20something profile: Jamie
My story sounds much like that of my peers who graduated back in 2010. I thought that I knew what life would look like after I finished college, and I learned quickly that I was wrong.
I graduated with a B.A. in English in June 2010. I took an amazing trip to Europe, packed up my apartment, and prepared to move across the state where I was set to begin a teaching certification program in the fall. Teaching had been the plan my entire life; I’d even gotten scholarships from my high school to help prepare me for a career as an educator. The deal was made much sweeter by the idea that my boyfriend of nearly four years was waiting for me in this new city.
Two months after graduating with my B.A. and feeling on top of the world, life crashed down. My boyfriend and I broke up, and I began a teaching program in a new city, working in a classroom with students I couldn’t relate to. I spent a year wondering how I’d gotten to that place, asking myself if I still wanted to teach, and unsure about where to go from there.
Ultimately, I finished my credential program and then decided not to step into a classroom. Instead I moved out of state, joined AmeriCorps, and gave the non-profit world a spin for a year. It gave me time to clear my head and time to get some experience. I met some really awesome people, but also realized that I really missed my family. I’ve always been fiercely independent, but when my brother and his wife announced at Christmas that they were pregnant, I decided it was time to come home.
In July 2012, I took two friends on a 3300 mile road trip down the Pacific Coast, and then settled back in to my parents’ house with my cat and our two dogs. I discovered that many of my friends from high school had made similar decisions, and I stepped back into a social scene that made me feel like I was still a teenager.
Since returning home, I have volunteered at non-profit organizations, worked part-time in a doctor’s office, and tried to develop community connections as I try to figure out where to go from here. I’ve tentatively decided to go back and finish my Masters in Education because I’m only 12 units shy of finishing, but I also have my fingers crossed that a job application will yield up a full-time job at some point.
I recently began writing as a freelancer for a weekly community newspaper. I am taking courses at the community college to broaden my skill set, and I’m taking time each week to make sure my little nephew knows who his Auntie is. I keep a reading stack of 5+ books at a time and have told myself that this is a time to invest in my knowledge and skills while I wait for a call back from an employer who is interested in having me on board. I, like many other 20somethings, am waiting for something to work out, and writing my way through my waiting.