Either I will find a way or I will make one.

Philip Sidney was a determined little guy, huh?

We share the same name, albeit spelled differently. We also share the same mindset.

The title of this post originated from Philip Sidney. And I vaguely remember thinking that exact same thought a few days ago when I was freaking out about what I was going to do this summer.

My loyal readers already know that I’ve been applying for REU programs across the country so that I can hopefully get accepted into a research program that will spur along the rest of my academic career and even career plans. I was also looking into different internships and have been contacting family members for any information on any research opportunities. Needless to say, I don’t particularly want to be a nanny again.

The above information was presented rather mildly. Honestly, I was stressed. Somehow my mom knew that from nearly three hours away and called me to talk for awhile.

And the next day, this is part of the passage I read in the devotion book:

“The problem occurs when we want to sneak a peek at God’s secret will before it has been revealed. Often we are too concerned with trying to anticipate His next move.

The bottom line is this: don’t worry about God’s secret, pre-determined will. Just trust that God is going to work out His plan for our life as He guides you providentially and focus on obeying God’s moral will day by day by day. When you recognize your dependence upon God for holiness, and you humbly seek to live your life according to His guidelines and moral teachings, you will be in the middle of His will for your life.

God’s will for your life is more relational (love God and others) than it is geographical (know where to live) or occupational (recognize what job to take).”

So this is where I’m at. I’m calmly sipping my peppermint tea while nibbling on almonds and dark chocolate and working on my organic chemistry lab report when I’m reminded of those words. Yeah, I’ll be really disappointed if (notice that I said “if”) I don’t make it into those REU programs. And if I absolutely can’t find an internship or any other job, there’s always the nanny job — my mom brought up a good point that the hours of a nanny job are predictable and usually easy to work around.

Even if I don’t find a way or God will make one, life goes on. Maybe I’ll make that my new life motto.

Someday I’ll be old enough to read fairy tales again.

I just realized why the early 20s is supposed to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest part of a person’s life.

I was filling out applications for REU programs for this summer and after the typical biographical fill-in-the-blank questions, I inevitably always get to the essay questions. This one in particular had a question that I hadn’t had to answer on any of the other apps:

Specifically, where do you see yourself career-wise in 5 years?

One of the previous questions had asked a vague question about my career and education goals but this asked for specifics. I had 2 objections to this question.

Firstly, some people my age are still undecided about their major so how exactly can they expect me to know specifics about where I’m going to be in 5 years?

Secondly, there is no way that I’m going to be able to be get more specific than the answer I gave for the previous question so I (and everyone else) will be making the answer up.

However, I wanted to get this app done so I could send my professors a list of email address for letters of recommendation. So I googled entry-level positions at pharmaceutical companies and clinical research facilities in order that I may neatly construct an answer that soundly remotely feasible.

You want to know what I found out? The jobs that I’m looking for have incredibly high requirements in order to even be considered for the interview. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s a lot of competition over only a few jobs. And yes, I feel like that’s how it is everywhere with any degree, but it finally hit me how hard it’s going to be when I graduate.

No wonder people my age either hate fairy tales or obsess over them. Happy endings seem a long way off when you’re at the bottom of the totem pole. You have the option of ignoring the stories that seem a hint too cheerful because they are constant reminders of exactly what your life could be and isn’t. Or you can swallow them whole and gorge yourself on fake realities because it somehow makes this reality seem a little less harsh.

Can you do both?

Potential has a shelf life.

I can jump off a cliff.

It’s true. I am physically capable of doing so. I can also eat a bumblebee. Not sure why I’d want to, but I can do it!

Moral of that story: we can all do things that we shouldn’t necessarily do.

For example, I’m majoring in both Chemistry and English. Why? Because I can somehow process the scientific method and write out lab reports about the stuff that makes up life and, at the same time, I can write a pretty sestina about the leaves that fall in autumn (a type of poem for those of you who don’t know). My brain is wired the same way as everyone else but we all function in different ways and are productive at different levels of efficiency.

The amount and level of classes that I have to take every semester is extremely taxing. What bothers me most though are my changing feelings about the types of classes I’m taking. I have an interest in Chemistry while I simply have a gift for English. Chemistry is the field that I have chosen for myself as a potential future career path, but English was given to me without my asking — but I’m not complaining! It’s nice to have that balance between interest and passion.

However, as I have started school, I have begun to realize something. Actually, it was less of a realization and more of a doubt wiggling it’s way through my thoughts and eating through the plans that I have drafted for my future. While I normally am confident in the path that I have chosen, my steps lately have been hesitant and my eyes have faltered from the goal upon which they were fixed.

I’m not sure I’m going to like my science classes anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I love working in the lab and I am fascinated with the idea of learning about cell geometry and organic compounds. But while I was simply sitting in my Organic Chem class in order to get the grade, a smile crossed my face when I walked into my Literature Criticism class! If you think measuring the angles between bonds in Chemistry is bad, you should never try classifying works of writing. Both classes are considered quite difficult…but my reactions were totally different.

I’m not scared. To be honest, I think I could handle it if I was scared. I can banish fear and force myself to endure the hard classes.

I’m nervous. Anxiety undermines the foundation of my confidence and it’s harder to walk a path when your eyes are clouded with doubts. Just because we can do things, doesn’t mean we should do them. Just because it’s possible for me to double major, doesn’t mean that I should mentally drain myself to do so. At the same time, I would hate to waste potential and the opportunities that such an academic combo would bring.

There’s only so much time for me to think about this decision. Without an expiration date though, it’s hard to tell if I no longer have a strong enough interest in Chemistry to continue upon that path. I can’t tell if the door is still open for me.

I may not be spoiled goods quite yet, but I do have a potential shelf life.