i'm so over academia
February 2, 2013 1:23 PM Subscribe
Typical senioritis/quarter life crisis question. I'm at the end of a degree that I no longer want; should I just put the blinders on and keep aiming for the grad school route or use my extra time/credit hours to focus on my own interests? I don't really know which option would have better career prospects.
posted by lhude sing cuccu to Education (13 answers total)
I'm a first-semester senior at a highly ranked public school. I've been doing kind of a religion/sociology degree, and the plan was to go to grad school and maybe get a job as a researcher. (I'm also a first-generation college student from a lower class background so the prospect of being able to go to a top ranked grad school was appealing to me.) I enjoy research, but only in my own specific interest (i.e. I liked my independent study because I got to pick the topic, but I can't stand lectures or even seminars, if they're on a topic I'm not extremely interested in. AKA the rest of my classes.)
However, I'm also realizing that this path might not be that feasible. Not only because I feel like reading 70 pages a night isn't the best use of my time, but because I'm getting really disillusioned with the education system altogether. I've been skipping classes and putting off homework for as much as I can get away with, because I've been using that time to focus on my non-academic interests: Computer programming, audio programming, and music production. (I tried the music thing a few years ago, and it didn't really work out due to my not knowing how the industry worked...I'm also female so I know I have a strike against me in these fields...as opposed to sociology, which has a lot of women in it.)
I was also thinking of just getting through this degree and going to grad school for (probably clinical?) social work. But again, I don't know if I'm cut out for/responsible enough for grad school or being responsible for other people's lives (social work)! And I'm really not feeling so hot about the whole mountains of debt thing...I currently have no student debt and I'd like to keep it that way...
I keep trying to just buckle down and get really good grades, but it doesn't work unless I'm really 100% sure that there's an achievable goal at the end. It's hard to read 50 pages of medical sociology articles if I don't know anymore that I want to go into clinical social work. (I have to write a short paper on discrimination in the 1850's, and I just don't care. I really, really don't care! It's so irrelevant to me...) FWIW I love learning, but only on my own terms.
I know, I know, it sounds weird...clinical social work or computer programming? I don't even know if I am good at programming yet, and I don't really know what kind of job you'd get with it. I just like it so far.
TLDR I have two semesters left of school. I'm currently doing a religion major and I'm halfway into a sociology minor. I figured with a sociology minor, I could have a better chance of getting into grad school for either sociology or social work. But although I vaguely feel that I'd enjoy either of these things, I have no idea if that's true or not. I feel like it's too late to do internships, especially with all the competition out there for social science internships I'm not really counting on it. I'm kind of ready to get out of academia altogether, and I'm thinking of just dropping my sociology minor and use the credit hours to learn computer programming and audio production/computer music.
I'm open to getting a "stable" job and keeping my hobbies as just hobbies, but again I don't know if I could handle grad school or even a 9-5 desk job...I know you have to "deal with" work life but I just don't have the personality...and part of me says that it'd be easier to get into either programming or music than it would be to get into research/social sciences.
(I'm also scared that computer programming is a short-lived career...my dad used to work with computers but the technology moved so fast that he was irrelevant within 10 years...)
Please just tell me like it is! Thanks!