My Career Exploration Experience

My Career Exploration Experience

Since I was young I was very good at math and science.  To me it was easy and straightforward.  As a kid I also idolized scientists who changed the world for the better with their discoveries and innovations.  When I was in high school math and science were still easy to me (and dare I say fun as well?).  So when it became time for me to go to college and pick a major I knew it would be a science, how could it not?  I chose physics, because to me it seemed the easiest and most interesting. 

It goes without saying that college math and science is HARD.  It was still doable, but not quite as much fun as it once was.  My sophomore year I became an RA.  I loved it!  Helping people, building the community, it was all so amazing and fulfilling.  I made many of my best friends as an RA.  I loved it so much I also became a winter and summer RA (I basically spent the whole year on campus).  I ended up being an RA for three years, all the way up to my senior year.  Now senior year physics? Not easy.  It’s hard and very boring.  So I started to look at my life.  I had wanted to become a scientist to discover something that benefits humanity and could change the world.  But I would have to do many years more of schooling to even begin working on that goal, and even then it was in no way guaranteed.  Then I looked at my life as an RA.  I was really good at it.  I got to help people every day and I loved it.  So what if I did that as my career?  Sure, I couldn’t change the world, but I could help people every day, and even a smaller impact was a happy one.  So I decided: I would pursue a career in residence life and housing. 

Now this is a great revelation to have, but of course I didn’t make it till maybe a month and a half before I graduated.  It being so late, I thought it too late to consider looking into a grad program.  So instead I started looking for a job as a Residence Director.  I applied to a lot of jobs, got a good amount of interviews, and even some on campus tours/interviews.  I felt confident I could get a job by the end of the summer.  I didn’t.  My mother made me get a manual labor job in the meantime.  It was 40-60 hours a week and it was brain numbing.  I will say however that I made BANK, I was able to completely pay off my car and put a huge dent in my debt, as well as have some money squirrelled away for when I need it. My plan was to apply to grad schools in the meantime, but I was so brain dead I didn’t have the energy to before work.  So right after Christmas I quit.  I went to work as a substitute teacher (my mother is a teacher so made applying easy).  I actually loved it.  Kids loved me and I loved helping them learn and put a smile on their faces.  And it was only six hours a day so I had time to search for a grad program.  I applied to Binghamton’s Student Affairs Administration program in late February.  Before I could even finish applying anywhere else they accepted me.  Not wanting to pay money to apply anywhere else I enrolled.  I applied for and got a position in the residence life program as an Assistant Residential Coordinator.  I was finally doing what I wanted and I was still good at it and still loved it.  I was (and still am) happy.  

I am currently finishing up my final semester of my grad program.  I am working with Fleishman as part of said program, but I also really enjoy it.  I just love helping people, and here I get to do that and help reaffirm people of their skills and aptitude.  Child me would have never seen me in such a place in life (although to be fair he did not know much about college).  I think the moral of my story is do what makes you happy, and figure out the rest as you go along.

By Sebastian DeCrescenzo
Sebastian DeCrescenzo