Monday, August 11, 2014

Confession of an Academia Junkie

So in just 2 weeks the Fall semester will begin for me. I am getting closer and closer to the end of my BA degree and I'm starting to consider if I want to continue on for my MA or not. What I'm finding difficult is that everyone always asks "so what do you want to do?" after finding out my major is in English. No, I don't want to be a teacher. I hate that I never seem to have a solid answer though. When presented with the question "What do you want to do with your degree" I am suddenly dragged back to 10 years old and being asked "What do you want to be when you grow up" and I'm that one kid who has no reply.

The truth is, I have no idea. I have spent the last 21 years of my life chasing this dream to finish  my BA in English. Along the way I thought I wanted to pursue different avenues and tried Psychology, Theatre, Music and Photography. Ultimately I went back to English because it was my "default" and it was what I was closest to completing. But what do you do with a degree in English besides teach?!?

They say to find what you love and figure out how to make a living with it. That is all fine and well, but for me it seems to be easier said than done. I don't know how to make a career out of writing, reading, photography, music and theatre. I just don't I'm all creative, "the arts" has always been what I'm good at and I don't know how to do anything else. I really don't want to teach though, and every time I think I have an answer to that dreaded question I wind up second guessing myself and changing my mind.

My kids are starting 10th and 11th grade this next week and I find myself asking them what they want to pursue in college in just a few short years, as any parent would. But I feel like a fraud telling them they need to have an idea when I don't even know what "I want to be when I grow up". How do you choose what to spend the rest of your working life doing if you can't settle on ONE thing you just *know* is your so-called "calling"? How can you be an example to your kids when all you know how to do is be in school but not out in the "real world" applying the skills you gathered in college?

I used to say that I could be a career student and be happy, and maybe that is true about me. Maybe I'm addicted to school because it is the one thing I feel that I'm genuinely good at doing. That's all I know how to do really, be a student, because I have spent my entire life being one.

So no, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. I don't know what I'll end up "doing" with my degree in English. Maybe write, maybe edit, maybe travel the world taking photos and writing about my experiences singing my way in dive bars to get by, and maybe I'll do nothing because I have nothing particularly interesting or profound to say.

I have no clue. I do know one thing though:

My name is Emylee Noel, I'm an Academia Junkie and I have no idea what I want to *do* with my life.

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