Life In General

“What Are You Going To Do With That?”

ImageWhen I graduate, I will graduate with a Bachelor of Arts. I’m doing a double major in professional writing/communications and sociology. I hate telling people this. Why? Because I get the same response every…single…time. “Oh, that’s nice,” They say. “But what are you going to do with that?” I hate this question for two reasons. Let me explain.

First of all, I’m not exactly sure what I want to do after I graduate. I know eventually I want to get my Master’s degree, and then my PhD. But apparently, that is not an adequate response. They want me to explain my future career plans. So I respond with… “Oh, I don’t know. Something with writing, I hope.” To which they say, “Ahh…” And then change the subject. I don’t have my entire future figured out. I personally don’t see anything wrong with that. At least I’m in university, getting some sort of degree!

As much as I worry about the future, I rarely worry about my future career. Maybe I should spend more time worrying about that, who knows. But I just figure, okay let’s worry about doing well in university first, before worrying about something that is still more than two years away. Does that make sense?

The second reason I hate the question “what are you going to do with that?” is because usually people say it in a condescending way. “Oh, writing!? Hah! A bachelor of arts!? Hah! You can’t do anything with that! It’s not math or science. Everyone get’s a BA nowadays. It’s basically worth nothing.” While I partially agree with this statement (…emphasis on partially), I wouldn’t really be able to do anything with a bachelor of science either. Know why? Because I’m terrible with science. Chemistry…no idea what’s going on. Physics…I can’t even begin to grasp 90% of the concepts. Biology…I love and find interesting, but all that memorization would send me to a mental hospital.

I understand that sciencey/mathy careers are in higher demand, and generally pay more, and yeah, you can do a lot more with those degrees (generally speaking). However, if I were to go to university for one of those subjects, I wouldn’t understand anything, stress about everything, and fail all my classes. I would end up with NO degree!

So the way I see it is like this. Yeah, I’ll probably have to go get my Master’s degree in order to just get a decent job. And yeah, I understand that this is the route majority of students seem to take these days. But, at least I’m in a program that I love. I’m enjoying school. I’m doing well in my classes. I’m working towards a career that I will one day (hopefully) enjoy and excel at.

Yeah, okay. I’m not exactly sure “what I’m going to do with that“. But it’s not a waste of my time, and I know that one day it will all pay off…one way or another.

3 thoughts on ““What Are You Going To Do With That?””

  1. “So I respond with… ‘Oh, I don’t know. Something with writing, I hope.'”

    I used to do that, too. I graduated three years ago with a B.A. in English and people would always say, “So, you’re going to be a teacher?” No! A B.A. in English is the most adaptable degree to have and you don’t have to just teach!

    But you’ll be surprised how many people in the professional world cannot write. So your skills are very useful. You can go into marketing, advertising, corporate communications, administration, etc. You just have to know how to market yourself to make yourself stand out. Best advice I can give you is do several internships so you have real world experience. Companies do not care about your degree. At the end of the day, they want an employee who is experienced and can work.

    As far as getting a Master’s degree to get a decent job… that simply is not true. There are plenty of underemployed and unemployed people with graduate degrees. You can get a great job without having to double your student loan debt. Unless you are searching for an in demand career that requires a graduate degree, skip it.

    Glad to see you’re really into your studies. Good luck!

    1. Thank you for your reply! This is very encouraging. I’ve been told by almost everyone, including guidance counselors, that in order to do anything in the “arts” you’ll need a master’s degree. Good to know that’s not always the case. (However, I enjoy school and I’ve always wanted to further my education – so I still hope to do that some day!)

  2. I think real world experience always wins out over what degree you have, at my uni they’ve really encouraged us to do internships, placements, volunteering etc. because the experience that it gives is what puts you that ‘one step’ above the rest. Rest assured though, even in my Bachelor of Environmental Science people always ask “And what will you do with that when you finish?” my standard answer is usually “Oh I could do lots, I’m keeping my options open”. That is mainly because I hate having to justify my choices to people who don’t understand or just aren’t interested. I honestly don’t think it matters what degree you’re doing, there will always be someone who is condescending about where It will take you.

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