wNov 9, 2005

and then i freaked out

Apparently the angst of last night is going to continue for quite some time. But I'm having an identity crisis and you will just have to get over it.

Chad and Steph have both asked me a very good question: "If you don't want to be a journalist, then why do you want to major in journalism?" This is a good question. Why would I narrow my focus to something so specific if I don't even know if that's what I want to do? Why don't I major in English? English is like, the perfect major for me, the bibliomaniac who has also been writing for as long as it's seemed like a good idea. The obvious answer is that I have no idea what I'd do with it. Not that that really matters either - I have no idea what I'm going to do with Political Science. I sat in lecture for 75 minutes today and when I thought of myself as an English major, I was much, much happier than I have been in a while. It felt right. But then I came back home and scrolled through the classes on the timetable and realized that none of the English ones sounded interesting. Everything just sounds hard. I don't want to sift through tons of verse...well, actually I kind of do. I don't know. I like classical literature - Shakespeare, for example. It just seems like I would die. Speaking of which, I feel like I'm going to die right now. Me in my little entry-level classes. Geology 107 - thinking about that class, I could probably produce real tears thinking about next week's Lecture Exam AND Lab Quiz. Perhaps I am one of those people who is not meant to handle the stresses of college.

I keep thinking of going to Law School, and I really wish that that would go away. For some reason, I have a romanticized idea of what being a lawyer would be like, as opposed to reality. Long hours, lots of time spent sucking up to people to get into a place where I can actually make a difference (like politics, :O), and I have serious issues with defending people who are guilty and prosecuting people who are innocent. I don't think that I could make my livelihood off of that.

What did I do to be proactive? I made an appointment with my advisor (the political science advisor was the only one who would meet with me - the English Advisor won't until after 12/1 because I'm not a major - WHY AREN'T THEY NICE TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS WHO ARE FLOUNDERING?!), but this meeting will not take place until 3 days before I sign up for classes.

After explaining my plight to Steph, we sat here for about ten minutes of her throwing out ideas, asking me if something sounded interesting. "Do you like science?" No. "Do you like analyzing books?" No. I don't give a shit about placing books into categories, or finding and analyzing every single word that can be considered symbolism. "Do you want to be a lawyer?" No. "Do you want to work in government?" No. "Do you want to write for magazines?" No. I hate magazines. "Do you want to write for newspapers?" No. Etc. Etc. Etc. I was actually quite serious last night when I pointed out that there is absolutely nothing of interest to me. (except writing for my own pleasure, says a voice, but that voice must be silenced because I can ALWAYS write on the side no matter what I do - but I have a long way to go before I can do anything with my writing and in order to be around for a long time, I need to pick another freaking major and figure out what the hell I'm doing in two years)

Since my cellphone is saving its juice to wake me up tomorrow morning, I dug out some old phone cards to try and call my mom, who wasn't home. And now I just need to wait a while. I don't want to talk to this with my dad because I think that if I tell him I want to major in English, he'll be mad at me, or he'll tell me that I should major in business instead. Maybe I should have made my mom happy and been a nurse.

I'm going to go and have a small catharsis now. And after that, I'll be emotionally spent for the evening. If any of you have any advice, please do share it. Maybe I'll put this in the LJ, too. My head hurts.

Also, I need a letter of recommendation to get into the Journalism school - I can't apply to the school unless I'm going to take it for sure because if I get accepted, I HAVE to take the next course next semester - no exceptions. So I'm thinking right now that maybe I'll just wait to apply. I probably wouldn't have gotten in this semester anyway, and it's only a 3-semester program. I can still go back to it.

Current Music: the wind. it was quite strong today.
scribbled mystickeeper at 5:01 PM

Let me begin by saying that, at least, your questions about whether or not you're truly interested in what you're doing are not unique to you (aka everyone feels the same way, Jackie!)

This is college. This is a time to explore, and this is the time to get confused--before you get too dedicated to something. My recommendation is instead of narrowing yourself, branch out! Take one of those Shakespeare classes; take a theater class, take an english class, even entry level. See what they feel like and see if they awaken an intense interest inside of you for anything! Chances are that you don't know what you want to do because you haven't heard of precisely what it is that interests you yet. Pick an area (English/journalism in general) and take classes in that, and investigate what people who are professionally interested in those classes (ie, the prof!) do with their specialty. Journalism classes might be boring and stupid but maybe the Journalism professor does something kick ass for a living. Get to know the people behind the scenes; look at their research, go in and talk to them and ask them 'what does one DO with this stuff?' And talk to some good advisors too.

I know it's hard with the journalism school being all 'you can't take these classes until you get into the school,' but maybe if you look at the future that those classes lead to (the professors being the most obvious, if not best, example of this) you'll see something that interests you--something more than the stereotypical person portrayed by the idea of a journalism major.

