Oct 28, 2013

When I Thought I Knew It All

I didn't have much of an exciting weekend (just waiting on the phone to ring) so there's no weekend update here. I chose one of Wifessionals' Get Inspired topics to write about today!

Did you ever start a schooling, program, or career only to find out it wasn't 'YOU' or it 'wasn't what you thought it would be'? Did this lead to a change in life plans?

Junior year of high school, I thought I had it all figured out. I took a college nutrition class and it peaked my interest. I hadn't really thought too much about what I wanted to do and I've always had an interest in food. What better job than being a dietitian?

Senior year rolled around and I applied to the only in-state school that had an accredited dietetics major. A few days later, the email I was anxiously awaiting popped up in my inbox. Congratulations! You're a Cyclone! I'd been admitted to Iowa State University. I accepted my offer and filled out my housing choices for Fall of the next year. I signed a housing contract and was set for my freshman year of college. Then, I booked a campus tour. That's right, I had never even been on the campus before signing a housing contract! 

Lucky for me, Iowa State University has the most beautiful campus I've ever seen. I knew I'd picked the right school the second we pulled in. I could just picture myself walking down the sidewalks through Central Campus. We picked probably one of the worst days possible to visit. It had been in the upper 60's to lower 70's except for the day we visited. On a drizzly, chilly, October day, we trekked across campus. We may have gotten a smidge lost (I laugh about this now that I know my way around campus) but we made it to all of our appointments. We left later that day and I had the biggest smile on my face. If I could love it here on one of the crappiest days of that Fall, I knew I'd enjoy my adventure!

Scared, little freshman me moved into the dorms a year later. I only had two classmates who also came to the school and a few other friends on campus but none of them lived near me. I was essentially on my own. I hung out with my roommate and floormates, anxiously awaiting my first day of college. Classes were a breeze in the beginning. About a month in I started to get worried. I was in a pretty advanced biology class and no matter how much I studied, everything was over my head. The more I looked at the class list I'd be taking over the next four years, the more I got worried. Biology, chemistry, math, and nutrition among other things. I was in another nutrition class but I just wasn't enjoying it. In the back of my mind I kept hearing a little voice repeat a phrase I thought would never apply to me: About 50% of college students change their major before they graduate. That will never be me I thought but now it was starting to look like an option. 

By the time Thanksgiving neared, I knew I'd made a mistake. I loved the atmosphere at Iowa State but my major of choice just wasn't right. *Insert many nights of hyperventilating about what to do with my life and lots of tears* I thought long and hard about what I wanted to do with my life. The one thing that came up in my mind over and over was children. I didn't want to be a teacher, what else could I do? Child, Adult, and Family Services. I've had an interest in helping kids for a few years, this seemed quite fitting! 

*Raises hand* But Mandy, I thought you want to be a stay at home mom. Well, that is the plan. And although I do feel like I'm wasting a lot of time and/or money on getting a college degree when I really want to be a stay at home mom, this is my backup plan. When I started college, I never imagined I'd be married by the time I was a sophomore. I hoped it would happen while I was young but I had no idea it would! Now, with M in the Army, I have no idea what the future holds for us. I may have to get a job out of nowhere and I'm trying to be somewhat prepared for that. It's really hard to get motivated for school sometimes because of all of this. But one thing I would like to do if I had to get a job outside of the home is work with military families. It could be in photography, family counseling programs, after-school care, daycare centers, the list could go on and on. 

This group of people have quickly found a place in my heart. I cannot imagine getting a job outside the home and not working with them in some way. There are way more military families out there than you could imagine and there's always more ways to help them!

So, my life plan was to be a dietitian but it just wasn't for me! Now, I'm married and hoping to be a stay at home mom but preparing for the possibility of working with military families. Quite a flip I'd say! I don't regret the path I've taken because I would have missed out on a lot of amazing memories and great friendships in the place I call my home. 

Did you ever choose a path for your life only to have it go a different direction?


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