By Mae Landess
I was often at different libraries when I was younger, they were like a safe haven for me. Sometimes when life was too much, I would go sit in a library so I could be alone and breathe. Having access to a ton of books was also a welcome bonus.
In the fall semester of 2018, I started going to college full-time for pre-nursing. Since all my money went towards a gap year I took, I needed a job to afford college. I worked at a few restaurants but the workload was too much and the pay was not great, so it started to affect me mentally.
In the summer of 2019, I remember coming to the Chatt State library looking for somewhere quiet. They had a sign that they were hiring student workers. On a whim, I filled out an application. I ended up getting the job and started working here.
I started working at the service desk and helping with student tech support. Later the tech services in the library asked me to help with book processing and archives. I got a backstage pass to learn about libraries and how they operate. I loved it!
When the pandemic hit, I was still a nursing student. I remember dreading class and being miserable when doing the different clinical rotations. I remember sitting in my car after a hard clinical day in the hospital and thought, "Why am I even here. I hate this!"
Then it clicked for me. I don't have to be here and no one is forcing me. Life is short and I don't want to spend it in scrubs. I'd rather be with the books. I realized that I wanted to be a librarian and continue to do what I love instead of something I hate. I could envision myself as an old librarian but I couldn't even see myself as a young nurse let alone an old one.
That moment started a chain reaction. I left the program, took a semester off of school, changed my major, and transferred so I could get my bachelor's. In the middle of everything, my boss offered me a staff position as the Circulation Assistant. I am also in school part-time working towards a master's in Library Sciences. I don't know where this journey will take me, but for now, I live for today and do what I love. This is who and where I am meant to be.
carpe diem quam minimum credula postero