Do you struggle with choosing your college courses every quarter?
Do you juggle the questions, “Is this applicable to my future career?” and “Is this worth the money I am paying for this class?
These are the questions that one of our college ambassadors asked herself while registering for Spring classes this week.
Melody goes to the UW Information School. She is going for a Masters of Library and Information Science. This is a two year program.
Here’s what she has to say about college:
“Doing a whole degree in two years is a lot more stressful than the four years I had to explore with during undergrad. Back then, I had time to bounce from chemistry, to anthropology, to music, back to anthropology, and then finally to business.
If I tried to bounce around that much with this degree, I’d be paying so so much money for a hodge podge of classes with no focus. That’s what I told myself at least.
Here were my doubts:
- What if I didn’t have a strong enough tech background?
- What if I can’t get a job in what I want to do but I don’t have the skills to go do something else?
- What if I change my mind halfway?
- What if the public librarian profession goes away forever? (This will never happen)
I was struggling and struggling; stressing over stressing about classes. I became obsessed with my 2 year plan.
After changing my two year plan countless times I decided to do even more research (I’m trying to be a librarian after all).
I emailed professors of classes that sounded interesting regarding their syllabus and what else goes on in their course. This was a lot more helpful than the 2 sentence descriptions the registration software gives us.
I went to current professors that I liked to talk about my path. These conversations were sometimes great, other times, I came out more confused than when I went in.
I talked to people at my work regarding what they took in school, if it’s applicable, and what skills they wished they got from school. These answers were mixed of course but it was apparent that there were no regrets from anyone.
What helped the most was talking to someone who graduated a few years ago with the same career path as me. They knew some of the professors I was thinking of taking. They knew how stressful it is to choose classes. They had great career advice. Basically everything I was stressing about, she stressed about it too.
But deep down, I still had my doubts about my choices.
It wasn’t until I reflected upon what a great librarian said to me in a Facebook post last week.
“A degree makes you a professional, the experience makes you a librarian”
Why am I stressing so much?
This two year degree isn’t the end of my learning. It honestly is, just my beginning. No matter what classes I choose, as long as I fulfill my credit requirements to graduate, I will be fine. I will focus on what I enjoy and choose my classes accordingly. Not worrying about what everyone else is doing and how I need to find ways to better market myself than them. When I graduate, I will still have opportunities to learn.
I will have (more) mentors
I will go to conferences to hear about innovative changes in the library world
I will learn on the job
AND I will always be (though I already am) a lifelong learner.”
Stressing about classes is normal. But stressing about stressing about classes is not. Let loose a little and realize that this degree isn’t the end. You will learn more things throughout your career either through your job or your own initiative.
Here at ArcZap, we are all lifelong learners like Melody. All of us still do college classes just to stay ahead of the game when it comes to programming and business.
So when you register next time, do your research but don’t think of it as the only set of skills you will have for the rest of your life.