Approaching Senior Year

8 04 2012

One of my appointments during my non-Spring Break was with my academic advisor. This middle-aged coed could hardly contain her excitement when she mapped out the next year of college classes only to realize – it’s almost over!

In fact, it seems that at the end of next term, I will officially be a senior, with only five terms (30 credits) remaining. To say my grin stretched off my face might possibly be an understatement.  I walked on air and jumped for joy and danced a jig of delight.

Then I had to sit down and perform interviews with my two sons for my journalism mid-term assignment. How fast can the balloon of excitement be deflated? If your talkative son answers all the interview questions with perfunctory answers – about two minutes.

Being a senior
Of course, the excitement wore off. It was helped along by my research of the most profitable or employable college majors for the journalism article (which I hope to publish on this blog at the end of the month). I realized graduating from college only meant one thing: I needed to decide what sort of career to pursue.

Cap, Gown & Diploma! Now what?

In a previous blog, I mentioned that my intention is to become a published author. However, if I continue in the self-publishing vein embarked upon with this blog, I won’t be earning much money. Money itself is over-rated.  It’s the things that money can supply – food, shelter and clothing – that tend to capture my interest.

I may have mentioned that I have a “Sugar Daddy.” That would be my husband. His nearly 25-year-old degree in computer systems engineering keeps me fed, sheltered and clothed. In short, making a huge salary isn’t necessarily a primary consideration for my future.

Would it be nice to buy that Lexus 450h with cash from my book contract advance? Most definitely. I picture myself cruising along with another smile exercising my facial muscles in that glorious vehicle that costs over $50,000. Is having such a luxurious vehicle necessary for my existence or happiness? Absolutely not.

If I don’t care about a big salary, what’s the big deal? The problem comes from all the questions other people ask. “What are you going to do?” Every single one of them wonders. “I’m going to publish a breakout novel,” I blithely reply. Sure, you and a million other wanna-be writers.

The same internet findings that endorsed my son’s career paths decimated my own hopefulness by listing my degree at the top of the most useless degrees chart. Other articles are published about how people with multiple college degrees settle for jobs as bartenders or sales clerks because there are no employment opportunities in their chosen field. Yikes! Sure, I don’t have to make any money, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to be able to get a better job than the one I have now after investing three years and over $30,000 in a college education.

Reality Check
Truth #1: I went into this program hoping to become a language arts teacher when I finished. Of course, all the layoffs and school year reductions in the state where I live discouraged that plan. Education ranks in the top five on the list of most useful degrees published by the Newsweek Daily Beast. That’s no guarantee a job market exists where I live.

Truth #2: I’m getting burnt out on the whole classroom environment. American students don’t value education. In their world of electronics and entertainment, learning reading, writing and math skills seems pointless. Appreciation for their teachers ranks far below their awe of Facebook.

Truth#3: I enjoy editing. I don’t even mind marking up my own work. After all, those ink marks don’t make me an inferior artist at the craft of writing. Do I enjoy editing as much as creating characters and plots? If I said yes, everyone who knows my heart would scream in outrage.  Honestly, there are very few things that exhilarate me like imagining a story and seeing it come to life on paper.

Why all of this soul-baring? I need to be inspired to keep working toward obtaining my degree.  All that remains are English and literature classes (finally). When I think of May 2013, I smile. What comes after that? Only the Lord knows.

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