I’m going back to school in two weeks for journalism and I’m terrified. Excited, too, obviously, but I’m pretty terrified. I keep feeling like something’s going to happen that’ll prevent me from going even though everything’s lined up and pretty much ready to go. Once my student loans come in (the first day of class), the semester will be paid for and I’ll have to buy my books. That’s the only thing I’m worried about, I guess, getting my books, because everything else is pretty much in line. I’m also thirty years old, which I know isn’t a big deal these days when you’re going back to school, but I have some regrets that I’m trying to let go of.
The last time I was in University, it was 2005, I was 21 years old and had finished a disappointing second year. I had wanted to get into the journalism program at TRU and I was devastated when there were huge requirements to get into the program and I was convinced I’d be ‘too old’ by the time I’d finish the program (I think I felt like I was going to be 30 by the time I was done, and here we are, at 30, with me going back to school. Funny.). Instead of working hard at trying to get into the program, I’d stopped going to my geography course and when I went to write the final and handed it in, my name had been taken off the course list. I’d been kicked out of the class and I’d never been told. I had essentially written the final for nothing because my lazy ass stopped going to the class.
It was then, I realised, that maybe I shouldn’t be in school and that I should take some time to reflect on what I should do with my life. I’d started working part-time as a photolab technician at Walmart the previous year, so I continued on working a customer service job that took a lot of out me — mentally and emotionally because customer service is the worst — until I couldn’t take it anymore. I looked into other schooling options and decided to take a legal assistant program that had everything laid out for me. I didn’t have to choose the courses, the program was set in stone right from the start and I’d had a vague interest in law so I thought, ‘why not.’ I got hired at the first law firm I worked at less than two weeks before I was finished the legal assistant program and that was that. I transitioned straight from the program and into the job and — boom — my career path, or so I thought, at twenty-three years old was chosen and I didn’t really get the chance to think about it.
I stayed at this job for close to three years, from September, 2007 to April, 2010, when I made the decision to leave the city I was living in to move to Vancouver — something I’d wanted to make happen for myself for many years and then one day it finally did. It was a hard decision to make because I loved where I worked, I felt like they were a second family to me, but unfortunately things didn’t end well with my decision to leave and move to Vancouver, but such is life.
My yearning to go back to school, however, never truly left me to pursue my passion but I kept making excuses as to why I shouldn’t and they didn’t make very much sense. At twenty-six, when I started vocalising my desire to go back again, I felt like I was ‘too old’ to go back into a classroom, or that I’d have to start from the bottom and work my way up and I couldn’t afford to do that. I transitioned from law firm to law firm from 2010 until my decision to go back to school this year. Unfortunate circumstances pushed me to make that decision and to follow my dream instead of going into another work situation and environment I knew I wouldn’t be happy in (being let go from two jobs in the span of four months or so is pretty demoralizing and knocks the confidence out of you, I gotta say). My desire to entire journalism never went away but I was secure in my job position, had had an easy time getting hired places until this year when I’d been slapped in the face, more or less, with two job situations I needed to get out of long before I ultimately did. After the second job I’d been let go from, I honestly couldn’t fathom myself in another law firm ever again. I’d reached my limit after almost 7 years of working in the field and the idea of doing it again brought me so much anxiety that it wasn’t worth it anymore.
So, in May, after a few weeks of being unemployed for the second time this year, I applied to go back to school, busted my butt with the journalism application and found out three weeks after doing the entrance exam that my application had been accepted. I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud of myself for taking the plunge to chase after something that means so much to me. Many have questioned the field I’m going into or told me I shouldn’t be doing it, most have been supportive and are just as excited for me. I am grateful to these people and those that pushed me to do this and I couldn’t be more excited about it.
When one door closes another one opens, so they say; mine finally did.