speak. ;-)


    P.S. That special projects writer job will give you experience that will make up a lot for a tangentially related major. Congratulations!

  3. I have a writing job that sounds very similar to what you're talking about, and I don't have a degree in communications or anything related. Once you've got the Hillsdale job on your resume, most employers won't care which classes you took in college. Good writing samples and hands-on experience say a lot more about what you can do.

    Best of luck, Olivia


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