Why Not Being Sure About Where You’re Headed Is Okay!

As a first year freshman, the question I get the most is “what are you studying?” When I say fashion, merchandising, the next thing they ask is, “So you’re going to work at target your whole life?

It is pretty annoying to get opinions about your passion that are less than flattering. However, I am passionate about my decision to study fashion and follow one of my favorite things. Most people may not know what they want to, but that is okay! It is more than okay! It should be expected. How can you expect a person to know at 17/18, what they want to do with the rest of their lives? The formative years of college will help you decide what you are interested in. It is okay if you try something for a little while and decide in the end that it was the right choice. Changing your mind is fine and encouraged. You should never settle for what anyone else wants you to do! No matter who it is or what the history is, you should do what you need to do to be happy and follow your heart, even if it may not be able to make up its mind!

Moral of the story, do you. Find something you love, and go for it. Do not let anyone hold you back from doing what you are passionate about. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, model, chef, teacher, etc., try it out and find a career that is going to be satisfying to you intellectually and emotionally, over financially.

Xoxo,
Claire

When I grow up

When I Grow Up….

When I was growing up, I always wanted to be a banker. I honestly don’t really know why, but that’s what I always wanted to be. When my grade school teachers took all of the students on a field trip to the village area at the Magic House, I “applied” to be a banker. I knew banking meant that I got to do math and I really liked math at the time. I was formulate enough to be the “Banker Manager” at the Magic House for the field trip. We cashed all the other works play pay checks and taught the students how to fill out a deposit slip and write a check. This is one of my fondest memories from my childhood.

Continuing into middle and high school, I always excelled at math so I figured banking would be a safe bet and something that would always be needed. However, once I got into more complicated math, banking seemed less and less appealing to me.

After taking many more math classes, I realized I liked and wanted to continue with math, but not banking. My middle school opinion was that I did not want to sit at a computer all day with a calculator doing math. I found a passion for fashion as one may say, and out went the banker passion.

I still am fond of math and honestly find myself into crunching numbers quiet frequently. I am thankful for my initial interest because now I know how to calculate interest rates and things like that.

Now, as written in other posts of mine, I study fashion merchandising and I am hoping to be able to use my math skills as a buyer one day!

Whatever you decided to do as a career, even if you do not know when you make it to college, know you have time and people to help you. But, most importantly, pick a career that is going to be fulfilling and challenge you as well as maintain your interest for a few decades!

Xoxo,
Claire

When I Grow Up…

Interestingly enough, in 2nd grade my teacher asked us what we wanted to be when we grew up. And then she had us write a letter to our future selves and include our future job description. Then she said she would mail it to us some years down the road. I received the letter years later and past me wanted to be…a police officer! It’s a noble profession but I definitely don’t think I could do it today.

Growing up, I never had a realistic grasp on what I wanted to be or what I wanted to do. I had aspirations to be a police officer and then as the years went on I switched to dolphin trainer and then veterinarian. I love animals so a career path that included physically touching soft, furry animals seemed like a perfect fit. Then things started to get serious and I realized careers required hard work, dedication, and motivation.

Math, science, literature…I struggled with all of them. If I had to choose one, it would be literature (since I loved to read) but I wasn’t really passionate about it. When I found out I could turn my hapless doodling and drawing and creating into a career, I was ecstatic!

Even now, I can’t recall exactly when I made that decision to be an artist. In a manner of speaking, art chose me. It was the only thing I considered myself good at and it was something I loved to do. Art is a field that offers so many possibilities–and that’s the reason it works so well for me. Today, I have a better grasp on what I want to do but I also firmly believe that nothing is certain. There are so many different paths to take. Right now I’m a graphic designer but in a few years time, who knows?

As long as my job description requires me to create–anything!–then I’m satisfied.

Why should you come to Fontbonne?

Thinking about coming to Fontbonne? Here are some reasons why you should consider this lovely school!!!

