21 DAYS

I am quick to make decisions when at a crossroads, and under pressure to decide. Initially, I always think one option better than the other, and base my final decision on my emotions/gut instincts. When left with the choice of staying in Ottawa for the summer, or moving home to Thornhill I immediately wanted to come home, and so the end result was packing a moving truck full of four and a half years of my life in Ottawa.

The iconic image of Carleton University and known to most students who have attended it.

 My next challenging decision is do I accept or decline the offer presented to me by Carleton University to do a Masters in English Literature.  The catch is that from the day that the offer was given to me I have exactly 31 days to decide what seems like my entire future. If you had asked me in November 2010 what my dream career was I would have answered, “Completing a masters program, attaining a PhD and becoming a professor teaching English Literature, and with a focus on the gothic novel”. If you had asked me in January 2011 I would have said, “Well after the stress of applying to Master’s programs and having stumbled upon Humber’s post-graduate studies program ‘creative book publishing’ I would love to get into that program and pursue a publishing career in Canadian Literature”. However, if asked today I would look at you and say… “I have 21 days to decide whether or not Carleton’s English Lit Masters program is right for me… any suggestions? Oh and would you like to go to Greece with me for two weeks?? I’m dying to go”.

Considering I did not get accepted to the Masters program at York University for English Literature or the Humber college ‘Creative Book Publishing’ program one might say that attending Carleton is what is meant to be… and that my path has been chosen, but I am not entirely convinced.

I have already looked into a place to live, and have succeeded in finding somewhere I’d be comfortable. My two good friends Rick and Cammie would be delighted to have me, and the rent is unimaginably cheap. My room would be small, but that wouldn’t be so bad if I were studying and working all the time. I would be surrounded by the people I love most, and have a support system comparable to that of my family.

Team Zelda

Both Carleton University’s campus and the city of Ottawa became a home to me, and this home allowed me to branch out and experience new things, such as: being a volunteer for Frosh week on numerous occasions, and going snowboarding every Sunday at Tremblant. 

Frosh 2009

I have already adjusted to living in Thornhill… and close to Toronto. There are numerous things I love to do here, and I am not sure I could just as easily move back to Ottawa as I have to Toronto. The places I plan to venture to this summer alone are the distillery district where you can watch plays at the Soulpepper theatre, Blue Jays games at the Rogers Centre, Tattoo bar, Queen street west, Christie Pitts Park, the C.N.E. in August, and so much more including the most important which is spending time with my family. My Nonna lives down the street and I love-making day visits where I can stuff my face with practically gourmet Italian food, and be around someone (my nonna) who knows me better than I know myself.

Ottawa has a lot to offer as well, and friends have visited time and time again. I loved being able to show them the place I made my home for four years.

The girls.

I know that attending this Masters program would be a luxury, and I love literature. Studying literature for another year would not be a problem, and yet I can’t stop thinking that after I complete the program it will not necessarily lead me to a career. In comparison if I continue to do internships such as the one I’m currently completing at Connexions as a Directory Publishing Intern I will learn skills that will help me to pursue a path in publishing.

In 21 days I will have decided my next move, and yet this decision will be made even before I get a chance to enjoy the accomplishments I have worked so hard for. My convocation ceremony is June 10th at Carleton University and I will be celebrating having completed my undergrad, and receiving an Honours English Literature degree with a minor in History. I wish I could breathe a little bit easier before then, but this decision has a lot weighing on it. The least of my worries is what I will be wearing as I purchased my “graduation outfit” yesterday…

I would love the program and my heart almost aches for the challenge that Carleton is offering, but I am scared to go after what I want most. To study literature a little bit longer.

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5 Responses to 21 DAYS

  1. Cammie says:

    Ah to be a lifelong student!
    Daniela, only you can know what is best for you. Oftentimes when we are faced with a challenging decision to be made, we become obsessed with hearing people out from all angles, so as to tap our insights into every proverbial nook and cranny; to not leave any stone unturned in the opinions of the people around us. The one piece of advice I would say is, yes, it is important to hear the people out who are close to you, but you need to ultimately go with what YOU want. I think the notion of “what do I truly want?” becomes muddled when it is intercepted by a million ideas making it harder for you to make a decision as tough as this.

    Obviously, I would love love love to have you as a roommate, but ONLY if I know you’re doing it for you. If English Lit is your passion, you know what to do! Internships will come and go, but you don’t get the choice to study at a Master’s level very often (I guess this is my tiny opinion nudging its way through, but whatevs haha)

    Love you lots, and good luck

    • Dee says:

      I agree that it is important to hear other people out, but it is not as important as making this decision for myself. I just feel super confused and bombarded. I think I need some time to think about it personally, like you said, rather then branching out to those closest to me for their NUMEROUS opinions (haha).

      Love you too, and thank-you for taking the time to comment.

    • Christina says:

      I agree with Cammie about ultimately focusing on yourself and your own needs and what you will make you happy. However, I disagree about studying at a master’s level as a rare opportunity for you, Daniela. Clearly Carleton believes you have what it takes and I don’t you’ll never have the opportunity again if you decided against it but changed your mind later.

      Maybe this is my own personal experience speaking but I remember when working on my own applications to post-graduate studies and considering the value of time off to ponder my plans for the future, a good friend said “school isn’t going anywhere” and it struck a chord with me. Of course, realistically speaking you don’t want to take forever to make decisions, but as I’ve said to you before, don’t fear that every decision is permanent, it’s merely a part of a path which can continue to go wherever you choose. I also found my time off after finishing my undergrad extremely refreshing and think I really needed a break from academia, but of course, everyone’s different.

      I would assume you’d have mentioned this if it was an option but I must ask, is it an option to defer to next year? It’d be something worth considering if you still wish to pursue publishing and don’t want to entirely let go of this opportunity.

      At any rate, those of us who love and care about you just want you to be happy and support whatever decision you ultimately make. 🙂

      • Dee says:

        I am not sure if it’s an option to defer, but i do not think that it is unfortunately. Thank-you for the support !! xo

  2. Nous et Vous says:

    I can’t “like” your posts 😦
    I’ll show you how to add it to your posts this weekend! WOO VACAY!

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