Living

It’s Okay to Change Your Degree

Anyone who knew me in high school knew that I started going to Central Washington University to become a veterinarian. I wanted to dedicate my life to the well-being of animals and be a writer on the side. I hoped my novels would someday be published, but I never thought about it more than that. Here is my story about realizing that the career path I was on wasn’t what I wanted and how I made the decision to flip everything I knew around.

Realization

It was Winter Quarter 2019 at Central Washington University. Mid-terms were the next week and everyone was feeling the pressure. I was on the second quarter of my Biology and Chemistry series and had no idea what was happening. All the formulas in Chemistry were foreign to me and I had no motivation to figure out what any of it meant. That weekend, I skipped sleep to study everything presented to me in the class. It wasn’t enough.

After staring at my blank paper for an hour and not understanding any of the hints offered at the topic of the five page exam, I decided that I needed to get out of there. I wrote a note on the final page of my exam, telling my professor that I think they are a fine professor, but I simply needed to withdraw from the course. I exited the room and immediately went to the student service desk to withdraw from both my Biology and Chemistry courses.

Taking a Step Back

Luckily, I had one other class at the time, my Humanities class that I was taking for my general education requirements. I was incredibly intrigued by the content in the class, something I lost in the Biology and Chemistry series. I was engaged with the movements presented in the class and openly spoke in class about more questions I had on the subjects. The professor of the class was supportive and even went as far as to met with me on several occasions. During these meetings, she explained how she became a professor and that was the first time I looked into the MFA program.

I also had the support of my mom through the whole ordeal. When I told her that I withdraw from my courses, close to tears, she simply said that she knew it would be soon. She was willing to support me through my dream, even if she saw that it wasn’t fit for me. She knew that the only way I was to learn was to trek that road for myself and reach the same conclusion. So, she told me what I was blind to all along-I love literature. I have always loved the ways we can write new worlds and write fictional characters into existence. I just had no idea that I could craft that passion into my life.

So I began my search for this new life.

Finding That Sign

Bookstore on Orcas Island

“Creative Writing in the Pacific Northwest”. That is what the pamphlet read as I sat in the chair in the adviser’s office. At the time, I still had no idea what I was going to do, but I still had to enroll in courses for the next quarter. I thought the course sounded interesting so I was willing to try it.

The class was a duel course hosted by two English professors and only consisted of about thirteen students. As I sat in the back corner of the class, little did I know that I soon was going to know fitting nicknames for each one of them. Also, I had no idea that these professors would be the reason for my career change.

Maya Jewell Zeller, a poet and an English professor at Central Washington University. Her energetic fangirling during class is what made me realize that I could see myself in her shoes in my future. She started everyday with a smile and cared for each of students. She helped me realize my love for the university life and that my calling rested in the English department.

From that moment forth, I was an English Language and Literature major who will pursue my MFA to become a university professor and an author.

Your Sign

What I want you to know is that it is okay to make changes. Chances are that you already know what you want, but something might happened to challenge everything you know. That moment is when you need to simply take a step back, find out what makes you happy, and either continue on that track or pave a new one.

In the end, only you can make that change and you hold the power to brew your own happiness. So next time you reenter an environment that causes you pain or unnecessary pain, remember that you can be the change in your life. Good luck and I wish you happiness.

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