20 Something: The Final Countdown (I mean, Semester)

So classes start up again in two days, and I’m starting to get a bit stressed. My books cost more this semester than any other that I can remember. Luckily, I’m only taking 12 hours so my leftover financial aid covered most of it. However, that’s not really the point. I’m taking two creative writing electives, an editing course, and Intermediate French (level 2). So why did I end up needing 16 books?

Crazy backpack load aside, my schedule this semester is going to be stupid. For the past 2.5 years, I have kept my classes to two days a week, three tops. This semester, I will be in class in the morning on MWF, and I have an evening class on Tuesdays. I work full-time, so I will have class four days, and I will be working 5 days. Now, for those of you good at basic math, this means that I will have two days during the week when I am both working and attending class, and I will have no days off. I’ve still got two days until it starts and my head already feels that it might explode.

However, there is a ray of sunshine in all this. This is it. The last big push. The final assault to finish my undergraduate education. After 5 years of full-time, non-stop collegiate study (okay, I never took summer courses, so I guess I had a bit of a break here and there), I will be receiving my Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing with a minor in Journalism. Success is within my grasp! I just have to keep it together for 4 more months, and I will be done.

It’s all very exciting. It’s also a bit daunting. I’ve decided that when my lease is up in July, I will relocate out-of-state. For a while I had my sights set on Chicago, but now I’m toying with other ideas. My only real requirements are that it be somewhere with a decent shot of breaking into the publishing industry and that it be somewhere I’ve never been. Sorry, New York. I love you; I miss you. But it’ll be a few years yet before I return to your beautiful environs. You are simply too expensive for a recent college graduate with student loan debt.

I still have so many things to decide. So many options to explore. Each time I hop on Google to test the waters of an idea for a location or entry-level positions or even internships, I see the wide variety of places and companies and it is both uplifting and overwhelming. For every job description that makes me think “Hey, I can do that!” there are five more that make me question my dreams. Each time I think I’m ready to dive into the first prospect that tugs at my heart strings, that little voice of doubt whispers that it’ll never work. I’ll run off unprepared like I did after high school, and I’ll come back to Oklahoma, tail firmly tucked between my legs.

But I refuse to listen to that pernicious voice. Besides, before I can really worry about any of that, I have to take on this last semester. Hurray!

Random photo: As I look forward dreamily to my college graduation, here’s a snapshot from my high school graduation 4.5 years ago. That handsome devil beside me is my grandpa.

High School Graduation

High School Graduation 2010

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