Failure to launch?

Tiara Felder, Managing Editor

As I have gotten closer to the end of my undergraduate career, one thing has become painfully obvious: People are going to judge you no matter what.  When I got my acceptance into the Master’s program in Higher Education and Student Affairs at the University of South Carolina (USC), I was so excited that I could hardly stand it.  As I began to tell others of my plans, though, I could see the judgment in their eyes.

While some kept their thoughts to themselves, others were bolder and asked, in not very nice tones, questions like, “So are you just going to move back home to Irmo?”  My answer?  No. Not in the way that they’re thinking.

I won’t lie.  I am happy that I will be a little closer to my family again, but that was not the reason that I chose to attend USC.  In fact, it wasn’t even one of the reasons in my ridiculously long list of pros.  I genuinely like the university, the campus and the atmosphere.  Also, my future program’s job placement being at 92% within six months didn’t hurt.  People don’t always seem to care about those points and instead focus on the one negative that they can readily find which is my being so close to my parents.  Thankfully one thing that my time at Francis Marion has taught me is that as long as I’m being true to myself, nothing else matters.

As a freshman, this was a lesson that I still hadn’t learned.  I thought that to be happy, I had to make everyone else happy even in the plans that I made for myself.  Because I do get a lot of my joy from seeing and influencing happiness in others, I didn’t have my line drawn yet, and I let it go too far.  I had decided on a pre-law course of study to satisfy my parents.  It didn’t take long, not even a full semester, for me to realize that I didn’t want this and to decide on an alternate track.

Similarly, this same tendency of mine was evident in my writing, both creative and academic.  It wasn’t until I took my first poetry class with Dr. Edwins that I began writing about what I wanted to write about in styles that felt comfortable and natural to me, and that is when my passion and success in English really began.  Since, I have begun to follow my intuition in everything that I do, and it has proven to work out quite well for me.

So, unlike the freshman version of me, I am graduating with full confidence in myself.  Despite others thinking that I have “failed to launch,” I know that I am soaring high and soon, I’ll have not one, but two degrees to my name in fields that I am passionate about.