For the sake of this blog, let’s say an English major decides that my life the last couple months needs a good thematic analysis. I think the theme they might astutely land on would be “change.” In December, after my last final was over, I packed up my half of the dorm room and moved away from the safe bubble of Orange City. I lived at home during Christmas break and absolutely savored the loads and loads of laundry I could do for free. Then just a few weeks ago I packed up again and moved to West Des Moines to begin student teaching.
I went from being a full-time student for the last 3.5 years to essentially having a full-time job. Don’t get me wrong, I’m loving it so far. But change is still change and sometimes it can be a little difficult to wrap your head around. Instead of going to chapel after my 8:55 a.m. class and then rushing to finish my homework before my 11:50 a.m. class or taking a nap in between Ed Psych and Special Methods, I’m at school working from 7:45 a.m. until 4 p.m. about five days a week.
The other day I compared this whole experience to re-potting my succulents that had grown out of the pots I originally planted them in about eight months ago. The soil was dry and the roots were a mess. They not only needed new soil but a newer, bigger place to grow. After re-potting them, I had to wait two days before watering them for the first time in the new soil by recommendation of the internet. Oh how I wanted to water them right away! But you gotta trust the process, and they needed time to adjust.
I think it’s been the same with me. At this point in my college career I’ve probably outgrown the safe environment of NWC and needed to be pushed into something bigger and more challenging. The first few days of my student teaching were incredibly overwhelming with so many new routines and rules and people and places. It was like the initial shock of taking my succulents out of the containers they’d gotten used to.
By my fourth day at the school, my cooperating teacher asked if I would be comfortable leading an entire day’s worth of classes through some getting-to-know-you games as part of the beginning of their semester. My inner camp counselor was overjoyed at the chance to do something instead of sitting back and observing. So I agreed, and spent the whole day getting to know my students as the remarkable and complex people that they are. Much like my plants finally getting some water, I finally felt some personal affirmation that I was in the right place doing the right thing.
So yeah, it’s been challenging. But I’m okay. I’m trusting the process and very thankful for the strong foundation that’s been built for me through Northwestern.