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Monday, November 28, 2005

This is gonna sound weird, but I'm not applying to UCLA after all. I'm embarrassed to say so because it sounds like I'm quitting. I've been mulling this over all month, trying to figure if I'm just rationalizing cold feet or if I'm truly coming to an honest change of heart. Here's the thing. I haven't been excited about it. Something I've been looking forward to for some time now, and it gets here and I'm not excited. Why? And I realize I don't want to do it. Then I start worrying. Am I just scared? Am I running away from something difficult?

If I wasn't accepted, I'd be disappointed. But most of the disappointment would be because UCLA was the only option I allowed. I was so insistent on there being only one way. It all came down to elitism. I think I was more interested in getting the UCLA Alumni license plate holder than the actual degree. It was all about that name brand. Tsk, tsk. I finally became aware of it when I took a hard look at my "plan". I was going to ask for a leave of absence from work to finish school full time. Well, to finish would be at least a year. So, that's a whole year without pay. And, if my employer didn't grant the leave of absence I'd have to either quit the job or quit school. That would put me in the position of quitting a job that pays well to get a degree that doesn't qualify me for any job. That's not integrity, that's insanity.

There are paths specifically for people like me - working adults - and here I am instead stubbornly trudging along a much more difficult "traditional" path. That's plain stupid. The nerve of me, thinking those paths aren't good enough for me. I fell into a trap that grabs a lot of people - trying to fix the past via the present. I can't change the fact that I messed up in high school and didn't go straight to a university by doing it now. The past can't be changed, only accepted.

Friday, at my parents' house, my brothers were talking about school (two of them are in college) and, like most young kids, it was a chore for them. They were actually bragging about not paying attention in class. I commented to my mom that I'm glad I did school the way I did, slower and later in life, because I appreciate it more. I go to school because I like it. I love learning new things, both in and out of school. For them it's just a means to an end. I get to enjoy the journey more this way.

Also, I mentioned earlier that I was considering being a librarian. I'm really leaning towards that. I don't know that I really want to counsel people. I'd have to do an internship as part of my Masters. The pay is usually not that great, either. My husband agrees that being a librarian would really suit my temperament. I could always go back to school for counseling later if I wanted.

So, new plan. Find a different school to transfer to, like a Cal State or private university, something with evening and/or weekend classes. Wrap up general ed classes at PCC. Finish my bachelors. Perhaps get a masters in library science, maybe even at UCLA.

And, somewhere in there, start a family.