Off on the Next Great Adventure

Off on the Next Great Adventure

It’s been real, y’all.

I finished my Master’s degree.

It is very surreal.

Allow me a few sentences to reflect. I am 24 years old, the youngest in my graduating class. Like everyone, I’ve been through some rough times, and my work on trauma reflects those hard times. But here I am, not even a quarter of a century old, with two Bachelor’s degrees and, finally, my Master’s in Fine Arts.

Holy hell.

Graduate school was the best thing that has ever happened to me. It was so difficult: I cried, I got really angry at times, and I wanted to quit a lot. But at the end of these two years, my degree in the mail somewhere, I feel really great about my decision to go to grad school for Photography.

I wanted a community of people who were as geeked about photography as I was. I longed for heated, passionate discussions about the medium I devoted to my life to, and I craved mentorship from some of the best people in my field. I was not disappointed.

But, what’s next? I have all of these degrees, so what am I going to be up to?

Well, first thing is first: I’m running away to Southeast Asia for the summer! I’ll be visiting the Philippines, Thailand, and Cambodia for the remainder of May, all of June, and half of July. I figured after all of this hard work I deserved to go to the other side of the planet and make tacky tourist photos.

When I get back, I’ll be working at a summer arts camp for youths ages 6-14, and when that gig is done, I’ll be continuing to teach photography at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago’s north side. It’s only part-time for now, so I need to find another job to supplement my income. I’m thinking of getting a remote writing job, since writing is one of my passions (and part of the reason I loved being the Graduate Ambassador for my program!)

I’m only 24, and there are many things I still want to do. Right now, I know I want to be a Photography professor. However, I know I am young and I still have to “pay my dues” so to speak, so now that I am (finally) done with school, it’s time to get that experience under my belt. I’ll probably continue to teach at art centers and camps, but in the next couple years, I may teach abroad or maybe get a teaching certification to teach high school students. Who knows–my future is filled with possibilities and I am more excited than I am afraid.

Which is a great place to be.