My Transition (Part 1)

A few months ago, I learned something on a cool, sunny, fall Sunday morning that we can all understand. And that is this… Change is scary, and it becomes even scarier when it comes at a time when we least expect it to.

Within six months, I left the comfort of my mother’s house; said goodbye to my friends and family; packed up my Subaru; and moved to Winona – all in the hopes that I could begin a new chapter of my life… college. It was frightening enough being the young blood, in a house with four strangers, inexperienced, sailing in unfamiliar waters, and having to immediately run on my academic afterburners… and for what?

For many years, I found gratification in exercise. It was the first thing that disciplined me, because the weight room was one of the first mediums which helped medicate a myriad of personal issues I was dealing with. I finally found a hobby that brought me just a little solace amidst my inner chaos. It brought order and a sense of routine to my life… but see, it was a hobby. That doesn’t necessarily translate into a career. It does for some – taking the cliché, “I do what I love and love what I do” phrase to another level. Because I love exercise (and always have), I automatically convinced myself that it was something I could make a career out of – under the unshakable impression that this was an avenue which would enable me to impart wisdom on clients, ultimately better themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Perhaps it would have, but the catch twenty two is… I’m not good at it.

Just because you consider yourself to be an enthusiast about something (and this is translatable to almost any other field or walk of life), it does not make you an expert. To become a master of your craft, it requires application, not settling for being mediocre, drive, and honestly… God given natural ability that you have to tap into. When I was looking at transfer colleges, Winona State had a reputation of being a pantheon for nursing and health sciences. Believe me; it lives up to the hype. I originally came down here in August of 2013 with a goal to declare a major in exercise science with a minor in nutrition. It seems like the picture perfect template for a personal trainer or strength and conditioning specialist. I immediately found myself panicking.

I’m the epitome of a left brain. I embrace and succeed with English, writing comprehension, public speaking, and have an aptitude for social studies. At the end of my second week of first semester, I was pouring over my Chemistry textbook (which was about as thick as half the alphabetical encyclopedia), and realized that this would seem so much less insufferable if I actually thought this would get me somewhere. After a very opportune and constructive conversation with my parents, I finally came to the overwhelming conclusion that I was in a career path that backed me into a corner, I wasn’t good at, and didn’t really want to follow when the chips were down. I could recite Sir Walter Scott in my sleep, with pneumonia, but can hardly comprehend empirical formulas and molar mass on a clear day where the tide is low.

In addition to being enrolled in my last two general education classes, I was in two major science classes with labs – Anatomy and Physiology I and Principles of Chemistry. I was doing supplemental instruction; open labs; blocking off entire days and whole weekends; dedicating myself to studying Dalton’s atomic theory and the the axial skeleton; ultimately wondering why I was doing this, consciously knowing that it was a means to an end. It was then that I came to the decision to change my major. I’m now in Communication Studies – on the opposite side of the academic planet by comparison to exercise science. By changing my major, I dropped my two science classes, bringing my credit hours from fourteen down to six. The most frustrating part to this was that I saw this coming…

To be continued in part 2.

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