Grad school- Bobbi 1

Me on move in day at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This was the moment where a lifelong dream was realized, but I had no idea what I was in for. (Signal Photo/Bobbi Solano)

College has not been the kindest to me. It’s been a long, extremely windy road that, after six years, is giving me a degree that is the complete opposite of what I initially sought. 

I started my college career off at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the Animal Science Department. Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had never been involved in Future Farmers of America (FFA) or 4H in high school, so the only thing I had going for me in that arena was my love of animals. After struggling for four years, it became apparent to me that, that love may not be enough. 

My mental health and motivation were non-existent, my physical health took a major hit as I juggled between healthy and harmful habits. I even took a leave of absence. Losing my financial aid after being placed on academic probation was the final straw. Without that money, I was unable to pay for tuition. 

So, I left San Luis Obispo, came back home, and went back to the drawing board. 

Grad School- Bobbi 2

Smiling with my newly gifted paddle last Christmas at the paddle exchange with my sorority sisters from the Pi chapter of Lambda Sigma Gamma Sorority, Inc. (Signal Photo/Bobbi Solano)

The only other thing that I felt drawn to besides Animal Science was English. I’ve always loved reading and writing, and I feel like I’m fairly good at it, too. As I reflect upon my journey to where I am now, I can see little indicators from my college career foreshadowing that this is where I would end up. 

I interned at my local news organization, Mattos Newspapers, for two summers. I had my own column and helped out with public interest stories. I even added an English minor during my last year at Cal Poly. As I started to take more English courses, my creative brain took a sigh of relief. I had missed this. 

Here I am now, set to graduate this spring. I’ve been getting more questions as to what my next step is. Do I want to be a teacher? No, at least not right now. Do I want to be a writer? Yes! That would be ideal, but when I was thinking as to how I could get there, I began to get discouraged. 

I’ve applied to the internships with my Animal Science-heavy resume, and I almost never heard back from anyone. I was worried, and still am, that my bachelors won’t be enough to get me into the industry. After hearing about the MFA in Creative Writing at Fresno State from my poetry professor last spring, I started to seriously consider it. 

I’ve faced criticisms from some of those closest to me as to why I’m even considering this, but I’ve found some amazing programs that I can really see myself at, programs that will support the cross-genre and multifaceted experience that I hope to have. 

I’ve also been receiving signs here and there: words of encouragement at moments where I was seriously doubting myself, conversations with people that affirm and recognize my feelings and intentions as I go further down this path. The latter occurred when interviewing the two Stan State staff members who shared their grad school journey with me.

My initial vision for these two columns was a how-to, tips and tricks type thing. However, as we got deeper into the conversations and tidbits that they were sharing were resonating with me, I realized that I needed to focus more on their own respective journeys. 

Grad school is something that’s so scary and intimidating to pursue if you don’t have anyone to turn to for help. I hope that by sharing my story and the stories of these two amazing women that something will speak to those on campus and in the surrounding community who are considering taking this next step and furthering their education. 

School is rough, draining, and stressful, but now that I am studying something I thoroughly love and am invested in, and I’m in it for the long haul. 

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