20something profile: Ananda
It took me a long and very frustrating time to get where I am today. I started out on a Pre-Med track then thought I could be a tough businesswoman; neither of them worked or made me feel valued. Finally I thought to stop thinking about what everyone wanted me to do and did, well, me.
The summer before my senior year (and last semester) of college, after two years of attempting to switch out of the major I was in, I decided to embrace it and realized it was truly what was right for me all along.
My major was Human Development, Sociology minor, with a concentration in business. I realized and really knew all along how much I loved children. I wanted to be an advocate for them — the voice they didn’t have and the ability to facilitate their development, and always be on their side. I didn’t know how to do this, however.
The summer before my senior year, I did a research project in an inclusive preschool classroom for immigrant and low-income families — talk about intersectionality and trying all aspects out! I thought this was a great group to be an advocate for, and I connected with children better than anyone I ever really encountered in any of my other internships and jobs in the other fields I had “tried out.”
Since my graduation in December 2012, I started my Master’s studying Early Childhood Special Education. Since college I’ve been working in different types of childcare and teaching positions trying to figure out what exactly I want to do.
It’s surely a struggle in this economy as just a few generations back, people out of college would be able to get jobs and also live independently from their parents. So there I was, still “figuring it out,” completely alone in a new city, at a new school, in the dead of upstate New York winter. It was the biggest wake up call of my life so far, and that’s when I realized I needed to support myself and do this for myself.
Despite all of the negative things about “getting into education” and “there are no jobs” as all “successful,” I find that working in education is a very important job that needs to be done by those who care and are passionate. I’m also hoping that once I graduate, there will be opportunities in education, given my multiple certifications and experience, by that time. Additionally, working with young children with disabilities has a huge demand.
As I’ve gotten through college, I’m realizing the importance in loving what you do. Even when things get hard, you don’t mind when you have to work for it and how many tries it takes. I do recommend always having some position, internship, and so on in order to make connections, to continue working, and to hopefully be one of the few to come straight out of school with a great job. I do believe that if you prepare yourself, you will be successful, and it will work out.
Also a difference may be (and I’m sure so many people disagree) is that you really do have to love what you do. Running immediately to the highest paying job will not fulfill you in all ways, and you can really find ways to make your lifestyle work as long as you’re determined and do not give up.
At this point in my life, I’m in school, trying. I’m pretty much broke and depend almost entirely on my parents when that would’ve been unheard of for my age a decade ago, but I’m blessed to have the support and am striving to become independent. I’m blogging, playing, working, volunteering, and all things that make me feel worthwhile.
And ultimately, I’m living through the quote: “Your 20’s are your ‘selfish’ years. It’s a decade to immerse yourself in every single thing possible. Be selfish with your time, and all the aspects of you. Tinker with shit, travel, explore, love a lot, love a little, and never touch the ground.”
Your 20s are a decade of complete self-discovery. Figure out what makes you “tick,” what makes you “feel,” and learn about yourself with yourself.