Monday, November 11, 2013

The Sound of Settling

Settling sounds like stacks of lab reports, an Erlenmeyer flask, and a five milliliter sample of hydrochloric acid. 

Prior to my senior year, I had expressed minimal interest in science. I was an "English person." In Honors Chemistry junior year, I always ignored my teacher's announcements about science scholarships, internships, and summer camps. I earned an A in the class, but I was never passionate about what I was learning.

As I began the college search, I decided that I could not be an English major. I needed something with a little more STEM, a few more job offers after graduation, and the potential for a higher salary. I remembered my somewhat enjoyable experience with chemistry (and the joys of stoichiometry), and I marketed myself appropriately. I was admitted to Towson as a Chemistry major with a concentration in Secondary Education. 

Settling sounds like denying the prickles of discomfort that will eventually worsen into an aching pain.

I started college in the fall, and I began expressing doubts about my choice shortly thereafter. My green eyes stung with jealousy as I watched my classmates pursue majors they truly loved. My nights frequently ended in tears as I wrestled with calculus and standard enthalpy of formation.

I tried to rationalize my decision for studying chemistry. I need a guaranteed job so that I can have good health insurance to pay for my medications and therapy. Writing is just a hobby. I'll be much more successful as a chemistry teacher than as a writer.

Settling sounds like fear.

What I failed to take into account was my skill, my dedication, and my willingness to work hard and make connections. The potential to be hired and successful lies within me, not a chemistry textbook. I am a strong writer, and I will only get stronger as I educate myself and practice.

This weekend, I officially changed my major to English with a concentration in Writing, and I added a minor in Psychology. I have already found relief in my decision. I am not settling. I am striving.

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