Class of 2017

I was supposed to be class of 2018. It feels so weird. I don’t really know what I’m doing anymore. I graduated college – technically. But I didn’t stick around for the ceremony and stuff like that. I’m just not into that sort of thing so it almost doesn’t feel official. And that bothers me. It’s like the rest of the world won’t validate me because my diploma is being mailed to me instead of me walking across a stage in an expensive cap and gown that I would only ever wear once in my life. I didn’t want the fanfare or any of that, but it would be nice to feel like I really did something.

It also feels weird because for the first time in about 16 years I don’t have plans for the fall. Originally my best friend and I had planned to move to Indianapolis, but that just isn’t going to happen at that point in time, maybe by January, but the fall is so up in the air I don’t remember what it looks like.

I’m also looking at getting a job in my field – for which I need more experience than I actually have – or even possibly, graduate school, but those just don’t feel right at the moment. I mean, I know I’ll have to have a full-time/permanent job of some sort eventually. How can I get away from that? I mean, I’m also looking into being an entrepreneur/freelance writer, but I don’t quite know if that’s right yet. What do I do? What is right?

I feel pressured from all sides right now to “grow up” and “get a big girl job” and to know what I want to do with my life. But the problem is that no one seems to remember that I’m only 20 years old and most people my age don’t have to have a clue for another year or two. I’m getting out of college a year early, two if you want to be technical since I barely made the birthday cut and started school a year early, and that’s confusing.

My parents think I should go back to school for that masters of library science as soon as I can because the longer you stay away from school the harder it is to go back, but I just don’t want to go to school for that anymore. I don’t want to be a librarian anymore. And frankly, I’m so done with school right now that it’s scary.

PLUS! I have a bachelor’s degree already which neither of my parents do. I’m already ahead of where they are speaking from experience. If I don’t want to go back right away I don’t think it’s a big deal. Why spend THOUSANDS of dollars on a master’s degree that I don’t even want?

I feel like a kid again who changes their mind on who and what they want to be when they grow up – every five minutes.

But I do know that library science is not for me.

Here’s the thing, though.

Retail – which I’ve been working all of college, is SO NOT my thing. I don’t do as well as I would like, though my employers seem to think I’m pretty good at it. I don’t enjoy it. I dread it. I even cry over it. But a 9-5 office job, or library job, which can be exciting but is also pretty well structured and you have to wear nice clothes all the time, be at certain places and have your day scheduled out in some form, and you basically sit at a desk all day – that really doesn’t appeal to me either.

I need adventure and I need a more chaotic lifestyle to thrive. I don’t like to be overworked unless I’m choosing to do it rather than being required to. I don’t like to be bossed around at all. (I’m a rather dominant personality.) And unlike most people my age, I didn’t live the first twenty years of my life socializing and doing fun and interesting things. I lived the first twenty years of my life with my nose in a book and waiting for interesting things to happen to me. I’ve only just gotten a taste of what it is to have fun and go on “adventure girl” moments.

I want to write more than anything. But it’s Sunday night as I begin this post, two days after graduation and this is the first thing I’ve brought myself to write since I finished school.

I had a professor whose mantra is was to say “Writers write and when we don’t write we read,” and dear lord, school did a number on me and my writing. I was required to do so much that I started avoiding writing at all costs. I do anything but write and I don’t write unless I have to now because it got so stressful. Let me say something to all writers right now that are looking at a creative writing program.

DON’T DO IT. Major in anything else. Just do not major in writing. Major in literature, history, or a science of some sort. Majoring in writing will alienate you from your craft. don’t make it your life. Make it your art. make it the thing that allows you to do the other things. Do not make it the thing that you have to do. Make it the thing that you want to do. Take a few writing courses, eve take it as a minor if you have to, but do not make it the only thing you do.

Don’t get me wrong. I am forever grateful to BSUEnglish and what they made me into as a writer and a student, but take my advice with my newly minted bachelor’s degree in the damned craft. If you really love writing you’ll do it no matter what you major in. I promise. If it’s not what you really want to do, then you aren’t a writer and weren’t meant to be – just yet. There’s always time to write. If you aren’t six feet in the ground yet, you have time to write that great American novel, or the great French novel, or the great Canadian novel. Whatever Great insert your: nationality/ethnicity/sexual orientation/planetary preference here Novel. Those are the facts of life.

If you major in anything else you will learn so much and you’ll have fuel for your writing. You’ll become something else. You will learn to do things that you’ll get a job doing and you’ll write about it all and you will have so much to write about. And you will be amazing.

Me – I can almost feel myself about to move into my grandparents’ permanently as I work at Lowes or some other retail place for the rest of my life while I try to write. I don’t have a degree that qualifies me for much other than academic or office type jobs.

If I go back to school for anything it’ll be for a second bachelor’s I think. Maybe in Zoology, like my best friend, or in environmental studies, some science that lets me be outside and doing fun and interesting things. Something that will take me on a real adventure. Or maybe I’ll find an apprenticeship program and get my dog training licence. That sound like more of an adventure than what I’m working with right now.

I wish I could post a Bilbo Baggins “I’m going on an adventure!” meme right now but I don’t feel like it’s appropriate at the moment. I’m looking for an adventure rather than going on one right now. Eventually I’ll get there, and when I do there will be LOTR memes galore. I can promise you that.


What am I doing?

Yesterday I put four works in progress (WIPs) to bed. Each WIP was at one time an inspired piece.

Rise of the Dragon’s Daughter started when I was sitting in a doorway of my high school waiting for my SAT math prep class to start. Eventually, it grew into my main work, with me finishing a draft of the first book in the series, or so I thought, my senior year of high school. I was urged to just edit for grammar, spelling and self-publish. I’m so glad that I didn’t do that like I had originally wanted to. As I went back over it for revision I figured out that there was a lot about the story itself that wasn’t sitting right for me. I’d told the wrong story. Now, after three years of revision work on the first third of the book, I need to step away. I’m not touching that manuscript again, I think for at least a year. It’s for the best.

Song of the Traitor King  I’m putting this to rest for good. This project has lost my interest and is just… done, but not in a good place done. I might use pieces of it elsewhere, or I might come back to it in a decade and see something new and start with a new piece based off of this one.

Dear… So this one is just shelved until I’ve had some experience outside the classroom to work with.

The Forest, a T.V. Series Script. I’m not sure why I started this one… a prompt I think and then I got excited about it… and then I got unexcited about it. I think this one needs some distance as well, just to figure out what the actual plot is. I have a setting, but no plot… and that is not a great problem to have. Without a plot you have no story and right now my plot is only a setting.

So here’s the thing. I’m putting all of these to rest. I think I want to work on some short stories for a while, see if I can’t publish some of them. Of course, I need to start said stories. I have started a new storyboard on Pinterest, we’ll see where that goes, but that looks like it would/will be a longer work and I’m not sure I’m at a place in my craft right now that I want to start writing that long of a piece just yet.

And while I’m putting these things to rest, I’ve come to a decision. I have to get out of the classroom if I’m ever going to write anything. My professor said that in class Tuesday and it’s been nagging me. I have to read, and I have to live, I have to do things. So…

I’m not going to graduate school this fall.

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