Don’t worry about figuring ‘it’ out right away
Published 9:46 pm Thursday, December 14, 2017
Wednesday marked four years to the day since I graduated from Florida State.
FSU is a really big college (40,000-plus students) so even graduating in December, I was one of more than 2,000 people receiving their diplomas that weekend including undergrad, masters and doctorate students.
Walking across that stage and receiving my diploma, I really had no idea where I was headed, much as I was when I started.
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I originally enrolled as an Exploratory student (FSU’s newfangled term for undecided). I enrolled in Calculus and Intro to engineering thinking I would major in mechanical engineering. Then the next semester I took physics and realized that was not a good option.
I also took an intro to archaeology class and nautical archeology as I was considering majoring in anthropology to become a nautical archeologist (sunken ships are cool). Then because of budget constraints FSU temporarily stopped accepting anthropology majors and I also realized I didn’t want to go into academics, the most likely path for an archeologist.
Where I really found my niche was in the sports department of the student radio station. That led me down a path that would end in me majoring in communications, and internships with Warchant.com, a site that covered FSU football, basketball and baseball, and the Fox TV station in Tampa.
From the Fox internship I learned TV news wasn’t for me, but I still didn’t know what I actually did want to do.
When I walked across that stage Dec. 13, 2013, I only knew one thing I wanted to do and that was going on adventure. I spent the next semester still in Tallahassee working with Warchant and the radio covering FSU sports, but a couple months after graduating I got the news I had been waiting for.
I had been accepted as an Auxiliares de Conversación and I would be spending the upcoming school year working 12 hours a week in a high school in Tui, Spain as an English teacher.
I didn’t speak Spanish (the three semesters in college did very little for me), but this was the adventure I wanted. I met people, I experienced new cultures and I traveled throughout Europe going to Belgium, France, Ireland, Germany, Portugal, Italy and more.
I learned that I could handle being thrown into unfamiliar situations and survive.
Then when I returned I started my search for a career and got my first job in the newspaper industry, which eventually led me here to Vicksburg.
Looking back on the last four years (I am really not sure how its been that long) I didn’t know where the road would take me and I guess I still don’t know where it will in the future.
What I have learned though is it doesn’t hurt to take a risk, go on an adventure (I highly recommend running away to Europe for a few months) and that it is just fine if you don’t have it all figured out.
I surely don’t.
Brandon O’Connor is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. You may reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.