Looking Back: A Word on My English Degree

Photo 21-3-19, 8 53 26 pm

L-R: Sam, Ashleigh, Evan, and your girl.  We were all a little giggly here because prior to this picture being taken, we had a conversation about how the robes made us all look like Voldemort (and Evan was pretending to hide a wand in his cloak).

Hello everyone!  Hope everything’s fine and dandy with you all.

(I want to make an apology to WordPress because all the issues I’ve been having the past few posts had little to do with them and everything to do with me being an ignorant fool.  A bit of googling reveals that all the formatting issues I’ve had involved weirdness that occurs when you cut and paste text into WP’s editor.  So, sorry for all the bashing!  Suppose the only thing to do is to work with this flaw and type my post directly in.)

Anyway, I’d like to share to you that I officially graduated on the 20th of March, and all I can say is that my graduation was probably one of the best days of my life so far.  In honour of studying English at uni, I figured that it was probably time for me to write a sentimental post regarding this rollercoaster ride experience.  So brace yourselves for a fairly long-ish post and let’s get going!

First and foremost, I chose English because it’s something that I’m truly interested in and passionate about.  When I decided to study it, I got a few raised eyebrows from family, friends, and strangers alike, and got bombarded by the typical questions like, “What can you do with that degree?” and “What jobs will this give you?” (the same question worded differently), and I dished out all sorts of answers like being an academic, a writer, a tutor, etc., until my go-to answer became, “Anything.”

Yeah, there are many degrees that can get me directly into a job after graduating, and pay me a decent amount every year, but I just knew that I wouldn’t be happy studying those said degrees.  I’m probably going to sound like an absolute twat when I say this, but I don’t exactly want to become a slave to money.  While we do need money to survive and get by in life, there are some people that equate money to success i.e. the more you have, the more successful you are, and we often become driven to have money for a good home, a good car, and extra to burn on holidays and other leisurely pleasures.  However, I’ve seen how this pursuit of money and success can really bring people down; while money is a necessity for food, living expenses, etc., it’s an unfair yardstick to measure your worth and quality of life with.  There’s the FOMO phenomenon and stories of entrepreneurs (cough, cough, Steve Jobs and the Zuck) making bank and are cited as muses for success.  Not all of us want that in life–an attitude of being content with what you have is far more fulfilling, in my opinion.  So, I would rather study something that fulfils me and makes me happy and that the time I’m spending on studying is worthwhile.

(I’m going off on a bit of a tangent, sorry) So that was my decision.  However, there were times that I wondered whether I was doing the right thing.  Others were getting placements, internships, jobs through their own respective degrees, and I thought, ‘shit, where am I going wrong?’  There were also times that I was so burnt out from the study load that I could barely finish a book, and was wondering if I really did make the right decision being here?  Not only that, there were a heap of personal issues that impacted on my studies; alcohol dependence, toxic relationships, and (undiagnosed at the time) depression and anxiety.  It was easy to give up and succumb to the adversity I was going through, but I had to try and remember the end game.  Then I had to remember the good things I had in my life–the relationships that weren’t toxic, the people that supported me and got my back, the times I’d laugh, the times I’d enjoy the sunsets, and the future that lies ahead.

There were times that I’ve failed assignments, felt like I couldn’t grasp the concept of the topics we were learning about, and felt like I wasn’t as smart as all the other people in my class.  But I had to keep on going; there was a little part of me that pushed on.  It didn’t matter if I didn’t get the highest grade, or if there weren’t any internships going for English majors (everyone is in the same boat), I decided to treat every little achievement as a victory, and went easy on myself.  Finishing and submitting an assignment = victory.  Listening and learning from fellow peers = victory.  Turning up to an early morning* lecture = VICTORYYYYY!

[*by early, I mean 9am]

With the English degree, I feel like I’ve opened my eyes to a completely different and new side to reading and writing (but at the same time ruined some books and movies for me).  Reading used to be for fun, but with the knowledge I gained over the years of studying English, I observed the themes, unpacked the tropes, and comprehended the context of the literature, therefore I appreciated the works even more.

Regarding the future, I quit my business administration course a little while back because it didn’t feel fulfilling to me, and it was only for the sole purpose of getting a resume-worthy qualification.  But the content I was learning from this course were things that I already knew, and things that required a little bit of common sense (the course was probably intended for people who don’t really know much about computers or customer service, to be really honest with you).  I do intend to go back to study in the future, perhaps I will do my masters; but for now, I just want to relax, keep my mind at ease for a while, and live a little.

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Anndrew, Nellie and me: a trio of champagne lovers.  (Yes, we got a little tipsy prior to the ceremony, and yes, Anndrew’s name is spelt correctly).  ETA: check out Anndrew’s website here where you’ll find unique and awesome projects he’s working on!

On October, I plan on actually going to Melbourne to see my friends and explore the city, so I’m looking forward to that!  I’m also currently looking for writing and or editing jobs so I can put my degree to good use.  Otherwise, there’s Plan B: I’ve also been looking at various masters programs offered in Melbourne universities, and I also will volunteer to gain more work experience so that I can pay the rent and bills for when I move out.  Additionally, I’m also looking at internships via the government–one is with IT (another industry that is in demand and interesting), and if I’m successful in bagging one, then that means learning more new things!  The future looks bright, indeed!

Anyway, that’s enough of my rambling.  Since I’ve almost finished reading In the Castle of My Skin, and along with a review of that, there will be a pre-review post all about postcolonial theory and literature.  I’m looking forward to writing up these posts, but I have to gather all my notes.  Until next time, thanks for reading and congratulations to all the other graduates out there in the world!

new siggie again

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