Yeah, so, about those classes…

by kattiewampus

So, you may remember that back in February, I posted about a new development involving the Child Studies classes I was taking this semester. Then, last week, I posted about grad school. It’s moments like this, when I realize that I’ve shared two relatively contradictory posts, that I feel the need to clarify.

My semester did not play out exactly as I had envisioned. I started out with 5 classes. Within the first week, I dropped 1. Within the first few weeks, I dropped a second, late-start class. I decided that 3 classes plus working almost 30 hours a week plus directing a choir plus plus having a long-distance relationship plus having a social life plus sleeping was already keeping me busy enough.

Then, I got really tired and really stressed out. It was vaguely reminiscent of this one time in college when I took 9 classes in one semester on the heels of a draining month of opera. At that time, I pretty much alienated my poor roommates because I was in such a horrible mood all of the time, I often had thoughts like “I can’t remember the last time I actually felt happy,” and I tried to drop out of school. Only this time around, it was more along the lines of putting a lot of unnecessary strain on my relationship, realizing not quite soon enough that the medication for my depression & anxiety had stopped being effective, being on the receiving end of a break-up, and wondering if I would ever feel truly happy again. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame the classes for the break-up. But the timing was unfortunate. And I wish I had made better decisions going into the semester about how much I took on, especially since I know from past experiences how stress really does bring out the worst in me.

I had already decided earlier in the semester that I wasn’t going to pursue a career in early childhood education. My classes had given me even more respect and admiration for childcare workers, but they had also shown me just how much work those wonderful people do. They are never off the clock, basically. I knew I wasn’t passionate enough about working in childcare to have that necessary level of dedication.  Because of the upheaval in April, I was having a really difficult time finding the motivation to finish out the semester. I ended up dropping a third class (the first “W” to grace my transcript). In the meantime, I found a grad program in an area that I am passionate about and feel good about moving forward with pursuing that.

I still have to finish what I started, so I am clawing my way toward the end of the semester with a week and half of classes left and then finals. The purpose of this semester was to be a time of exploration to see if this was a field I was interested in. While I wasn’t expecting the life overhaul that happened in the process, I can safely say that I feel confident about my decision not to go into the field of childcare. So, I guess, in that sense, the exploration was effective.

For the record, though, I don’t ever recommend taking 9 classes at one time. And if you want to explore something, take 1 class to start with. Seriously.