Want to know a secret? I didn't get accepted to college. Well, not at first.
Freshmen year of high school I told my mom that I couldn't go to Canada with her because I was going to try out for the high school volleyball team. To be honest, I had no intentions of trying out. However, my mom's fear of flying meant that she'd committed herself to driving to Newfoundland.
A three day drive in a minivan with Kenny G on repeat?
No thanks, Ma! I'm all set.
Much to my fourteen year old surprise, my dad picked up on my brilliant scheme, and forced me into going to volleyball tryouts. After making the JV team I was hooked, and after one month of practice, I moved up to the varsity team. This was the beginning of a successful high school volleyball career, and the end of my high school academic career. Volleyball consumed me, and before I knew it, I had completely forgotten about the "school" part of going to school. Every day was another chance to practice, another chance to get better, and another game to play.
By senior year, I had four college coaches scouting me to play volleyball. With dreams of college volleyball dancing around in my head, I quickly began applying for college. I was a bright kid in high school, and could have been earning A's, but learning wasn't what I was interested in. Turns out learning is a huge part of getting into college, because every university I had applied to was quick to turn me down.
Not getting into college lit a fire in me that hadn't existed before. It made me realize that I had royally screwed up my future, and that there were other kids like me who had a chance to succeed. If I could help them in any way I could. Immediately, I enrolled in a community college to take Gen Ed courses for one semester. After earning all A's, I contacted one of the coaches who'd scouted me. I transferred to that university to play volleyball, but more importantly, to succeed academically as an English teaching major.
After graduating with honors my senior year of college, I traveled to Australia for five months to teach 9th, 10th and 11th grade English. The school I taught at offered me a full time position for the following year, but I would have to sign a contract. I had already booked my flight home because I wanted to see my family. Australia is excruciatingly expensive to travel back and forth between, and my heart just wasn't ready to spend that kind of money or to say goodbye to my family.
Returning to America, I expected getting a teaching job would be a piece of cake. Unfortunately, teaching is one of those professions that are the hardest to break into, and for that reason, people tend to hold onto their positions. The way the economy is now, it doesn't matter how much passion, drive, and knowledge you have if you're competing against somebody with a Master's degree. Given that I am already sitting on top of pricey student loans, the idea of opening more to earn my Master's at this point in my life doesn't seem logical. I've spent a year applying for teaching positions, and I can't sit around twiddling my thumbs, waiting for something to fall into my lap.
I am choosing to be proactive with my English degree and the skills I do possess. Through blogging, I have gained experience working with brands. I have dabbled in copy writing, and I rock at social media. I can always return to teaching later in life, and going back to school is an option worth exploring once I've made a significant dent in my student loans. If it's not going to be in a classroom, I know there is a place out there where my creative talents will be put to good use.
Carley is a twenty four year old currently living in New Hampshire. After graduating college with a degree in English, and taking a couple of years to travel the globe (ahem, while constantly getting lost using foreign public transportation in large cities) she now resides back in her home town. She is somewhere between trying to have it all figured out, and not even being close, but she writes in hopes that somebody out there thinks the way she does. She has a NikonD3000 that could be considered a third arm, and she may seek surgical help for this eventually. Carley thinks speaking in third person is incredibly awkward, but she's glad you're here anyway. You can find Carley on her personal blog (http://findingravity.com) or on twitter @carbarton. *fistbump*