So the last couple days I've been reflecting on a couple life things that I wanted to share and question you about. So here goes nothing...
Have you ever wondered if you chose the right career path? My whole life I'd always loved Marine Science things: animals, the beach, etc. So naturally as I started looking into going to college that is what I chose. I went into school with Marine Science being my degree. While taking my basic core classes, I had to take a Psychology class and fell in love so I added that as a major too. As I was going through school, I didn't really think about the after college and what job I would end up having. Well of course I graduated from college in 2009 right as the economy tanked and I didn't have any job prospects as people in the Marine Science field weren't leaving their jobs or didn't have money to bring more people on. So I just went back home to Oregon and did nothing but look for jobs over and over and over.
Finally in 2010, almost a year after I graduated college I got the opportunity for an AmeriCorps job at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Fell in love with this job. Yes there were definitely some tough times. I had a hard time adjusting to working at night because I was not a night person. But I kept trucking along and fell in love with the center, the turtles, and the people I worked with. Towards the end of summer there was the possibility to apply for another position in a different department. Unfortunately I decided I could not apply and needed to go home because we just found out my Dad had Melanoma. So at the end of August the parents came out to Georgia and we spent some time there and in Florida before we all headed back home.
Now I was back home again in Oregon with no job prospects. I tried applying for several jobs down at the Oregon Coast Aquarium even if I wasn't completely qualified. But still nothing. So pass by another seven months without me working. I applied to volunteer at our local zoo and was accepted. It wasn't paid but it was something to do in my field, sort of. So since I was going to be up there I applied for a Food Services position for the summer. I got it. I liked the people but hated the job. I was not cut out to work in food, at all. Just not my thing. I kept that job until it slowed down in the off season.
That was October. Then I was back to no job again. My mom's friend works at our local school district and she told me to apply to be a Substitute Instructional Assistant, so I did. Well I never heard anything back so kind of forgot about it.
Now fast forward to February. I went back to Georgia and Jekyll Island for the first ever South West Regional Sea Turtle Conference. I had a blast being with my friends again and being back with the turtles. I could've stood in the rehab pavillion for hours watching the turtles. Well during the conference, most of the presentations didn't interest me at all. I was bored with all the numbers and medical stuff. It was the presentations about Outreach and Education that really interested me. I loved those and took tons of notes on those presentations. This is when I started re-thinking my career path.
Fast forward to 2 days before I was going to head back home to Oregon. I got a call that was going to change my career path. I got the Substitute Instructional Assistant Position. I was going to start as soon as I got back. No interview, they just wanted me :) I was so shocked and excited at the same time.
So once I got back I got all my paperwork in order and started working. I always get nervous when I am starting something new but it didn't take long for me to relax and just enjoy. I cycled between schools and between mostly different classrooms. I was in the Special Education classrooms a lot and I thought that I would struggle but I didn't. I got a lot of encouragement from the teachers telling me I was a natural and doing a fantastic job. This made me so happy because I was loving being with the kids and helping them learn. I started to think that I would like to become a teacher possibly.
So I stared checking out books from the library, reading blogs, things on pinterest, finding out the certification procedures, etc. Well as I started to tell my Mom what I was thinking about doing she put doubt in my mind. This doubt stemmed from the fact that teachers are losing their jobs right and left because in this state education does not get the support and funding it needs and deserves. So then I started questioning myself again.
How can I still teach but keep the marine science aspect going? How about becoming an Environmental Educator? Sounds like a good plan to me. So I've started doing research on doing this. Starting with applying to work in the education department at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. I still don't know where that's going to go but my interview is this week.
So right now, I'm going in that path of Environmental Educator. I still have the teacher thing in the back of my mind. I mean I love buying school supplies so can you imagine me setting up a classroom? I would love it. I love being with kids and seeing their eyes light up as they learn. So maybe teaching in a classroom setting can still be on the back burner.
I'm not sure what my career path is in life. I'm beginning to realize that I will be working for the rest of my life though. Being 27 and having no steady job to start a retirement fund, or even afford everyday life, is proving to cause me stress. I just want to find something stable where I can start experiencing adult life because I am 27 and still relying on my parents. I'm ready to find my career path and become an adult. Hopefully this will happen soon.
Do you ever question if you've chose the right life path?