This week is the last of my 3rd year here in the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, and it’s definitely bitter-sweet. While in the past, 3rd year students knew that they would see all of their friends again in the winter semester following their internship, this is no longer the case for many education students. With one quick change of a course requirement, it has opened up the door for students to complete their required classes in the spring and summer semesters and have all of their degree requirements after their internship. This means that after this week I won’t be seeing many of my friends around campus after internship.
Why am I not following suit and finishing early too? Well, with the super short notice of this change, it did not work into my life very easily to take 4 nights of evening classes for two months when I have already committed to coaching and teaching in the evenings for May and June. Would I have liked to? Sure! Who wouldn’t want to finish off their last 3 classes, and head into internship with even more knowledge?! But it just wasn’t going to work out for me.
My decision to take on this summer job that is occupying several of my evenings in the spring has been a great internal struggle for the last few weeks. It’s been a nagging, agonizing, gut wrenching choice that has been haunting me, and making me second guess the choice that I made way back in February. Back then, it seemed like a great choice! I will be working with a new company in Regina, and sharing my love of science and engineering with kids through workshops and summer camps. I have had a similar job before, and chose to partner with a new company to gain a new experience, share my expertise, and broaden my horizons…or at least this is how I felt a few months ago. Now, I am feeling like it’s holding me back. I’m feeling sad about not attending spring classes with my friends, I’m uneasy about what exactly the classes I teach will look like, and I’m uncertain what my summer will be like.
I think that this experience is teaching me a lot of things though, and I think (and hope!) that my mind can shift into a new perspective as this final week of the semester comes to a close. Being around all of my friends talking about their upcoming classes, finishing early, and heading off on great adventures is what is making me feel this way, and next week I won’t be around them anymore. In fact, I may not be with some of my fellow classmates for a very long time! What this is showing me though, is how narrow our focus in life often is though. I’m fretting over a summer job; one that lasts a mere four months of my life. That is not a long time in the grand scheme of things. Sure, a lot can happen in that span of time, but the journey will be one that I can learn from. It will give me the chance for some down time. I’ll be able to finally do some things around my house to really make it mine (we moved in at the start of October, so there wasn’t much time for doing that in the middle of the fall semester!). I’ll also be able to really gear up for my internship.
Internship too is only four short months long, and is something to really keep in perspective. We put so much pressure on ourselves to have great experiences in the field, but need to keep in mind that it is only four short months of what, hopefully, will be a lifetime career. Sure, we have the opportunity to learn a lot about ourselves and improve our teaching, but it’s just a taste. Right now we live our lives in little four month blocks of time, but the real world is so much more. So, while I have to accept the choices I made for the summer, it has also given me the opportunity to still have those four months after my internship to come back to the university to learn even more. I feel like those four months will give me time to reflect on my internship experience, to make current friendships and relationships with my fellow students and my PLN even stronger, and to really grow as an educator.
So while I sit here, still feeling a little bummed about being left behind, I just need to remember that in a year, I’ll be finished my degree, and I’ll have come so far as an educator and as a better person. The last three years have changed me so much, so I’m sure that another one will only continue the journey.