This was my second year in community college. I’ve learned as much about myself as I did about MLA formatting, medical coding, and how to write captions and headlines. Life often works in mysterious ways, for I went back to school to specifically learn how to become a medical biller and coder, only to find that I don’t anymore. The semester I couldn’t get into any classes in my major but one, I took a creative writing elective so I would still qualify as a part-time student. That semester, I won a couple of writing awards, and began to wonder if I could bridge my career path with my passion. When a friend of mine got a job at a hospital writing press releases and health writing campaigns, I knew it could be done.
This past semester, I interned at a hospital and that is when I discovered that coding wasn’t for me, and not because I did poorly (I made a 90% in Beginning Coding). I just had to take something I wanted to know I didn’t want it anymore. That said, I still have two more coding classes to go, which I consider to be “paying my dues”, for everyone has to take a class or two they don’t particularly like.
My dream is still working in a cold hospital rather than a hot kitchen, so my question to myself was, “Where do I go from here when I am two-thirds deep into my degree?” I don’t want to be a professional college student, I want a career while I take one class every semester while building my career until I get my Masters in English and Communications, for it will be my medical degree that will pay for the other.
When I confided in my instructor about my feelings and she told me there were a multitude of jobs I could do with an HIT degree—that I wasn’t limited to coding—I felt like I’d released a breath I hadn’t known I’d been holding. Because the one hospital I hoped to be able to work for someday had fired all their coders and contracted them out remotely, I wanted to do something else in the healthcare field; I still wanted to work in administration, because I cannot stand the sight of blood (not even my own). How glad I am that I chose to get a well-rounded degree I could build on to rather than a college diploma, where I would be stuck doing one thing. The only thing I’ve ever known I wanted to be is a writer, and I’m still discovering, at the age of an old millennial, what I want to be as I continue to grow (being grown up already). I remember someone told me once, “It’s never too late to redefine yourself.” He was right.
When I got a scholarship for my articles written for the student newspaper, I realized I’ve made a fair amount of money from my writing this year, whether through scholarships or submissions. I say I went back to school to find myself, only to lose myself in it, so that I could find my new self. I don’t know exactly what I want to do with this degree, but I know what I don’t want to do, and I know where to look for the career I want. My ENC1102 professor told me that’s what makes a person educated—not that they know the answer to everything, but they know where to find the answer.
There’s a line from an old movie about married women being like a solved crossword puzzle, but that isn’t true; I’m still solving my own clues, because we’re human beings, subject to change—yesterday, today, and forever. And yet, perhaps I haven’t changed at all—I’m simply discovering that I am more than what I thought I was.