No, I’m not thinking about entering a convent. Sorry, had to get that out there, as that situation is what the word “discerning” connotes for most Catholics on the vocational journey.
Actually, in comparison, my “discernment” is much more low key. It’s the decision on what I wish to declare a major in during my college career. So, what is boils down to is an attempt to answer the question, “What do I want to do with my life?”
I have run through the major thought process several times during my life. When I was in grade school, I was positive I would be a forensic specialist, FBI style. I have since found out that my aversion to blood would probably hinder great performance in this area. Yet it still sparks my interest, and I actually am hoping to take a forensics class in my spring semester. The next career I juggled for a while was neonatal nurse. Once again, blood and nursing kind of go hand in hand, which means my hand is on the door. So, after racking my brain and spending some time on my knees, I decided to let go and let God.
Let me tell you something: this is so much harder than you think. I have had to tell multiple people multiple times a day, “No, I don’t know what I’m studying. I’m actually an undecided major, so I’m studying everything and nothing all at the same time.” This, for me, has been ridiculously terrifying. I know all of the statistics that say it is in my benefit to not declare a major, but I still am enough of a proud control freak that I want to say confidently, “I’m majoring in ______, and here is my life plan!” Not yet, it seems. I believe God is trying to teach me something here. It’d be nice if I could learn my lesson quicker.
Yet, during this last semester of Freshman year, I have been thinking a lot. (I’m told this is a common ailment induced by collegiate life.) What have I been thinking about, you might ask. Theology. The study of God. Once again, refer to the first paragraph in this post, it does not mean that I am interested in the religious life. It does not mean that I wish to be unemployed my entire career. It simply means that I want to spend my life doing something that will help me assist people on the way to Heaven.
So, naturally I thought that I would simply do the transfer waltz into my Catholic dream college and automatically major in Theology with a high school level teaching emphasis. In fact, I have actually tossed that exact wordage out to my close friends and family, only to have the majority of them confirm that it does indeed sound like something that God can use me in.
Then I sit down and think, stopping myself from getting caught up into the whirlpool of finally deciding what I want to be when I grow up. I sincerely have a horrible temper. Not that this can be remedied, since with God even the impossible becomes possible, but I don’t think that high school level theological studies would be a good fit.
For instance, I know that I could think I would be making an impact in these kid’s lives, but in all reality, theology would be a required course in any high school that I taught at, and the kids would more than likely hate me for presenting them with the Catholic truth. There I would be, excited as all get out, only to be greeted with looks of boorish distaste from my students.
Granted, this could not be the case. I could teach at a school where my students would be incredibly excited to learn about the faith in order to better equip them to teach it in return. Unfortunately, that school would be a seminary. I am leaning towards that not being a good fit, either – due partially to my gender and age.
So, I’m back to square one and a half. I know that I love theology and the fact that I could learn about my subject for the rest of my life and still not know everything is intriguing. Yet I know that no matter where I teach the subject, I will always have students who despise the class, who would rather not be there, and who are determined to lose every participation point possible.
To you, my dear readers, I turn and cry for assistance. Do you have any ideas/careers in which I, as a young Catholic woman, could apply a theology degree? (These must exclude teaching/journalistic writing.) Any ideas would be very much appreciated.
God bless (and have an absolutely amazing weekend)!