Random thoughts with a spattering of thoughtfulness.

There’s not a lot of “enlightenment” in this first post. But, give me time. I’m sure I’ll track some here and there as I muddle my way into blogging. So, here it goes…

My New College Degree

I got it. Yay! Now what do I do with it? When I applied for graduation I was excited at the prospect of being finished with school, at least for a little bit, and the idea of transitioning into a career I might actually enjoy. But, I received my diploma the other day and now I feel more disgruntled than anything else. Here are the reasons for my vexed feelings, in no particular order:

  1. I majored in Communication Studies. While this is a subject with which I am absolutely enamored, it’s also very broad. On a positive note, I can apply it to almost any industry. On the other hand, I can apply it to almost any industry. For the past 15 years of my life I’ve struggled with what I wanted to be when I grow up. Majoring in Communication Studies certainly didn’t help to narrow my options.

    On top of that, of everyone I know, I’m probably one of the more–if not the most–fickle. In the last two semesters leading up to graduation I wanted to pursue a career in: technical writing, education, journalism, graphic design, editing, publishing, creative writing, grammar, public information, linguistics, speech pathology, instructional design, etc. The list goes on and on. Not to mention, I changed my mind at least every two weeks and at the very moment a new ambition sauntered in, the old was already forgotten. I have no idea what I want to do with my life and I got myself a spinning arrow for a college degree.

  2. The job market sucks. Even if I had the slightest idea as to what I wanted to do, I seriously doubt I’d have any luck finding gainful employment doing it. I have this fancy, schmancy degree now, but I have no experience. With a crappy job market and no experience, my options seem limited to a massive pay cut for a highly competitive, low- to non-paying internship. Actually, this reason alone wouldn’t be so bad if not for the burden of my current predicament, which leads me to reason #3.
  3. I have a job that pays well. Granted, I’m miserable doing it everyday, but it’s a nice paycheck. Of course, this was never my intention. When I was hired at my current place of employment it was for an entry-level position paying little more than minimum wage, which was fine with me. All I needed some sort of income while I finished school. My hiring position was only ever intended to be a job, certainly not a career. Well, I managed to make myself a victim of my own success. I’m a fast learner, hard worker, and produce a quality product, so I was promoted to a new department within six months. Six months into that position, I was promoted again. That department held on to me for a year before I was promoted to my current position (which I’ve held for just over two years now), so, in less than five years, I’ve more than doubled my original starting salary. I certainly can’t complain in that arena, so why am I miserable?

    My job isn’t even very challenging (which may contribute, at least in part, to my misery), but it’s just not what I want to do. I work in the entertainment industry, which, for some people, may be a dream come true. In the beginning, I’ll admit, it does hold some level of grandeur. Some people love it and want nothing more than to create memorable experiences for patrons who attend their events. That’s great for them. For me, working in entertainment has the slow, cumulative effect of leaching every ounce of joy from my soul. The great and powerful wizard just isn’t the same once you’ve seen the man behind the curtain. I don’t want to have memorable experiences at entertainment venues because, when I’m off work the last place I want to be is at work. Also, anytime I attend another venue I spend more of my evening criticizing how they operate than enjoying the show. It sucks the fun out of everything, but I’ll be damned if I don’t get more-than-fair compensation. So, as much as I hate it, I’m comfortable with my salary and I don’t know how to get away.

And that about sums up why I’m less-than-excited about my new college degree. I feel like I should be ecstatic, but I just can’t when my prospects seem so bleak. Of course, I can’t pretend that I know what the future looks like. As much as I try, I can’t see into even the immediate future. Perhaps one day–sooner rather than later, I hope–I’ll be thankful I paid (and am still paying) the $50,000 for a BA in Communication Studies.

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