Relax, take it easy
By Natalie Serafini, Opinions Editor
Throughout your studies, people will ask you—whether with genuine interest or the feigned attentiveness of a veritable stranger—what it is that you’re studying. When you tell them what you’re studying, you may encounter enthusiastic, impressed oohs and ahs. Alternatively, you might encounter the thinly veiled disapproval of someone who doesn’t think your major is a good investment.
[quote]The economy is in the shitter for pretty much everyone everywhere.[/quote]
Here’s the thing: education is extremely expensive these days and, for many of us, requires loans that will keep us in their gripping jaws of debt until we’ve paid off every last painful penny. Adding to the stress of post-secondary education is the fact that the economy is looking pretty bad all around, even as it claws its way out of recession. Because of this, education is an investment and anything that doesn’t bring back returns with interest is quickly dismissed as a waste of time, energy, and—more easily quantified—money.
I’ve heard plenty of “Oh, well I guess that’s ok. What are you planning to do with that ‘degree’?” and advice that I become a dental hygienist. Well, I’m getting to the point where I don’t care about good investments. The longer I’ve spent at college agonizing over potential majors and the more people I’ve talked to, the more I realize that it doesn’t necessarily matter what you major in. What matters is that it interests you.
Now, I’m not saying to be unrealistic in your goals (I don’t want to be liable for any ruined futures), but life is not something that can be planned. You can have your goals, but life pretty much just happens. You don’t know what direction your life will take once you’re out of school, or how your “bad investment” education might actually be an asset.
It’ll take long enough to figure out what it is that you love without fooling yourself into thinking you’d be happy as a dental hygienist when you’re not fascinated by teeth or oral health. Don’t waste your time studying for something that you don’t enjoy.
Truly, the more people I talk to, the more I realize that your bachelor’s doesn’t matter as much in the grand scheme of things. If you’re going on to study after your bachelor’s, it doesn’t matter if your degree in English isn’t a good investment, or you heard that a lot of Humanities students are flipping burgers after four years of university. The economy is in the shitter for pretty much everyone everywhere. Don’t run out and major in business because you think you’ll make more money. Instead, just focus on finding something that you’re interested in. Life will be tough no matter what you do, and work is work so you might as well have fun while you’re at it.