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Taylor Norman-Waldon

School of International Service, Master of Arts in International Relations


boughtonAbout halfway through the online MAIR program I quit my job and traveled through United States in an RV, starting in San Diego, California.

As I tried to back the 27-foot beast out of the driveway for the first time, I was almost successfully in the right position to pull away when I heard a loud crunch. I backed into a boulder. Grad school began similarly for me. I was fresh out of college and used to straight A's, but the first assignment grade I received was a "C+"… CRUNCH.

When I struggled to find the right research for a paper or to get my piece of the work done on a group project, it felt like the time I woke up with lightning swirling around my RV as it rocked violently in the middle of a tornado in Texas. I thought I wouldn't make it, but my classmates always pulled me through despite the thousands of miles between us.

After everything I've learned in and out of the classroom, I'm still unsure of my next steps, but I'm definitely much more prepared. Unlike many of my peers, I've kept my career options wide open and refused to make a decision. Some say, "That's okay. You're young." Others tell me I'm foolish and to "get a real job."

Mark Twain said, "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do." I'm happy that I can look back knowing that I took a risk to achieve something greater, whether it's traveling the country or getting my master's degree. Now when I do get a real job, I will know I'm ready.