Arts & Culture Editor
Class of 2014. It was senior year of high school and I sat across from my guidance counselor as she showed me all of my options for life after high school. College, vocational school, a career, the army, a gap year…the possibilities seemed endless. In high school, there seems to be only one option though and that’s college. It seems like any other path you’d choose as a senior in high school would be insufficient. You’d end up without a degree and broke. That was the stigma in my high school so I knew I had no choice but to attend college.
Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to attend college more than anything. But for what? There are hundreds and hundreds of majors out there. I thought it was crazy that I, a naive 17 year old, was being asked to choose a path I’d have to commit to for the rest of my life. Knowing that I had to make a decision, I decided to choose a major that would secure me a job and wouldn’t take me very long to complete.
I applied to Lancaster General’s nursing school. And boy, was that a mistake. Before I continue, know that I have nothing against this nursing school nor nursing majors in general. Nursing majors are some of the most hardworking, dedicated people I know. The profession constantly needs more nurses willing to do the job and do it correctly. I was just not one of those people that found a passion for it. I hated science and medicine-related fields. I tried convincing myself it was for me, but it really wasn’t. My first semester went well and I was doing well in my classes but I hated what I was learning.
I’d talk to my nursing buddies around me who were so excited to come to school and get out in the field. I felt out of place because I didn’t have that same desire. When I completed my first year of nursing, I knew I needed to get out of that major. I came to the realization a week after spring semester ended that I wanted to become an English teacher. Thinking about becoming a teacher made me excited. I thought of all the possibilities I would have. Teaching students, writing essays, and reading wonderful stories sounded like the ideal life for me.
I applied to Millersville two weeks after my spring semester at nursing school and, to my amazement, was accepted. The amount of excitement I felt when I opened up that acceptance letter is something I’d remember forever.
Fall semester at the ‘Ville began and I was suddenly a freshman again. I made some amazing friends and am happy to have had the opportunity to be a real freshman excited for college. On the other hand, I had been through all the orientation programs and the first-year classes. Because I went from being a nursing major to an English education major, only a handful of my credits transferred. I was truly back to being a freshman again, a year behind.
It was really important to me to finish my degree in four years no matter what major I chose. After my bachelor’s degree, I wanted to go to graduate school with the end goal being a nice, fancy P.hD. But I didn’t want to be 60 years old when I got it.
I ran to my advisor’s office and asked, “Can I finish my degree in three years even though I barely have any credits?!” To my surprise, she said, “you sure can” and gave me a great plan on how to accomplish that. But that plan included a lot of summer and winter classes. Awesome, I thought, I will literally get no break from school. The nerd inside of me didn’t really mind that though.
I registered for four summer classes that year to get my degree on the roll. Expecting it to be a difficult summer, I was pleasantly surprised. Millersville’s “off-season” classes are probably my favorite to take. Yes, there is a reasonable amount of work. However, it’s such a laid-back environment. The teacher’s aren’t bogged down with work so they can help a lot more. They’ll work with you to get your work in on time if vacations get in the way. Most importantly, it can help you get your degree even faster. While I’m sure we can all agree that Millersville is a wonderful school, we’re also excited to get started in our professions.
When we all leave high school, we might not know exactly what we want to with the rest of our lives. And that’s okay! It’s okay to change your mind and your major as many times as it takes until your happy. With winter and summer courses, Millersville gives students the chance to make those life-altering changes in career paths while not making your time in college even longer.