Tales of a [Former] Graphic Designer Turned Full-Time Engineering Student

My blog is having a little bit of an identity crisis. How does one write a blog about being a graphic designer who is going back to school for an engineering degree if one is no longer a graphic designer?

Today is my last day at work. I’m cleaning off my computer, packing boxes, taking down pictures and sending out emails to thank people I’ve enjoyed working with. This afternoon I will hand over my staff ID card and scrape the staff parking pass off my windshield. I will no longer be able to park right outside my classes or check out library books for six months. As much as I’ve anticipated this day and worked hard to coordinate all the details to make it possible, being a full-time university employee while also attending school for the past four years has really become my identity. And it’s going to be really strange walking away from it.

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It’s a New Post…It Really Is

I read a lot of blogs. And every once in a while a blog will just kind of, well, stop. I’ll realize I haven’t seen a new post in weeks, maybe months. And I’ll wonder why. Did the blog’s author just run out of ideas? Did they get sick of the subject? Did something terrible happen to them? Whatever the reason, I’ve always thought – I’d never let that happen to my blog. I’m committed. I’m dedicated. I’m a responsible blog owner.

Dang.

Guilty.

I haven’t written in two months. And I’ve thought about it constantly. I didn’t run out of ideas. I didn’t get sick of the subject. I didn’t get hit by a bus. Long story short, I’ve been having a rough time in my personal life and I just haven’t had it in me to write about school because it’s felt insignificant compared to everything else I was feeling.

So, first of all, if you’re reading this – thanks for coming back. I hope I can keep up my end of the bargain from here on out because lots and lots of exciting things are coming down the pike. Remember this post? This post was in June. I said it might be a few months before I could discuss my new plan. It’s been nine months. Better late than never?

I gave my notice at my job last Thursday. As of May second I will be a full-time student and will be graduating in May of 2015, a full year earlier than I originally expected. And I’m so, so excited. I start my job at the power plant as a power generation intern on May 19 (look for more posts about that) and will be back on campus at the end of August for my last two semesters.

Leaving my job was a really big decision and is obviously a big risk. I’ve saved as much money as I can and have plans in place for health insurance and other things I’ve taken for granted as a full-time employee for the last ten years. I’m an obsessive list-maker and planner, so you you can bet I have a big spreadsheet detailing out how much this is all going to cost and how I’m going to make it work. Fingers crossed that it goes according to plan.

More than anything I can’t wait to have two semesters where I can focus on only school. Splitting my attention between work and school has been absolutely exhausting. I’ve been trying to be two places at the same time constantly and I never feel like I’m giving it my all in either place. I am looking forward to finally being fully in one world and able to dedicate myself to it the way I have wanted to for the last four years.

So I’m going to be incredibly busy next year and there will be lots of tests and projects and groups. And I’m going to try to learn how to roll with the punches. Because last semester proved to me that trying to do everything for everyone and do it perfectly just isn’t good for a person. I want to work on staying calm, accepting things as they come and learning to be a better leader by not doing everything myself. Lots of growth potential there. Lots to write about. Thanks for coming back!