Thursday, November 26, 2009

Discovering a Dream

It amazes me just how often the average college student switches majors. In high school, I used to stand by and watch as all of my friends seemed unable to to stand fast on any of their decisions. They would bounce around all sorts of majors, switch from one college to another, change friend groups, and never seem able to simply settle on one big picture. I would laugh at these indecisive friends of mine and never imagine such a difficulty ever happening to me. I was a French and Music major at Northern Michigan University until the end! I would never change!

Well, one semester of school and one trip to Haiti later and I am a biology-physiology premedical major with a minor in French. Two semesters of pursuing this decision later and I discover that this really is not exactly what I want. I hate science. I want to be a doctor and help Haiti, but I don't want to get my bachelors in this!

I now faced a problem, what the heck did I want to do with my life? I wanted to see the world; of this much I was certain, but how to go about this? I was sick of the average college life; sick of school and the drudgery of studying. I talked with my dad at some length about what I wanted out of life and discovered I am so similar to him that it is almost frightening. I spent days stressing over how to get what I wanted out of life with whatever I got my bachelors degree in. Were there a degree in 'world traveler' I would go for that in a heartbeat, but sadly there is no such thing. I also could not just pack up my bags and go on a random trip, as that requires money that I did not have. (Even with a dad working for Delta airlines, traveling is expensive; the plane rides themselves just are not)

I went out to eat with a good friend of mine from high school named Brent who had just returned from a year and a half deployment to Korea with the Air Force. We were talking about the future and how I was thinking about transferring back home to the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities ("I would never leave Northern Michigan University," guess we all have figured out by now that I'm just like everyone else!) and joining the Marine Corps ROTC program offered there. We talked at length about my past year in the Army ROTC and how I loved military life and then we went on to talk about what I would do if I were to enlist in the Marine Corps. I had been doing research on different MOS and had found that Combat Camera seemed to interest me quite a bit. Brent asked what that was and I told him it was rather similar to photojournalism.

Photojournalism. That word rang in my head over and over again as if an echo trying to find its way through the maze of my hemispheres to a specific lobe of my brain. photojournalism ... photojournalism ... photojournalism.

Shit. I'm a dumbass. My eyes widened and I couldn't help but blurt out, 'I finally figured it out!' Which, needless to say, completely confused poor Brent. I didn't care, I had figured out what I was going to do with my life. (I did eventually explain to him why I had suddenly frightened the poor kid. He was not that worried, he had dealt with my A.D.H.D. all throughout high school choir.)

Photojournalism, what an amazing word! I had always loved taking pictures throughout my whole life. When we would go on trips to my cabin or as a family to various parts of the world I would always be that person who always had a camera with them. I would have so many pictures when we returned that they wouldn't fit on the maximum 5 target photo CDs. English had also always been my strong point in high school and I thank my sophomore year English teacher, Mrs. Meysenberg, for this one as well has Mrs. Dow who had always tried to get me to read one of my poems for speech team, but never succeeded in getting me to join. However, she was always the first person I brought a new poem to, because I knew she would take as much excitement in reading it as I had in writing it. I love writing!

Northern Michigan University does not offer photojournalism as a major, but they do offer an extremely strong photography program. I am going to finish up my sophomore year at NMU as a declared photography major (I get a Macbook computer now!) then I will transfer back to University of Minnesota Twin Cities and finish up with a photojournalism degree. I will travel the world for a few years and do whatever I can with that degree, then come back and go to medical school. I am so excited I cannot even begin to describe it. I love knowing what I am going to do with my life!

"I was a French and Music major at Northern Michigan University until the end! I would never change!”
I guess we have proven that statement not to be true! I am pretty set on my current life decision, but you never know. However, for now, I am going to try my best to at least weekly (and then daily as time allows) keep up a blog here just to let the world know where God has taken me and my camera. (I need a new camera…) I am not expecting it to be anywhere exotic right off the bat, but for now I am satisfied with opening my eyes up more to the world around me and finding the beauty and inspiration in what God has given me.

Until next time!
McConnell out

The old life is gone; a new life has begun!"
-2 Corinthians 5:17