I feel like I am in a transitional point in my life at this very moment. I have two phenomenal options for my next semester here at CMU as a biology major and a photojournalism major. (Disclaimer: I am in no way complaining about what is talked about in this blog. I am so incredibly blessed to have these difficult decision in my life).

First off, if you didn’t already know I am a peer mentor for the Science and Technology Residential College and I couldn’t ask for a better job during my college years. My past two years have been about making connections with other students, faculty and staff here at CMU and with professionals in the science and technology field. Most of the hours I clock involve setting up and holding events for students to attend like social parties or painting posters to advertise for those events. I also hold weekly office hours and it doesn’t matter who you are- if you’re a student,  it’s cool to say that you have office hours in your office every week… or at least it is for me. Almost every week I have a total of zero visitors so I sit in the office and do my homework for two hours. This is me every week. In short- I geek out about everything I get to do in this job, and I get paid for it. On top of all of that, we have a new director coming into the Residential College next year who I would be ecstatic to work with. Also, they are offering the Peer Mentors free room and board for the academic year for payment (which is over triple what we get paid now). Why would I ever leave, right? Well, I signed a lease back in November before I knew that these changes were being made, and there’s no way out of it.

On the other side of this street, my other opportunity is studying abroad in the United Kingdom at Edge Hill University next semester. I signed the lease with this in mind. This school is a great choice for my first abroad opportunity because it’s in a great location and is a similar size to my familiar CMU. It’s just a hop away from London, Ireland and Liverpool. The photos I would get to take on this trip make me so excited. Not to mention that I would finally get a chance to go whale watching… and to form words on that topic is hard for me because I’m so curiously obsessed with whales. Seriously, look at my Pinterest board about whales. On top of all that goodness, somehow the stars aligned and my best friend decided on the same university with neither of us even knowing that we were looking at the same school, let alone the same semester. Seems too good to be true, right?

I thought that as well as I strode into my new boss’s office last week in preparation to announce my decision to study abroad. I had been on the fence for weeks, and just decided to that studying abroad sounded too good to be true. So I told her, and of course she was disappointed that I would not be returning to work with her next year, but she was very excited for me to take this journey abroad.

It was about 48 hours after that announcement that I started to realize my excitement for studying abroad was masking the ultimate feeling that I should study abroad, not that I wanted to. Everything tells me to study abroad. The photos I’d get to take, the connections I’d make, the experience I’d have, the boost on my resume, and the fact that it would push me out of my comfort zone (which is something I really need to experience). But my heart wants to stay with this organization that I’ve become so proud of. studying abroad feels like it is something I should do.

So what do you do- follow your heart or follow your mind?  Do what you want to do or do what you think your should do? Only time will tell, but I’m not looking forward to the pro and con lists that I will be making over the next few nights. That’s for sure. This might come in handy.




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