I started planning this a few hours ago when I wasn’t near any type of paper or anything that I could use to write, so it might feel a bit choppy. But I will say that no, I am not currently looking for a job. I enjoy working in the theater. This is about my future.
Yo yo yo yo! (No, I don’t know why I feel the need to start off these posts with some sort of greeting; I just do)
Something that has bothered me for a while is the fact that whenever I think of a potential career option my parents aren’t very supportive of it.
Back in junior and senior year of high school I was going through the normal internal panic that many students face when thinking about college. I had no idea what I was going to study or where I would go to college. My dream since eighth grade has been to be a sound engineer in a recording studio. My parents got it drilled into my mind that a job within the music industry would not be very lucrative and I wouldn’t be happy. So I started looking into different things. But time and time again my parents would shoot down any of my suggestions. Basically, if I wasn’t going into accounting (because I was supposedly decent at math in high school?) my dad wouldn’t be happy and if I wasn’t going into nursing my mom wouldn’t be happy (because I was good at science–or pretended I was–in high school and I liked helping people). The librarian at my high school suggested I study funeral planning because she knew I like horror movies and heavy metal and such. Of course my parents shot this down as well, saying it was too weird despite me trying to tell them I would always have business (kinda scary thought but it’s true). From there I looked up majors similar to funeral planning and somehow found forensic science. Again, my parents weren’t supportive of this but senior year and college applications were rapidly approaching and I needed something. I figured I would do forensic science as my main job and recording on the side. I do remember though filling out some “find a college now” type website and putting audio engineering like I wanted and they called my house a few months after I submitted all my applications and chose my current school and my mom wondered why people we calling me about that. Anyway, that part in italics was a sidenote. I needed something to chose and so I kept pestering my parents to let me study forensic science. It took a long time but they caved. This decision even disappointed my guidance counselor in a meeting to talk about colleges; she knew I wanted to study audio engineering and had already looked into schools for me to apply for that. When I told her I was going to study forensic science she, in her normal fashion where she didn’t actually mean it, scolded me for having her do all that work for nothing.
When I was applying to schools they told me to apply to the local community college and start there incase forensic science didn’t work out. Because I appeased their wishes I couldn’t apply to the Macaulay Honors Program (not too disappointed in that but if I had the same success getting into that as I did getting into all 9 schools I applied to, I’d be going to college for free). When I got into John Jay (the very last school to send their acceptance letter) I told them that I was going there. They still tried to convince me to start at the community college but I wasn’t having it.
Incase you’re new here or you forgot, forensic science lasted about two months and then I switched to my current major, criminology (but I still had to finish my first semester science classes).
Imma stop talking about me for a second and talk about my brother. When he was in college, he switched majors twice. He went into SUNY Cortland to study exercise science to be a physical therapist. That didn’t pan out well. He did horribly in his science classes (worse than I did) but I believe he stayed in it for a full year because my dad would not let him change his major. They had a discussion (where my dad was extremely angry and disappointed in my brother) where my dad eventually agreed to let him change his major. My brother apparently wanted to switch to Fitness Development but my dad wasn’t having any of that. He made my brother switch to business; the major my dad studied in college. He assumed that my brother would have no problem finding a job post college in that major–he was probably completely unaware of the fact that business is the most common major for college students. My brother stayed in the major for a bit but in junior year he pretty much fell into a depression. That year my dad made him become an RA (where my brother got stuck in a freshman dorm). That was an extremely stressful job and topping it with a major that he hated, he had no motivation to do anything. His girlfriend told me that he would just lay on his bed in his room for hours in darkness and wouldn’t want to go out. He even got below a 2.0 GPA for a semester (like the semester GPA, not his overall) during this time. He eventually switched his major to communications, almost causing World War III when my dad found out my brother turned his back on him with business. My brother was able to finish communications very fast and graduated on time. My dad gave my brother some time after college to relax but when he decided it was time, he immediately started forcing my brother to find a job and take all the civil service exams that came up. My brother eventually got a retail job at Under Armor in the city. My brother hates the city. My brother hates commuting. My brother hates the people of New York. My brother hates New York in general. He worked at this job for almost two years. During that time he wanted to sign up for the Army Rangers and was going to until his girlfriend talked him out of it. He never gave up his dream of the military though. Apparently one day, almost a year and a half later, my dad and him had a talk where my dad finally apologized for not letting my brother study what he wanted in college. During this discussion my brother said he was thinking of going back to get a masters in the fitness development program (or something extremely similar). This was good news to my dad. However, that plan didn’t go through because my brother instead went to a Marine recruiter and signed up. He is now in bootcamp (and I really gotta write him a letter). My parents weren’t thrilled at all to hear this but there was nothing they could do. Now they are proud of him and claim to have always supported his dreams and goals. Good thing they were already patriotic, or else who knows what would have happened.
Anyway, back to me (wooo narcissism!) I don’t remember what I wrote in my first post about switching my major (cause that was over two years ago or something and I am sure none of you really remember my exact wording either). But when I first told my dad I wasn’t enjoying forensic science and wanted to switch he got beyond pissed off. After making me cry and telling me I was to stay in science, I didn’t have the guts to tell him that I had already put in the paperwork to officially switch earlier that week. I didn’t tell him until after the semester ended and I told him through a four page long letter with very little emotion but tons of straight up facts as to why this was the best decision for me. He accepted it and finally after months of unbearable tension and silence the house was calm again.
