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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Shorten the Path

I have made a decision.  It was not an easy one at all.  But, I am no longer going to pursue the ResLife career path.  It was never my end game, anyway, and I have decided to just focus on that.  And what is that, you ask?  First, let me tell you about my initial plan…

The plan was to go to grad school and get a Masters in Student Affairs/Higher Ed with a focus in Residence Life.  From there, I was going to get a gig as an RD, and get a masters in History.  After all that, I wanted to apply to the Film Studies PhD program at Harvard.  The end goal was to be a film studies/history professor at a small to midsize, liberal arts college, not unlike Keene State College, while serving as a liaison between Academcs and Student Affairs.

A lot of work, a lot of school, a lot of years.  

Since I’ve been removed from ResLife, I realized that this is not how I want to go about things.  That I can still be a professor and be involved in the “other end of campus” without having been more than an RA and involved in some student organizations.  I still want the opportunity to be a mentor and teacher, but I would rather go at it academically than in the Residence Halls.  It is easier to connect with people who share your passion than not. 

I am also taking my age into consideration.  When I was a fulltime student in the thick of it, I was able to relate to them, albeit the “what the fuck are you thinking?!” thought danced through my head on a regular basis.  But there was always a little bit of a distance, and the older I get, the more that distance will grow.  Also, I m 34 years old.  I don’t want to be 45 before I set foot in a classroom. 

So, I did what any normal person these days would do – I posted on Facebook.  I asked for suggestions of what I should do.  And Crystal asked me a question that gets asked a lot – what are you passionate about?  The first thing that came to mind was film and writing.  That was my wake-up call.  That the end goal I’d been planning should be the focus, and I need to shorten the path to it – not meander around in circles to get there.

I want to be a Film Historian.  I want to study, watch, analyze and write about films.  I want to teach Film History, and a course on the use of history in films.  It is what I have wanted since Freshman year of college, I just got distracted a little.

I will be forever grateful for everything I got out of ResLife.  I am a more confident, well-put together person because of my time as an RA.  The people I have met over the years will always be in my life, one way or another.  I would not have had the experience I had in college if it were not for being an RA.  I will continue to be supportive of and loyal to Residence Life and the Student Affairs programs that exist, because they are so important to the college experience, and changed my life.  But my role now is just that – one of support. 

I have found the next step, and I am certain of it at this moment.  I am looking at grad schools for film studies, and instead of being stressed about it, I am excited.  That’s gotta be a good sign, right?

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