I sit here every night, all day long, thinking of what I can do with my life. I reflect on the degree I went to college for, Criminology and Criminal Justice, and try to figure out why I got a degree in this field. What I have found is a few different reasons but all reasons that one should not choose a degree for. First reason is when I spent my four years in the Marine Corps, I felt like my duty and service to society was not finished, when I was discharged, and I needed to continue. Only way I could figure out how to do that was to get into law enforcement. After six years of applications, interviews, and a bachelors degree, I have realized I really do not have the assertive and authoritarian personality that is required of such position. I joke about why I joined the Marine corps and that is “I joined to help people kill people, not kill people myself.” Well in more civilized wording, I joined to support those who wanted to go to war, but at the same time doing my duty. Needless to say, I got stuck in a combat job, so that was the beginning of my misleading adventures. My second reason I can muster together was influence I received from my ex-family. There was a few people in law enforcement and the influence came strong at the right, or was it the wrong, time. With both of these variables taking effect at the same time, it more or less brain washed me into a degree that I really had no interest in. Wasted my G.I. Bill and now I ponder on if going back to school is what I want to do, but what would I study if I did?
The last few days I have been talking to contacts of mine, reaching out to online schools that have a great reputation and have really dug into my past on what I wanted to do as a teenager. I really wanted to do something to study Meteorology. I had few hobby items to get me by with the slight understanding and I even had a shadowing set up with a Chief Meteorologist here in Portland with a news station. That shadowing never took place because I was injured in a water rafting accident and was canceled. Before I knew it, I would be on my way to the Marine Corps instead. I liked the idea of broadcasting the weather and now that I look back at it, it is still an interest of mine but the only school nearby that offers it is Seattle, three hours north. Not something I can do because my kids live here and I can’t ask anyone to uproot themselves to chase a childhood dream. I started thinking even deeper on what I could do and that brought me to what I am doing exactly at this moment, writing. I enjoy writing and telling stories, so why not look into media broadcasting of some sort. I write this blog and I write a sports blog for the Portland Trailblazers, both at which have a pretty decent following. This leads me to believe that it is something I enjoy, and I am not the only one that enjoys what I write, or how I write.
Earlier today I sent out an email to a local news anchor and talked to schools about Journalism and Mass Communication degrees. A few suggested I look into a masters program but not many offer that and in all honesty, a Bachelors of Arts would be plenty to get me into that field. Most online schools offer transfer programs that could get me a degree in roughly a year. In this time I could be applying to work for companies and interning for them as well. I found that Ashford University has the best offering for me personally, price per credit, and the most flexible online school schedule. I just now need to hear back from a few contacts of local news stations to see if this is the degree I would pursue to get into this field or if there is something else.
I am coming up faster than ever on 30. Yes, still 18 months away, but it is right around the corner, and I am still working jobs that someone out of high school can do. Yes, I set the bar high and try to be the best in the office still, but it is not something I feel like I have to show for at the age of 28. Wednesday I have a phone appointment with a student adviser and hope to have more information for him when the time comes around.
Going back to school will be tough. I will need to continue working full time to make sure I pay the bills, keep my exercise routine up, and find time to squeeze in a little bit of school work. Thankfully I was always a faster learner and thinker in school, which allowed me to average 18 credits a term and work full time when I was pursuing my other degree, while maintaining a 3.58 GPA. This time I will find it a bit more challenging, as I am scrapping by with bills as is, if you can call it that, and I am looking for new work or success in my current position, whichever comes first. I am not one that likes to jump jobs frequently, so hopefully we have a change in the environment here rather quickly.
I think what may have been the final straw for me to look into this field of study was really reach into my inner self, and as cheesy as it sounds, really picture myself maybe in a different age of time or something. I particularly think back to the time of when people had their hobby or their job attached to their name. Like Joseph the Warrior, or the Herald, or whatever it would be. I believe that my title would be Russell the Storyteller. I have always loved to tell stories to other people and have recently grown quite fond of writing, so why not combine the two and share it with the world? I do not think there is any other reason why not to really look into this field and find better answers. Maybe do some shadowing for a day or so with some current people in this field, to get a feel of what I could soon be doing. That may be an idea before pursuing a degree which literally popped in my head as I am writing this. Only thing I know is that commonly I get good feedback on my writing, from both the blogs that I do, and I think it may be time to take it to a more professional level.
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