“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
–Morrie from #TuesdaysWithMorrie
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions. The one word I kept repeating to myself all throughout my last semester of college. From January to May I kept thinking of all my “real world” options I had for post-grad. As if my last semester wasn’t stressful enough, I was dealing with the overwhelming stress of what graduate school I was going to attend the following year. I had made my decision that graduate school was the way I wanted to go, I just never thought that having many options was going to be this stressful.
Since freshman year, my goal was to graduate with a bachelors in Communications and hit it big in the Big Apple. For me, financially, the only ticket up there was graduate school. I applied to NYU, along with schools in Texas and USC. My mind was set. I was set. I knew what I wanted.
Or at least I thought I knew what I wanted.
I received my acceptance letter from NYU. My reaction was nowhere near what I had thought it would be. This was the moment of truth. The moment I waited for. And, I was almost upset it didn’t go as planned. Though I was glad to even receive an acceptance letter, it no longer felt right. The same went for USC. It was then that I realized that my passion had become bigger than my New York City dream.
I had to remember that I needed to base my decisions on where I was in my life right at this moment and not on what I wanted four years ago. For the past year and half I had been interning with a Latino non-profit. I became that “Super Intern”. You know, the one who stays there for three semesters cause they love it so much? Yup, that was me. I had dedicated my time to a non-profit whose mission hit home. Though supportive of my dreams and aspirations to move out of state, I had been asked to stay on board as Communications Specialist.
I had to make the decision…. Was I going to go on ahead to NYU or stay in Texas and continue my masters locally while being able to continue to do what I love at a place whose culture was so welcoming and so supportive.
It’s been months since I made my decision. It’s been a rough period as I have gone over my decision trying to get some clarity—making sure this was right for me. I went through some type of post-grad stage that I’m still trying to figure out if I’m the only one that I know that experienced that. I’m proud to say after all these months, I can finally write about my decision and know it was the best one I could have made.
Some people will never understand the choice I made. I can hear people constantly asking how I could have possibly given up NYU. Was I scared, they repeated. Are you doubting yourself? To answer all your questions— I wasn’t scared. It wasn’t that I wasn’t ready. It wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, because I knew that whatever I put my mind to, and if my heart was in it, I could do. It wasn’t about the money maybe making more money. It was about where my heart was. It was about dedicating myself to my community. Being that do-gooder and being part of a group that made a difference; being part of a community that cared about a population that needed to be heard, not a group of people who were working for the top dogs.
I love what I do and I hope you all do too. I’ve found joy, happiness and stability in a point in my life where, 6 months ago, I wouldn’t think I would be in. So next time when they ask what I do, I’m going to say I have the honor of working with and learning from everyday superheros and it doesn’t get much better than that.