Because of what happened with my brother I knew that criminology had to be the major I graduated with. (Also sidenote, one of my friends in the honors program switched from forensic psychology to fire science and the director of the program told him not to switch again so that also added to my fear that has kept me trapped in my major). In the beginning I thought I was going to be part of the FBI and eventually become a special agent. Well during this past election I saw just how easily the FBI could be corrupted and I also realized that the high stress of law enforcement–or the dull, mind-numbing idea of working a desk job as some analyst or some shit–did not excite me. I lost all interest in working for the FBI; I didn’t even apply to the FBI summer internship for a second time and this of course angered my dad when he found out. So for the past few months I have been in limbo, struggling to think of a career path. To top it off, my 300 level classes in my major made me realize I actually do not give a shit about what I am studying. So basically, college has become what my religion teacher in high said it was for some people, prolonged adolescence. I am basically taking a seat away from someone else who actually (for some reason) wants to study criminology at John Jay.
A couple of months ago I was thinking and I considered social work as a career path. I looked into it and saw that there are some social workers who focus in military families and veterans. I would like that. I have yet to meet a veteran or military personal who I do not like and if I could give back to those people in anyway, I would. However, social work requires you to have a masters degree and take a test to become licensed. I never had any desire in continuing my education past a bachelors (hell, if I am being honest I didn’t even want to do THAT in the first place). Everyone who I have told about this idea, including my parents, have said that social work is a thankless job, very high stress, and low pay. Thanks. Back to the chopping block.
The other day I was thinking security. And I even brought it a step further and thought if I become a security guard in a public school I will technically be working a salary job for the state. Therefore, I should get the benefits from the federal government that my parents oh so want me to get. However, when I told my mom this in the car this morning, she said that it is not a safe job and I should look elsewhere. She suggested being a crossing guard because according to her the job is easy. Thanks.
My piano teacher suggested I go to Baruch for a masters in arts management. I looked at the courses that I would have to take for that and by the names they just sound so much more interesting than anything in criminology (then again, I chose criminology because the course names of like 5-6 classes sounded cool, not that I got a chance to take all of them because I had to take different classes to fill the same requirements of the cool classes due to certain restraints). However, I just know my parents would say “what could you ever do with that?” so I am not even going to bother with this because if they don’t support it, I doubt they will want to support my financial costs.
Thinking further, basically any job that I would get if I were to actually work in something related to my godforsaken major will be unsafe and/or underpaid. If not, then it’s some federal job with high security checks and hoops to go through in applying and extremely competitive. I am at a loss.
Despite all the friends I made and things I have achieved at my college, if I were given the chance to go back to senior year and apply to different schools I am 90% sure I would take it. I would say fuck my parents’ thoughts, I am studying music. It took almost three years for my dad to even understand and accept that I am minoring in music. But honestly, I think I would be so much happier academic-wise if I were majoring in my dream. I just found a YouTube channel today by some guy who has a masters in music composition and just hearing him talk about music theory made me ecstatic. I wish I could understand it more but I never had any advanced classes in music theory (thanks to my school solely focusing on criminal justice, which is cool but still very limiting). I really want to make the time to teach myself this stuff–music theory, audio programs, and new instruments. But of course I gotta focus on my career, which I don’t know if I’ll ever have.
I have to start working on my senior thesis and I am dreading it. Not because it is a big project (although that is a big portion of it), but because I cannot stand my major and I don’t care about sociological stuff (criminology is basically sociology but with a focus in crime, criminals, and the criminal justice system). My project isn’t focusing on those three things because you cannot pay to me pretend to care about prisons and prisoners at this point, but instead it is going to be about the struggled veterans face on returning home from being deployed. I only realized after making that my project that I might have a difficult time doing research because why would veterans want to talk to an undergrad about their personal issues? From what I’ve read so far they don’t always even want to talk to profession psychologists and such about that. But hopefully my capstone mentor (who I gotta email :/) can help with that. No this little rant isn’t important to the overall point of the post but it is right there with my current struggles and stressors.
So back to jobs. WTF am I going to do? Everyone always suggests ideas for me, many of which I have little-to-no interest in even researching, never mind actually doing. My parents want me in some government base where I go to work in a dress suit ever day and work in some air conditioned cubical, earning a salary and benefits from a job I care little about. Sure that’s what my dad has done for almost 30 years and even though I see how much it has helped financially, I see how miserable it makes him and how much he hates working for the court system. I never wanted to work in the courts, after all the countless time I attended Bring Your Daughter To Work Day (the judge in charge of it was a huge feminist and apparently didn’t want to deal with the sons but eventually they had to add the boys in the following day because god-forbid little boys and girls socialize together.) My dad wants me to start looking into the same civil service and court tests that he made my brother take. I’ll go through the motions but I really have no interest in getting a job as a court assistant or anything.
Another thing I want to mention is if you enjoy your major I am both so proud and envious of you. I see all my friends who are actively pursuing their dreams and I love seeing their joy when talking about classes, internships, and (for some) job opportunities they have taken. I really do hope that all of my friends (and everyone in general) end up working in a job that they love. I just wish I could do the same. Keep on building that résumé friends! I want to see you succeed in your dreams because I am pretty sure I’ll never be able to do mine.
With graduation rapidly approaching I am already experiencing the “what’s after college” questions and I honestly don’t know how to answer them anymore. I usually joke when people ask “What are you going to do after graduation?” by saying “cry” but I have a feeling that soon I won’t really be joking about that anymore. I haven’t done internships (because I always end up putting my eggs in one basket and hoping I get the one or two summer internships I apply for, but never have), I don’t know what kind of job I could do related to my major that I won’t hate everyday, I don’t know what other fields to look into that could be lucrative but also enjoyable for me, and I don’t know what kind of job I can pick that will get my parents approval. And I know that in this economy (of what little I know about economics) that I can’t just get married and move to the midwest as I also commonly joke. Maybe one day I’ll figure something out.
Lost in a pile of cutout classifieds