1. It’s small. Unlike at a big school where the lectures have 75 students or so, Fontbonne is only a few thousand students, so the classes are like max 30 people. The professors have less students to know so it’s easier to get to know them and most likely you can get to know a lot of the students on campus!
2. It’s in a good area. There are plenty of things you can do while attending school here. Whether it’s going a few blocks down to Delmar to check out the loop, or going to the Galleria or Brentwood. It’s also a few blocks away from Forest Park where there’s tons of fun activities always going on. With winter coming up, the Steinberg skating rink will be opening soon too!!
3. There are a lot of major choices. Whether you’re looking into one of the education fields, nutrition, or something else, Fontbonne has a variety of academic choices.
4. It’s negative wind chill outside, snowing, and your professor still hasn’t cancelled class? Good thing the buildings are only 5 minutes away from each other!

Fontbonne is a nice little school with a big personality. That’s why you should considering coming to Fontbonne today!!

Mid-Life College Crisis

Last year, as a freshman I would hear professors tell me that it is common for people to switch majors in life at least once. I had not really believed my professors, in addition to my family members until that happened to me. When I started my college career I thought for sure that I had found the best major and knew that I could help people grow individually in a passionate way. I wanted to become a Speech-Language Pathologist since I had personally gone through language therapy as a child. I could give back my time personally to the greater community and allow other children know that they are not alone when having difficulties. Though slowly throughout the semester I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach that something was off, or uncertain about my life. During classes, especially one of my speech-language pathology classes, I would have those same thoughts, multiple times a day for multiple classes.  I knew something was off in my gut but I had no idea what was coming and when I would find out what this was.

Once the summer almost hit, I had a language evaluation conducted right on campus since we have resources available. I received the results and of course I was diagnosed with a language disorder that could not be treated just through therapy. Honestly it is complicated to explain as to why I cannot really receive therapy for growth but it is alright not completely understanding. So upon hearing this news and really talking to one of my favorite professors, I felt devastated, one of my dream job opportunities was being taken away from me it felt like and all I wanted to do was blame myself and blame the way I was born, since this is something I have had since I was a baby basically. I felt alone that entire summer, even though I was the light of the party whenever with friends and having a blast. I felt alone in regards to the fact that I did not know what I was going to do with the rest of my college career. What would I major in? What kind of career can I pursue to hopefully one day maybe raise a family? So many questions and yet no where near able to find answers. I am thankful for my sister to have helped me think through possibilities of what to major in reflecting upon my own interests – helping people.  Though through much time and patience, I really was able to find another major of interest that I completely and ultimately feel so comfortable in and actually enjoy my classes.  I have a sort of peace within myself now when I sit in classes and sit with confidence — no more doubt. I really understand now what my friends and family meant by how the switching of majors really does happen to everyone – and it is still okay. We are not alone.

Do what you love.

Coming into college, I was scared about picking a major right off that bat. However, I knew that I was really interested in English and it’s what I love to do. I now find myself writing essays about pieces of literature that interest me. I honestly couldn’t have picked a better major. I chose this major because I’m a certified book nerd. I won the reading student of the year award my senior year of high school, basically the book nerd of the year award. I have loved reading since I was little; it has become something that I’m super passionate about. Also, I chose this major because of the intensive writing courses. I love challenging myself when writing a paper. I love constructing a paper out of an idea in your head, then making it cohesive. It astounds me how one can use words to provoke a message and I love every minute of my major because of it. I love the material we read in my classes. Right now, we’re reading a novel and analyzing said novel. It’s amazing how you can view literature from a way and develop an idea about it. I love my professors in the major, they allow you to create your own ideas. They allow you to use your own words.

