Lately it seems like every time I turn around, I’ve passed some kind of important anniversary in this journey. April marked the anniversary of making the life changing decision to join TFA. Last Friday marked the one year anniversary of graduating from dear old CU (!). This weekend is the anniversary of the May Hiring Fair and CSET Testing Weekend.
This time last year, I was studying for the CSET like crazy (and also going to graduation parties like crazy). Then, I was traveling to San Fransisco and hanging out with people I didn’t know and pretending like I knew what I was doing. Oh, and trying not to starve to death. I do hope for the sake of the ’08 corps members that they will have a richer supply of food this time around. It was quite miserable attempting to live off of tiny bagels and mushy bananas.
Now, the things I do like crazy include a whirlwind of paperwork, trying to get all the stuff back up on my walls after the CST, and trying to organize myself enough to get my students to meet their Big Goals. What a difference a year makes.
There is no doubt in my mind that TFA was the right choice for me. It’s been an incredible experience so far, and though I’m not sure if I’ll stay in education forever, I do know that I did make a difference for my students. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
But looking at my friends’ graduation pictures, I can’t help but feel a strong wave of nostalgia. It’s impossible not to feel sentimental when I think about how dramatically I have changed from the person I once was. What if I had stayed in Boulder, CO? What if I had chosen a psychology lab job somewhere? What if I had (gasp!) moved back in with my parents? None of those other possibilities would have forced me to undergo such a complete transformation in such a short period of time. I’m a stronger, wiser person because of the choices I made a year ago. And though I might feel sentimental about the life I could have had, I know that I could never be content with going back to it.