July 6, 2012 by Ryann Tanap
It’s good to be back here, this time, blogging as an alumna of the College! Commencement was only a couple of months ago; still, I miss those warm brick paths, spacious grassy areas for lounging/studying, and people watching on the Sadler Terrace.
Today, I am writing you from Chiang Mai, Thailand; it is a growing city in northern Thailand that I am just starting to get familiar with. This week is the start of my teaching fellowship with Global Playground (GP), a non-profit organization that works to connect classrooms around the globe. I am here for in-country training phase, as I am here for the first couple of days with Hana, the current Thailand teaching fellow. I’ll be taking her place in Mae La Noi (a mountainous village in the northwest) when she heads back to the US in late July.
So what led me to Thailand and GP? I’m still answering that question myself. I began stressing out about post-grad life during junior year; I wasn’t quite sure how I could connect my major (IR) with the non-profit sector. I remember popping into various faculty and staff offices on campus, seeking advice and guidance. I am truly thankful for the following individuals who put up with my constant stress and panicked emails: Professor Sonn (Religious Studies), Professor Tanglao-Aguas (Theatre), Professor Quark (Sociology), Dr. Vernon Hurte (Center for Student Diversity), Margie Cook (Center for Student Diversity), and Melody Porter (Office of Community Engagement and Scholarship, or OCES). They pointed me in the direction of job openings and grad school ideas. But, they mostly reassured me that I was going to be okay and just needed to relax. It’s funny how life works out, because each person I went to was right. I would be okay.
By chance, I decided to take a Teaching English Overseas course during my final semester at the College. I wasn’t sure if this was something that I wanted to do in life, but I knew I was passionate about traveling and education. How could I join these together? I came across GP through the OCES. This is the office on campus that provides support and opportunities to get involved with service initiatives within the community and beyond. I applied and went through an extensive interview process. It was not until my last week of classes (literally) at the College that I found out I was selected as the next Thailand fellow. I am truly thankful for OCES, as they granted me with fellowship funds to cover my expenses while abroad.
Everything fell into place, but not without hard work and taking some risks along the way. I must have put in at least an application a week throughout senior year; some of them resulting in interviews, and some of them not. Believe me, not having something post-graduation for most of senior year was a headache, but that did not stop me from spending time with the people that mattered most, and enjoying the last of my time at the College. I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
I’m not sure if this is my dream job. Or if it something I can see myself doing ten years from now. To be honest, I’m not sure if dream jobs even exist. Perhaps we should just be searching for fulfilling lives and genuine happiness. Nothing is ever perfect in life, so why should we force ourselves to find the perfect job?
Whether or not you’re a prospective student, or a rising senior at the College, I can tell you that you should not be stressed looking for a job or future career path. Rather, you should seek happiness as often as possible. You never know when a great opportunity will come your way.