I’ve gotten a few things from the bazillion colleges that I asked for more information from, and I’m genuinely surprised at how little actual information they’ve sent. I guess I don’t really know what I expected, maybe something about their application processes & deadlines, what they look for in applicants, more details about their anthropology programs since they all asked what I was interested in. What I got was a little pile of pamphlets & swag that basically tells me nothing. The University of Michigan even said they wanted to look up my ACT scores, you know what they sent? An over sized postcard with a bumper sticker and an appeal to put it on something and post a photo to Instagram with #goblue. How is that supposed to help me choose them over some other school? When I asked for more information it was because I wanted more information, not a booklet of all the companies that have hired their graduates, a breakdown of their football statistics, or what the social scene is like in their city. This is about whether you fit into my future plans, not how cool you think you are.
It’s strange to think that just two weeks ago I had no direction, and now I’m starting to form an actual plan for the next couple of years. When I first started looking at colleges I thought I’d narrow it down to three, and that seemed like an impossible task. A week or so of research and I pretty much settled on the University of South Florida. Today I started freaking out that it was the wrong choice, and now I’m back to thinking it’s a good one. Anyway I asked like 14 schools to send me more information so I’m going to be getting junk mail forever.
Added to the Travel Map:
Lakehurst Naval Air Center, Lakehurst, New Jersey – site of the Hindenburg Disaster.
Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania, Australia – wild looking rock formations.
Grossinger’s Resort, Liberty, New York – abandoned.
Craco, Italy – a ghost town.
For quite a while now I’ve been trying to figure out what I’m doing, where my life is going. I’ve thought about going back to school but didn’t know what I would study. Then on Sunday afternoon God smacked me with it: I should study archaeology. History, travel, playing in the dirt. It’s like the perfect profession. So I spent all week researching colleges, programs, and scholarships. It’s a huge pain.
Added to the Travel Map:
Mothman Museum, Point Pleasant, West Virginia – dedicated to a cryptid.
Moonville Tunnel, McArthur, Ohio – abandoned, probably haunted.
Fort of Graça, Elvas, Portugal – HUGE & abandoned.
I decided I wanted to study archaeology – that day and the next day there were stories about major archaeological developments on my Facebook trending news sidebar.
I started seriously considering the University of South Florida – that day there were two stories about Floridians killing each other on my Facebook trending news sidebar.
One of the great mysteries of my life has always been this: how does anybody ever decide which college to go to? Good God, there’s so many options, how do you narrow it down? It’s a skill in and of itself, figuring out which schools offer the kind of program that fits your interests. In high school I felt like everybody around me knew not only exactly what they wanted, but exactly how to get there. Admittedly I don’t know how that worked out for them, but still, how does anybody know these things at 17?
I thought I knew what I wanted, but it hasn’t really worked for me. I ended up with two Associate’s degrees from a community college and while they’ve been useful, I’ve found that my profession really needs to be more of a hobby, or side money at best. I’d thought about going back to school, in fact always felt I’d missed out on something by not attending a university, but when it came to what to study….big ol’ blank space.
Then God hit me with an epiphany: archaeology. I love history almost to the point of being depressed that I can’t experience it, I like working outside, I’ve always loved playing in the dirt. I desperately want to travel and gain a real understanding of new places.
So here I am, almost ten years out of high school, and five away from my last round of college classes, trying to figure out not only what school to attend, but also how to snag some scholarships and grants to pay for it. I’ll do my best to record my endeavors, hopefully to tell you all about what I’m learning in school, and eventually (!) what I’m working on in the field.
(I’d like to take a moment before I leave to wonder how exactly a loan came to be considered aid? Money that you have to give back isn’t all that helpful….)