Today I finished my second semester as an MBA student at UNT. So far, it has been the most difficult one. The MBA is a path to understanding leadership, decision-making, supply chains, organization, and management. In my case, it also covers behavior analysis. I’m happy to say, after three changes, I finally settled on an MBA concentration. I tried Marketing and Marketing Analytics only to realize how much I prefer obsessing over writing plots and character development to memorizing content.

One good thing to come out of me returning to school is I became more active on the UNT campus than at my previous universities. At the University of Houston-Clear Lake (UHCL), I was always too busy working or completing a project to make time to volunteer. At Murray State (MSU), there were events and get-togethers I wanted to attend, but it was a two-and-a-half hour drive to campus. At UNT, I seemed to fall into roles. I was a part of a graduate panel that spoke to new graduate students about what to expect. I joined the Graduate Student Council (GSC), attended meetings, worked as their Director of Marketing for a semester, and volunteered to represent GSC at campus events. In addition to my extracurricular activities, I was also a volunteer in my neighborhood HOA. I was on the communication committee, the landscaping committee, freelance writing, and trying to run my own small business on the side.

My job didn’t help either. I was working full-time and attending classes full-time, but emotionally drained from the daily battle between reality and insanity at work. There were many days I prayed a sinkhole would open in the floor and transport me to another universe. I felt stifled, trapped, undervalued, invisible, and misunderstood; but as a result of that horrible experience, I developed a passion for examining the forces that lead to bad company culture, and decided to study the methods to repair it. That’s where behavior analysis comes in. My MBA concentration is Behavior Analysis and Human Resources. In addition, I’m concurrently pursuing a certification in Applied Behavior Analysis. It’s hard to believe that all of this happened in the spring, during my first semester.

The semester I just completed was summer. The most difficult part about this semester was transitioning. I was burned out from being the leader of everything and trying to make the world a better place. The only way to save myself was to disconnect. I didn’t apply for an officer position with GSC or make myself available for summer events. I resigned from the communications committee to focus on the landscaping committee, but closed the landscaping committee after the troll activity got out of hand. I stopped freelancing, closed my small business, took a break from travel writing, and resigned from my job. The pressure that came after all of this was intense. Although I’d dropped everything, homework for three 5-week summer classes was insane and looking for a new job became a full-time chore. There are bad days and not so bad days, but I stand by my decisions.

I put this quote on the wall in my office to remind me there’s a story behind everything. Mine is still being written.

Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion,

live for the moment and know that everything happens for a reason.

~Albert Schweitzer

In three weeks, fall semester starts. I’m taking the time in-between to rediscover my love of reading, focus on my writing, and spend less energy stressing about my career.  I remember coming to a similar epiphany after my second semester at MSU when things hadn’t turned out as planned. I look forward to fall, new beginnings, and fresh discoveries. This experience has taught me: (1) you’ll never reach a point in life where everything falls into place so you won’t face struggles. It’s how you handle them that builds character; (2) give the best of yourself to the world and expect the best in return; and (3) Life is too short to be unhappy. Take chances, discover new opportunities, and remember to laugh at yourself.

Thanks for following me on this journey.

Until next time.