Thursday, November 5, 2009

On Life: I'm so tired of being tired.

I promised that this blog wouldn't be reduced to an emo rantfest like my old livejournal was. And I still promise that it won't be. But I'm long overdue for a blog post, and my life is what's weighing on my mind right now.

I'm (finally) nearly halfway finished with my final year of college. This means that I am now beginning to freak out about what to do with the rest of my life. For so long, my plan has just been "finish school." Now, I'm about to be finished, and I'm coming to the realization that I did college all wrong. I should have done some school activities; I should have done some internships; I should have at least done some volunteering. For most of highschool and all of college until about a year ago, my plan was the Peace Corps; I figured that would give me whatever direction and experience I needed. But that plan was for when I expected to finish college at 22, 23, when I had no real ties and could afford to give up two years of my life to a worthy cause. But now... Now I have a life, I have ties, people, plans that I just can't leave behind. And now I find that I should have spent this time making contacts, gaining experience, making myself attractive to potential employers. I'm going to be entering the job market in a tough economy. Even worse, I think I've finally figured out what I want to do with my life, and my major has basically no connection to the field whatsoever.

You see, I love planning events. And I want to be involved with nonprofit organizations. So what I'd really love is to plan events for nonprofit organizations. Work for a place like Zuma or Attention Homes, or maybe be a freelance event coordinator who specializes in nonprofits. But I have no marketing experience, no public relations experience, no business experience, no background in finances or fundraising or anything like it. I don't have the faintest idea where to start or how to break into the field. I know why I chose linguistics as a major originally, but it really is an academic field where you wind up either as a teacher or in research (or maybe some kind of cognitive science), none of which are fields I have any real interest in. That or you get a master's in something else. I'll at least have a bachelor's degree in SOMETHING, but it's not something particularly useful.

I'm so sick of school, but I'm equally terrified to graduate and start my nonacademic life. I mean, I know I can stay at Turley's basically forever, but it's not what I want. They take great care of me as an employee, I have fun there, I'm great at what I do, it's been a wonderful experience, but I've never wanted my career to be in the restaurant business. I think my experience there will be incredibly helpful if I can break into event coordinating, but I've had a taste of restaurant management and it's not what I want for the long term. But I've really never had a "professional" job. I haven't had to write a resume since we were required to do them in high school. The idea of trying to find a "real" job is paralyzing.

I've just been feeling really overwhelmed lately. On top of freaking out about my long term career plans, there's still the short term goal of finishing school. I'm taking four upper division linguistics classes, which means 50-100 pages of reading per week, much of which is dense, dry, and very "academic," and in addition to exams, each one has some sort of presentation as well as some sort of project or paper (which in every class is worth nearly half my grade). Add in my morphology homework every week (think of an epic word puzzle, usually 2-3 hours of work at least) plus phonetics homework and a lab (the scientific side of linguistics - yuck!) and I already have plenty on my plate. Add in 25-30 hours of work per week (thanks CU for barely giving me any money this semester, that was awesome!), plus a car that needs something like $2000 in repairs, not to mention day to day chores like laundry, dishes, cooking, and keeping the house clean, and I just feel exhausted all the time. And that's not including social stuff - D&D, TV night, birthdays, holidays, visitors... Sometimes, I ditch class just so I can have a few hours to myself, even though I know I'll pay for it later, either in extra work or a hit to my grade or both. Dan helps as much as he can, especially with housework stuff, but sometimes I get so stressed and focused that I don't ask him for help when I should. I wouldn't be able to survive without his support though, I know that much for certain. But he can't work my serving shifts for me, nor can he do my homework or pass my classes.

There is sort of a light at the end of the tunnel now, with graduation looming in May. But between knowing how far off that still is and the fear of not knowing what I'm going to do with myself after, that light is distant and dim. Things between now and then are only going to get harder, too, what with my final projects and exams coming up in December and then an even FULLER school schedule next semester combined with even LESS money from CU (since I'll be paying partially out of state tuition - I'm about out of COF money). And even once I graduate, even if I find my dream job the day after graduation (ha!), will my life really be simpler or less stressful? Looking around at my post-graduation friends, and the "real" grownups in my life (parents, bosses, professors), I doubt it, and that's sort of a depressing thought.

I was hoping to end this on a hopeful note, but the truth of the matter is, I'm so tired that some days I only get out of bed in the morning because Dan drags me. My schedule is so full, I resent social invitations because it means giving away another chunk of precious time. The rare time I steal to watch TV or read a book, I feel guilty for because of how many other things I "should" be doing. I've always been a big supporter of taking time for yourself so as to not burn oneself out, but there just aren't enough hours in the day.

I'm just so tired.