This summer has been a time of adjustment and refocus. Not that that’s a bad thing, it just threw me for a loop. But now it’s time to head back to school and my focus and drive is returning.
The next chapter in my journey has started! This past weekend I traveled to the good ol’ state capital of Raleigh to attend orientation for my graduate program. The North Carolina State University Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management program is based online, but the faculty wanted to get everyone together to meet each other and faculty, become comfortable with the online platforms we’ll be using, and be exposed to all the resources available to us as NC State students (I’m so excited about the library!). I know that institutionalized education isn’t for everyone, but I love it and thrive in that environment. Perhaps it is because my education was so fluid as a child? As I walked around the NC State campus before heading back to Hendersonville, I was reveling in being surrounded by students, old and new buildings, libraries and high caliber professors. I wasn’t sure that I even wanted to leave! But I love my job and I wouldn’t trade the place I’m in now for anything. I’m really grateful that there is a program that fits my needs and is delivered in an online format that allows me to continue working in recreation.
I’m not sure when I decided that getting my master’s degree was what I wanted, the desire just grew naturally out of my work and experiences as an undergrad at Mars Hill. As I’ve jumped into the first couple of assignments, I’m impressed with how ready I am, the knowledge and instruction that I received from Mars Hill has prepared me very well to transition into higher education.
The next two years are going to be hard, this is going to require a lot of structure, balance and dedication. It means my social time will be limited, I won’t get to ride my bike as often as I want, and I’m going to learn a lot of things that I can turn around and apply directly to my job. I’ve already met some cool people and look forward to meeting more, And when all is said and done, I’ll have a graduate degree! That thought still blows my mind a bit! What’s next, a doctorate?