Wednesday, August 20, 2014

the future

The future is something that has always illuded me.
People who know me well can, I'm sure, attest to the fact that I don't have a great concept of the passing of time.
The future is scary and I always feel like I don't know enough to make a sound decision, so often I turn to what I've learned in the course of my own life, in my past, and in what I know of the past of others and the world.
It could be said that my outlook to the future has always been in the perspective of the past.

Because of the illusiveness of the future for me, I have never solidly had a goal, I've never really had a college I've wanted to go to, or anything specific I wanted to study. There's so many variables to take into account,that the very thought petrifies me. Though neither does it help when I have such a myriad of interests and things that I enjoy, the weighing of pros and cons as far as work and study and if I could live with it can take up an enormous amount of time and energy.

I've been done with high school since 2013, but doing college work since 2011.
However my life has changed minimally as far as having an ambition. Despite the moving away, the marriages and having of children by many of the same people I met in preschool, as the saying goes "the more things change the more things stay the same".

All this time of anxiety and deliberation and second guessing has brought me to this point here now.
This point that is one still of anxiety, with thoughts of second guessing still scattered in my head but I feel as if the deliberation is over.

In my past few quarters of community college work the college/future deliberation has come down all the way to whether or not I even want to go to college, and whether or not it's worth it.
My own desires in the mix, I have to study something that I do love, something I find interest in and connect with, something I'm passionate about.
Because as I'm sure you all know, university costs a lot of money.

I have to do something that makes my life worth living.

With all these interests and hobbies of mine I found myself again looking back to look forward.
I thought back to my childhood, you know, when we're asked all the time what we want to be when we grow up.
A lot of the time I didn't answer, because it seemed so far away, and because I felt like I had answered the question enough, and because it kind of scared me.
But there has always been something that I've always loved, always been interested in, something I always had a study of stashed away for answering the question "what do you want to be when you grow up?". Even through the ups and downs of science and mathematics, all the art, there has been one thing I've always loved, always been good at. Something in one way I've always answered with.
"Archeologist." "Paleontologist." "Egyptologist." "Zoologist." "Historian."

History. Every time when it came down to it: history. Always.
I've always looked back to go forward, I've always felt a weight of importance upon the past as something that repeats, time is cyclical, but without and understanding and study of it we are doomed to repeat the mistakes, and the horrors, and the atrocities many of us don't like to admit happened, even still happen.

As all these thoughts of things I had wanted to do, answered this permeating question with, the thought that flew through my mind with a resounding clarity was "I'm not so good with the future, maybe it is that mine lies in the past."

So many things have lead to the decision that's more of a realization, both of where I want to go, and what I want to study, something that I haven't come down to lightly.

I want to get a Masters degree, with honors, with the combined major of History/Archeology from the University of Edinburgh.

That's right.
As in Scotland, literally in Scotland.

Yes it's far away, yes it's another country, but it's a university that is so old it's older than our country. Signers of the Declaration of Independence are Alumni. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle went to school at Edinburgh.
And it's how immensely in history itself that makes it the place I want to go, it has so much history and historical resources on hand. Most universities I've been looking at don't offer a combined major like they do. Not to mention American colleges do the total waste of 2 years doing "common core" which is code for everything you just did in high school, and I typically wouldn't be able to get a Masters unless I did grad school as well. But I digress on the completely rant-able topic of American higher education.

No, it isn't cheap or even affordable. But weighed against U.S. universities I would actually save money just on the fact that I wouldn't waste two years on general subjects, nor have to go to grad school. Not to mention, for a university especially of the size, reputation and age of UOE, it's cheaper than all of equal standing in the States.

The problem? It would still be really expensive. Four years is still going to be just over $100,000 in tuition alone, not to mention the cost of living, and required field work for Archeology.
And also the fact that I would have no money to come home basically at any point in those four years.
Don't even get me started on how financial aid doesn't apply towards overseas universities, and very few scholarships I can seem to find do either. But I'm dredging my way through them, which is super stressful and depressing.

I know there will be many of you who are going to read this and have questions about other things I am known for being I guess good at or having expressed interest in.
The big two probably being writing and photography. Thus I'm going to take a second to address those.
Photography is something I love. It's something that helps me with my perspective and outlook on the world, in that through the lens of a camera I can more easily see the beauty and hope and light in the world even in the worst. It's something I can't quite do justice in an attempt to explain just how much photography means to me. And it is something I have had such an interest in and love for for so long that I have considered very much doing something along the lines of photojournalism or something photography / photo media related. However, it's one of those things that I love, that has so much resource freely available and is something I don't feel the need to learn in a classroom. I don't think I would be able to have the same love and appreciation for it if I did it for grades, and then as a career. Much like baking, something I love doing, but only really on my terms otherwise it just isn't enjoyable if I have to if that makes sense.
Writing, is the biggest I think if the two. It's something I've won awards for, had published authors encourage me in, and be mentored and schooled in quite extensively, and all this I'm so incredibly thankful for. It's something I know I've grown in a lot, and it's not something I'm letting go or losing, quite the contrary I feel. Every big idea for stories I've had, you know what they've been? Historical fiction. And every time I've started I wind up delving more into history and the story gets set aside by the research and learning and I have less character and more of the research. I just love history, and it's something that should I desire, I can write about. I positively love the idea of making history more accessible through stories, all my favorite books have had touches and weavings of history in them.

For so many reasons all my indecision, anxiety and general lack of direction about my future, about college, it was a horrible feeling of being caught in between expectations and reality and it's a really terrible and depressing and confusing place to be. I don't even want to talk about how many drafted posts I have for this blog that are talking about that very feeling.
I'm not entirely out of that place, for many of the reasons it was such a hard place for me to be in my life.
But now things have changed, and as quoted earlier "the more things change the more things stay the same". Because one of the many reasons for my indecision and stress on the topic is the intense gravity of what it costs to go to college, a fear and deep well of anxiety that is now more present than ever.

So what's worse? Being completely ambition/direction -less for an overwhelming myriad of reasons, or finally figuring out what you want to study and where you want to go; just to be faced with the massive wall of implausibility that puts Mt Everest to shame.

Honestly? It's a toss up.

Popular Posts