I step on the plane. Giddy with excitement. I love flying. Love the buzz of people on the airport, the excitement when the plane lunges into the air. There’s nothing that compares to being a couple of hundred metres into the sky. Crossing cities and countries. Talking to strangers. I sit down next to an elderly lady. She’s smiling at me and says hi. I immediately like her.
We start chatting about our lives. She tells me she’s a university teacher from the United States whose been on a cruise and visited several countries in Europe. We talk about travelling, flying and everything you possibly can talk about on a 1,5-hour flight from Venice to Paris. She loves that I’m studying English. She congratulates me on my good pronunciation and fluency. Then she asks the dreaded question.
“So, what are you going to do with that.“
A question I’ve had to answer multiple times already. A question I inherently hate. If I’d study something straightforward like say medicine I’d probably never have to answer this stupid question. It’s easy. You study medicine because you want to become a doctor. You do the teaching degree and become a teacher. Study English at university and you’ll become … not as easy as the other ones, is it. What are you going to do with THAT? What else do you study? Only English?
You’ll never find a job once you graduate university.
How dare you choose to study a subject you love. You can’t do that. It’s forbidden. How dare you follow your passion and decide to spend your university years learning about linguistics, literary and culture. That’s not what you need. What you need is a REAL education. A field of study that’ll provide you with job prospects and lots and lots of knowledge in science.
It bothers me that strangers judge me when they hear that I chose to study English. It humiliates me that whenever people ask me what I want to do after university I have to answer, “I don’t know”. Because not knowing what you’ll do post graduation seems to be the worst thing you can do in your 20s. You’re an outcast. You’re weird. How dare you not have your life together at the age of 22.
THE TRUTH IS:
This is all nonsense. I decided to follow my passion. I wanted to spend my university years learning about things that I care about and am interested in. What do I want to do after university? I HONESTLY DONT KNOW. I love blogging. And if I’d ever get the chance to do it full-time, hell yeah I’d instantly jump on that train. I love social media and journalism and could equally see myself working in one of these fields. One of my biggest dreams is to publish a book one day. I want to travel the world. I want to live my life. And I couldn’t care less about others thinking I’m an idiot for doing so. Because you know what… I AM HAPPY!
SCREW YOUR 5-YEAR PLAN
I want to live now. In the present. Not the future or the oh-so-glorious past. I want to enjoy my life as much as possible. I know that I am very lucky. I have enough money to buy food and pay my rent. I have the luxury to study whatever I want to at university. I have a very good education and lots of real work experience. (6 years in retail, hell yeah!) I could easily get a job I don’t like. Go there and do my work. 9 to 5. Every darn day. Hate my job and watch my life drift by, wishing I’d have pursued my passion rather than go for practicability. (Not saying 9-5 jobs are bad – I can definitely see the appeal in them. I just don’t think it would be a thing for me right now)
Maybe this is naive. Maybe it’s a mindset typical of my generation. Maybe it’s a first world problem. Hell yeah it most certainly is. But PLEASE stop asking me what I plan on doing with my English degree. I don’t even know what I’ll have for dinner today so how do you expect me to have my life figured out yet?
SHOP THIS LOOK:
Have you experienced something like this too? Are you all sure about what you want to do after university? Do you have a five-year plan? Or are you as clueless about the future as I am? Let’s talk in the comments down below :)