I’m a strong believer in doing what you love. If you love reading and writing and are passionate about it, I highly suggest you become an English major. It’s a lot of writing and hard work, but it’s all totally worth it. I’ve learned how to look at literature differently as an English major. I’ve learned that words are used deliberately and the author probably used it for a reason. Nothing is always something can be confusing in a way, but analyzing literature makes you look at the world differently. Literature is a direct link to our culture and society. You can develop ideas about both of those when you read a piece of literature. No literature is the same, each piece is unique. When reading a piece from the 1950’s, you will find something different than reading a poem from the 1800’s. Literature shows how the world has developed and changed. I’m done with my rant about how awesome my major is, but I really do recommend this major to anyone who loves to read.

I will leave you with a quote from Steve Jobs on the topic of doing what you love, have an awesome week!

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” -Steve Jobs

Why Professional Writing

I never really thought about why I changed to professional writing. I used to want to become a teacher, then it became too stressful. I have always enjoyed writing, mainly poetry and creative writing.The writing classes here have helped make my writing better. Dr. Sommer keeps asking me to put more detail in my writings so much, but I know that he wants me to succeed at writing. I am always writing something, from poetry, short stories, and journaling in general. Last semester, I wrote a short story for a class and one classmate asked if we wanted them published. So I am a published writer.

I Bet You Never Thought Your World Would Come to This.

As cliché as it may sound, if there’s one thing I’ve learned during the course of my time in college so far, it’s that this really is a time of self-discovery. If you had told the straight across bangs-sporting, ballet dancing, high school version of myself that once I went to university, I would quit ballet, start running, drastically change my diet a few times, wear some weird outfits (which make me cringe just thinking about them), and, just days before the second semester of my junior year is to begin, change my major, I would have never believed you. Alas, that is what’s happened. I favor running tights over pink, mesh Capezios now. The products of food science terrify me, so I eat plants instead. And, as of Friday, January 11, 2013, at around noon, I am no longer a dietetics major double-minoring in chemistry and biology. Rather, I am now a biology major, single-minoring in chemistry.

My winter break was pretty weird, thank you. It all began with a trip down memory lane that left me sad, confused, and more emotional than usual (I blame the influx of white sugar in my system for these feelings, however, due to too many holiday treats, but whatever.). After my finals, I drove back home to watch my old ballet school perform “The Nutcracker” as is done every other year. My old friend Lauren, who’s a senior this year, was dancing the lead of Sugar Plum, as I had my junior year in high school. As soon as she got out there, I burst into tears for unknown reasons. After the show, I continued to cry and hug her, like an insane member of her fan club or something. For some reason, anytime I thought about the show during the following weeks, my stomach began to churn. I lost my appetite, and almost lost my stomach contents as well on more occasions than I care to recall. I cried. And I couldn’t understand why.

I quit ballet my freshman year in college. There was this tiny voice in my head asking me, ““Hey Carly, do you really want to spend three days a week in a leotard surrounded by skinny twelve-year-olds who can fouette circles around you when you’re supposed to be a mature college student?” I was at one of the most prestigious ballet schools in St. Louis, and, because I wasn’t as good as the other dancers, was placed in, I kid you not, the twelve-year-old level. (They’re THAT good.) Something wasn’t right though. I wasn’t happy. I wanted to skip class. I wanted so desperately to move on with my life. So, feeling scared, I took the leap and left.

Fast-forward to my junior-year self, happy with my decision to leave ballet. I loved to run! I loved to bike! I loved food! I was a spectroscopy superstar (don’t be jealous)! Oh, what fun it is to discover your true self! But things weren’t all perfect. The little voice inside my head was back, as I worked on my dietetics homework. As I met with a partner for a group project. As I thought about the upcoming semester and the dietetics classes that I would be taking that I was secretly dreading. “Hey Carly, don’t you think you’d be better off doing something else?”

