Welcome to the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except Sundays), I’ll be sharing a short bookish memory with you.
When I was an undergraduate, I was told that there was a specific way you were supposed to go about choosing a grad school if you wanted to study writing and literature. You were supposed to choose a school from a list of the best universities in the country. You were supposed to do well on the Graduate Record Exam so you would be accepted to whatever prestigious university you chose. When you got to grad school, you were supposed to study classics and adult literary fiction.
I took the first few steps along the path to grad school without much drama. I picked some well-respected schools from the list. I spent a year reading boring books and memorizing vocab words for the Graduate Record Exam.
Then, two things happened: First, I completely bombed the exam. A year of studying couldn’t overcome the fact that I’m the worst test-taker in the world. I'm much too anxious for tests. I should have known this exam thing would never work out.
Next, I admitted to myself that I didn’t really care about classics or adult literary fiction. I enjoy reading those genres, but I’m not passionate about them. I didn’t think I’d be happy spending 2+ years studying them.
But, I still wanted to go to grad school. I’m passionate about children’s literature, so I started researching schools that would let me study kids' books. None of the universities on the "top universities" list had children’s lit programs. I was forced to leave the “supposed to” path and make my own path. I ended up at a school that most people haven’t heard of. I’ve never seen it on a list of prestigious universities, but I don’t care. I’ve never regretted studying what I love instead of following the path I was supposed to take.
|Welcome sign at the start of my first semester.|
What about you? Have you ever followed your passion instead of doing what you were told to do? Did it work out for you?