One of the questions college students probably get the most is “What’s your major?” and this is often followed by “Oh, okay…so what are you going to do with that?”. It can be a frustrating thing to answer when your major doesn’t have a set career to go with it. I started college at a university as an English major before transferring to a community college (a long story for another post). During the process of transferring colleges, I wasn’t too sure what I wanted to study anymore. A lot of people had actually brought me down about being an English major, since liberal arts are often seen as a “waste of time” or just assumed I wanted to be a language arts teacher…which I didn’t. I just knew that I wanted to pick a major, transfer from community college to another university, get my degree and move on. I juggled different ideas from psychology to veterinary technology, but I’ve finally come to a solution that I’m comfortable with.
i followed my passion
As corny as it may sound, I followed my heart and decided to choose English again. Why? Well, writing and reading are both things that I’ve always been passionate about and I’m good at both of these things. To be talented in something you really love is a truly amazing thing and I didn’t want this to go to waste. Being an English major was just something that felt natural to me, so I decided f*** what everyone else thinks and went back to it. I’m a firm believer in not letting others dictate your life choices. Sure, some people get the most satisfaction out of a major that pretty much guarantees money, like engineering or medical related subjects. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s also nothing wrong with studying an art if that’s what you want to do. A quote that I absolutely love that ties in is “Medicine, law, business, engineering, those are all noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.” (Dead Poets Society). I feel like artistic passion is something that’s belittled in society. As artists, we are always told to think more realistically, to play it safe. We are forced to believe that our role in life is to wake up, go to a 9-5 job that we can barely tolerate, go home, pay bills, and repeat. This is not the life that I want, I want to choose the life that I lead. The first step towards this is making the decisions that I want despite what other people may think. That is why I am proudly and unapologetically studying something that I love.
and here’s what i’m doing with that passion…
Of course, as much as I am a dreamer, I also like to go into things with a plan. I don’t expect to just spend a few years learning about things that I think are interesting and then being clueless about what to do when I graduate. I think anyone can make a career out of any major, you just have to think creatively in some cases. My goal in life is to travel the world no matter what, but I’m hoping to do this by being a full time travel/lifestyle blogger, turn my website into my own little business, and ultimately just be my own boss. I don’t really need a degree for this, but studying English will help me be the best writer that I can be for it. On top of majoring in English, I plan to minor in business so I can have some extra knowledge on the business side of my goal.
These things do take time though, which is why I plan to teach English as a second language in other countries as a way to make some money while traveling and building my blogging business. I don’t plan for teaching abroad to be my long-term career, but I’m super excited to spend a few months to a year in countries all over the world, making a difference in others’ lives while fulfilling my own dreams. I’ll be writing about these plans more in the future, but Japan and South America are definitely on my list! Finally, if I need a break from teaching English in other countries and I’m still working on my blogging career (because I refuse to give up!), I wouldn’t mind working in editing, publishing, or even teaching English as a second language to adults wherever I choose to live. I’d even love to publish a few books. The point is, I don’t feel scared or stuck with an English degree. I’ve already explored plenty of possibilities and I’m happy with them. Maybe what I want isn’t for everyone, but it is my life after all and I’m actually excited for my future.
Moral of the story
Believe me, I know that the decisions you make in your young adult years come with an extreme amount of pressure from other people. Plenty of people that I know have decided to give up whatever dream they were pursuing in order to study a major that would guarantee them a big paycheck. If that’s not what your heart tells you to do, don’t do it! I know that I may never be rich, but as long as I’m comfortable and get to see the world I know I’ll be more than happy. I know that the major I chose is the right one for me. It’s not silly or childish to follow your passions. Other people have succeeded in whatever it is you want to do and that’s because they decided to take a risk and pursue it. The first step you take is one of the most important ones and if you decide that one of these steps is going to college, then my advice to you is to study something that you’re genuinely interested in. Do what you love and the money (and lots of happiness) will follow.