Tag Archives: german

A Dream Wrapped in Silver

When I first decided that I would go back to college after taking a four year leave of absence, I had to figure out what I wanted to study. Like most college students, I kept changing my major, going from English to Art History to Classical Studies and then, finally, to German.

I chose German then because I really enjoyed my German language courses. I loved speaking German. I loved to conjugate the verbs. I had all of my German prepositions memorized in song-form. I really, really liked German. After all, weren’t you supposed to choose a discipline that you were passionate about? I’ve always been interested in European history and culture, particularly Germany. I have a tiny, slightly unhealthy, obsession with Anne Frank. In fact, that’s why I wanted to learn German (and then, eventually, Dutch). I wanted to read her Diary in German. I wanted to get a feel for her Diary in that language. I thought that I would understand some of the phrases and cultural expressions better in the German (and Dutch) than in the English. Translated books are never as good as the original. I know that the German edition is translated too. But my college did not offer Dutch and I figured that I’ll learn German first, and then learn Dutch.

So, I learned German. I even studied abroad in Berlin, Germany. That was the best experience of my life. I loved living outside the U.S. I loved having the opportunity to speak German everyday in a different country. I relished in the opportunity to study and live in a different culture. I loved taking the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. I loved my host family. I loved the food (sauerkraut!) and the Weihnachten Markt in December. I loved everything about Germany.

So, why did I eventually change majors again?

Well, after four years of working retail, I’ve grown (not that I didn’t in college). Much as I loved German, I did not know what I wanted to do with it. And, not all colleges offer German as a major. I knew that when I went back to college, I would choose a major that was practical. But at the same time, deep down, I wasn’t sure if there was another so-called “dream major” for me.

I think researched colleges for a year. When I did so, I also scanned their list of majors and tried to find one that interested me. My first thought was English. Why not? English was my favorite subject in high school. I am a pretty good writer. At least, I think I am. At least, I’ve always enjoyed writing.

But, as much as I enjoy English and writing, I also know that I do not enjoy analyzing literature. I love how it is open to interpretation. And who doesn’t like getting to read fiction for homework? But I knew that I would not be happy staying up until four in the morning, working on a paper for Pride and Prejudice or some other book.

Eventually, I stumbled upon Communications. I used to always dismiss the subject. But the more I read about it, the more interested I became. When I discovered SNHU, I read through the Communications courses. They all looked interesting.

And they were. I’m nearly done with my undergrad degree and I’ve enjoyed every one of my courses. I loved learning about public relations, journalism, social media, Adobe Illustrator, technology and SEO. As someone who has so many different interests, communications seemed like the right one for me. I wanted something focused and yet broad enough to allow me to explore my interests. As a shy person, communications turned out to be my “soul mate” of majors.

When I first enrolled at SNHU, I not only knew what my major would be, I also thought that I wanted to become a copyeditor or an editor. But college changes people. I took on other roles. I became a Peer Leader for SNHU and found that I really enjoyed helping students. I love to connect with them via email and help them with an assignment. I love watching their minds grow and flourish. I would love to continue and develop this role further and hope that I would have an opportunity to do so in the future.

Recently, I started an internship with the Borgen Project, working as an editor. I edited a few articles and found that I really enjoyed it. I always knew that I have an eye for detail and I’ve always enjoyed reading and writing. What I mean to say is that becoming an editor is not on the back burner anymore. It is a possibility, a dream wrapped in silver that is starting to sparkle.

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How I came to major in Communications

Since I started college in 2007 at age 18, I’ve been through at least five different majors.

I started college with the intent to become an English major. I love the written word. I love reading British lit (Jane Eyre, Oliver Twist). I wanted to become a published writer. But then college started, I took a couple of introductory German classes and I absolutely fell in love. I loved the words, the grammar, the nuances of the language. I loved writing in German, listening to my professor speak German, and I loved the culture of Germany. German happened, took me over, and I changed my major from English to German.

For the first two years of my college career, I took German major courses. I even studied abroad in Berlin and had the most amazing experience. I loved the operas, the museums, the Brandenburg Gate, the city, the people.

And yet, I felt that German was not my destiny. I loved it, but it wasn’t in my future. In other words, it wasn’t my calling. I’ve had near instances during those two vital years of college in which I questioned German. I took Art History, Psychology, and Mythology — all of which I loved equally. I considered majoring in those disciplines.

Four years later and I enrolled at SNHU. I did some research. By now, I wasn’t the same wide-eyed teenager in college. I was a semi-experienced professional who  viewed college differently. Previously, I viewed it was the logical next step after high school. It was the path to freedom from parents and discovering oneself. Now, I view college as a means for self-improvement and advancing one’s career.

I chose Communications.  I have so far loved all of my communications classes. I love to blog and I love the idea of social media. I am fascinated by how it has brought people together. I love how we can use social media to connect with celebrities and organizations. I really think that communications is my calling. It was what I was meant to major in all along.

Life Lessons

I am 26 years old and I go to college online. Going for my Bachelor’s degree has been a long, emotional, often treacherous journey and I am excited that it is coming to an end soon. Right now, I have only five more courses to take until I graduate. Until I’m done. Until I can stand up, immensely proud, and tell myself that I have a college degree.

I started college the traditional route, when I was eighteen years old. I attended a small liberal arts university for two years. My goal was to major in English. But then, I took a few language courses…. in German. I fell in love with the German language. I fell in love with the ridiculous sentence structure and harsh sounding words.

But, as with all things, life happened. Seven years ago, my mother passed away.

The death of a parent is so unspeakable. It was a pain that I never before experienced. It was shocking, gut wrenching, painstakingly hard to think, to know, that the person who is the reason for my being alive no longer exists.

But time really does help to heal all wounds, however cliché that saying may be. I moved on. It no longer hurts as much to think about that small, but emotionally impacting, moment in time. Don’t get me wrong, the anniversary of her death, holidays, and her birthday are hard. Sometimes I still think of the what ifs: what if she was still alive? What would we be doing? What if things had turned out differently? What if?

But there’s no point, no good, in torturing myself with the what ifs. Nothing can change the past. The only thing that I can do is live in the moment and be the best person I can be. By doing that, I will make the future just a little bit better.

My future involves me getting a college degree. It took me seven years. But I don’t think of those years as a waste. Instead, it will mean that the end result will be that much sweeter. And that is something I can wait even a lifetime for.

I will receive a B.A. in Communications. But to me that is really a B.A. in life. College changes people. In my case, it’s changed me to become more driven, humble, kind, and appreciative of life.

So, those of you in college, or those taking a little break, take a moment and appreciate the little things. Enjoy the college experience. Enjoy life. Enjoy the people you love. And just know that the end result is something to work hard for.