Oh! An Arts Degree! What do you suppose you’ll do with that?

Ah, the question I’ve heard a thousand times over. It’s usually accompanied by a smug smirk and a look in their eyes that’s somewhere between confusion and pity.

I like to rotate my answers to this. Sometimes I’ll go the serious route, and explain that most of the career paths I aspire to follow require at least a university degree, or sometimes I’ll humour them and tell them if I work hard enough, I just might get that barista position I’ve been hoping for. (This is said with no offence to the baristas out there, but if I hear one more person tell me all their friends who have arts degrees work at Starbucks, I’ll cry).

I’ll admit, I had the same feelings before I began my post-secondary journey. Right out of high school, the last thing I wanted to do was get back in the classroom. So I got down to business and found administrative jobs I enjoyed, and told myself I was set. However, a tiny problem arose when at 22, I felt like my 9-5 job was sucking the soul out of me.

I know, I know. Stop being so dramatic! Working’s part of life, and hardly anyone enjoys their job. Just sit down and suck it up.

I tried that for a while. I tried to fill my life with excitement when I wasn’t at work. I tried telling myself that the money wasn’t bad, and that it was a fair exchange for being able to enjoy myself when I wasn’t working. I tried telling myself that even though I was miserable for 40 hours a week, that still left me with some hours in the day not to be miserable, even though I was unconscious for a majority of them. I tried telling myself I could tough it out for the next, oh, forty years or so.

And then, one day, I stopped believing all of it.

So, with cautious uncertainty, I applied at the local college for a 2 year psychology diploma, with plans to transfer to the local university afterwards. Some people wouldn’t think this was a big life change, but for me, it was a huge. I had gone from hating the classroom, and the idea of ever going back to school, to waking up before the alarm went off every morning because I was so excited to start my day.

I ended up taking a break after graduation to work for a couple of years, but as I find myself back in the classroom again, I’m just as elated as I was when I first decided to go back. And yes, my social science¬†major may lead to some serious side-eye when people ask what I’m going to school for, but I assure you my liberal arts education isn’t a throwaway. The way I think about things, including current events around the world, is completely different from how I constructed my thoughts before I decided to attend college. The elective courses I have taken, like political science, environmental science, and ethics, have shaped the way in which I view the world, and my arguments are now backed with facts, instead of whatever I read on the internet. I now know to look at situations objectively, and that the world isn’t always black and white, but rather a muddled grey that you have to carefully wade through.

So, to answer your question, my arts degree will let me live the life I imagined while I was daydreaming at my cubicle all those years ago. It will go with me as I choose my post-university path, and, hopefully, it will help me make the world a better place.



P.S. I know you still have that smug look on your face, and that’s ok.


3 thoughts on “Oh! An Arts Degree! What do you suppose you’ll do with that?

  1. Hi, I have just came across your blog and wow! I’m not normally a blog person, but the writing is superb, with lots of humour and pathos. You are right, life isn’t always easy, but to see the funny side in everyday situations, and realise that living for day, is the only real way to contentment, is half the battle.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s