So over Christmas break, I began flirting with the voice yet again. It tempted me: “You quit ballet, and look at all of the good things that resulted. If you quit your major, who knows what good would result?” The voice hadn’t led me astray the first time, I reasoned, so why should I doubt its wisdom in this case? So, that Friday, I made the leap. Friday night a different voice led me to send a panicky email at midnight to my old advisor (titled “SOS” and marked with the urgent red exclamation mark…I was so not going to regret that message…) telling her I had made a mistake and, could I please come back to the dietetics department? But then, after days of crying and worrying, I’ve come up with an awesome list of all the things I’m passionate about and all of the dreams I hope to pursue as a professional someday. And I know that once again, the voice has led me back down the right path.

So. I’ve learned over the past five to seven weeks or so that it’s okay to question your path. I spent weeks feeling depressed about the fact that my time as a ballerina is over. I could go back to dancing, yeah, but I don’t want to, really. I love to run and I love to do yoga and bike. I’ve also learned that, while it may not be apparent at first, once the stress of making a major decision clears, things do begin to fall into place, and you become the person you’re really meant to be. I may have been worried at first about becoming a biology major once and for all, but now I feel really, really good about it. I can’t wait to see what adventures the semester brings! I can’t wait to see who I can become and the things I can do! I trust myself now. As one of my most favorite Thoreau quotes goes:

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.”

I have a feeling that the life I’ve imagined is getting closer with each risk I take…

Welcome back and happy New Year, everyone.

-Carly

“All Figured Out” by: Tanlines

Those Questions

At every family event, I get the same questions. Those questions. The ones about college, and majors, and dorm life. Those questions. This Easter, my favorite question was “So what’s your major this week?” And it’s not like I have changed my major at all… Don’t get me wrong, I have questioned if high school math was the exact field I wanted to go into or not, but never if education was. I know I want to be a teacher. No matter what. I just have to make up my mind on the level. With each family member that asked me how college was, about my major, and how freshman year has gone, I began to wonder if I am going in the right direction or not.

Wondering is good. It’s okay to be unsure, so if you are coming to Fontbonne undecided, don’t be afraid. You are not alone, and there are plenty of people to help you find what you want to do! And don’t be afraid of those questions — everyone gets asked them.

Getting Started

I remember fondly my young, idealistic self who went to college the first go around as an English major. My goal was that I wanted to be an investment broker. I had big plans that I would make tons of money and then settle in and have a family and then use my degree to teach secondary education.

Well, life had other things in plan for me. I still love to read and write but I didn’t find my path as an English major. Although I can talk a good game about my favorite tale from the Canterbury Tales or tell you all about how I believe The Great Gatsby to be one of the best American novels there is.

My life took a turn my junior year of college when my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer, and she was not able to pay my tuition anymore. To compound the situation, I could not qualify for financial aid because I was attached to my parents’ income. With all this going on, I felt it was better to find my own way, and I moved to Lee’s Summit, got a job as a preschool teacher, and continued to work on finishing my degree at the community college. I got married and had my first child, and I still held fast to my old dreams of having my degree, but through teaching at Headstart, I learned that I wanted to be involved with children and education.

Finally, years have passed and I have two great kids, a hubby and three furchildren. This is not the life that I had imagined leading but wow, I’m so thankful that this is the path that God placed for me. Through my job as a paraprofessional at the high school in town, I found another path that God wanted me to take. I gained interest through my experience in special education. When I was sent an e-mail about the Pathways program at Fontbonne, I knew it was a God thing.

Through the Pathways program, I have gained knowledge about the disabilities that various students face and how I can better help guide their paths. I have learned everything from how to test students for reading disabilities to other handicaps. This, and the encouragement from the staff of the Pathways program and my instructors, has helped me to not only gain confidence in my chosen major, Special Education, but to gain confidence in myself and my ability in the classroom and in life.

I am constantly being asked about the program by my friends and others who find out that I’m going back to school. They are not only curious where Fontbonne is but how the online classes work. The classes are challenging, but the ability to do my work form home and make my own schedule is a blessing. The professors and advisers that I have came into contact with are more than willing to help my in my pursuit of a degree, and I truly feel that they are some of my best cheerleaders.

I hope this finds you on the path that God has set for you.

Blessings- Sherry