And above all, don't compare yourself to others. You are the only person to whom your grades and your skills should be compared. If you think maybe you are doing worse than you were doing in high school, make sure that's a personal thought and not a thought based in how you compare to other people. Other people are bullshit. Remember that. You matter and you are important and everything you do with yourself should be for you.

This randomly incoherent advice brought to you by KMJ. LLAMAS!

By Blogger Tas, at 7:06 PM, November 09, 2005  

If you did want to go to law school you don't *have* to do court room stuff. Both my aunt and uncle are lawyers. He works for a bank and she does politics stuff in addition to other lawyer things. If you ever want to I know they wouldn't mind talking with you about it at all, they're really nice.

If you're worried about your parents as far as being an English major goes, it can help to have a list of jobs that English majors can get and if you want, how much they're paid and things like that. That's how I did the astrophysics thing for my dad. He wasn't sure it was an ok thing to do at first so I showed him what kind of jobs I could get and what level of school I would need to get those jobs and that sort of thing.

Here's a site from another college about what their English majors ended up doing for jobs:


A major doesn't really limit you, for example there are physics majors who go to medical school and law school, odd as that sounds. There are lots of different things you can do whatever you have as a major so you won't get stuck with something. It'll be ok.

By Blogger Louise, at 7:07 PM, November 09, 2005  

Jackie, KMJ & Louise are exactly right. Pick something you love right now and let it evolve from there. You are putting waaaaay too much pressure on this decision. Whatever you decide, this is not it for life! People change careers now like 6-8 times in their lives. Many, many people are not doing what they majored in during college.

If it's English you want, go with it. What can you do with an English major? Anything you want. Employers are always searching for smart, intelligent people who can communicate ideas to a variety of people. You will learn specifics on jobs and careers as you go through life. You will adapt and learn and never stop seeking knowledge because that is the kind of person you are.

You are a very talented...trust me, I don't read many people's blogs as most are drivel! Hope you are having a better night.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:50 PM, November 09, 2005  

I support the previous commentator.

Whatever you decide to major in, you're still earning yourself a liberal arts degree from a well-respected university. Even with an English major, you can probably still even be a journalist of some stripe if the fancy catches you later on.

The lovely thing about the English major is that it's relatively flexible. You need the 3 foundation courses and a Shakespeare course, but you can fill up the other requirements by taking a variety of course offerings, most of which are seminar-style and really great. Also, the topics change from semester to semester- I agree that next semester looks pretty bleak, but this semester was full of really great topics. It kind of goes in waves that way.

Take it easy, lady!

By Blogger Gretchen, at 9:23 PM, November 09, 2005  

Kristen - yeah, I've definitely decided to take some English courses next semester. Hopefully I can elbow my way into the ones I want. Also, your advice on not comparing myself to others was exceedingly helpful.

Louise - advice on approaching Dad was helpful. Haven't talked to Mom yet though, hehe. And yeah, maybe at some point I'll ask for their emails or something. I'm definitely not ready yet, though. Too much stuff as it is! *flails arms*

TM - Thank you for reminding me to take a step back and understand that this definitely is not as dramatic as I'm making it out to be. And you're right - if it's what I want to do, I should go with it, and I think that's what I'm going to do. Also, thank you very much for the compliment!! Who are you????

Gretchen - Thanks for the insight about English courses coming/going in waves. It's not like I can take the cool classes yet anyway. And I think I was mostly being cynical/lying to myself - I do love reading just about anything. And also, you're right about still being a journalist if I want to - with Poli Sci and English majors, I could still do that if I decide that that is what's right for me. Plus the whole Journalism-only-being-3-semesters thing.

Thank you all so much!

By Blogger Jackie, at 2:32 PM, November 10, 2005  


Hmmmmmmm, I thought you might figure out the initials! I'm too clever for my own good. Wasn't entirely sure you would welcome comments from The M__



Hope it's okay...I was just concerned about all that angst!


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:27 PM, November 10, 2005  

Okay wait, are you Talon???

As in TM for Talon / Mark?

I am really dense sometimes, ;)

By Blogger Jackie, at 6:12 PM, November 10, 2005  

You are a riot. Reference Kristy's blog!

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:38 PM, November 10, 2005  


Hahahaha, that's so funny! I sometimes forget that you read my blog, too! :)

But as you read my blog, angst should not concern you, heehee.

By Blogger Jackie, at 6:41 PM, November 10, 2005  

....hahaha...no it shouldn't but for some reason I was compelled to respond. Tooooo funny though.

I'm done. Back to my laundry. Thanks for my best laugh of the day!

aka Talon

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:06 PM, November 10, 2005  

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