Monday, June 13, 2011

interruptions: between the dreaming and the coming true

I'm going to do a double post today, because I wasn't done saying what I had to say, but it seems to exist in two parts in my head.  Also, you might get bored, because this post is a mildly narcissistic one bemoaning the difficulty of translating my area of interest into a job.

I hear a lot about seeking out your passion, being yourself, chasing your dreams, even when they seem impossible.  I think that is all good; I often repeat it myself.  But sometimes life and dreams and practicality and desire all collide.  Sometimes the different dreams you have for your life conflict with each other.

Although I know earning a terminal degree in a humanities field (for me, eventually a Ph.D. in English) is difficult, I have also been discovering more than ever that it's impractical.  Over half of all Ph.D. in English graduates cannot find a job in their field, and those who do often have to move.  I would like to have that advanced degree attached to my name (Dr. Snyder!) and, far more than that, I would like to be so thoroughly immersed in study and research that I earn that degree.  Yet I'm debating the merits of the decision I will eventually make. 

Is this a dream that I should pursue, or is it one of those dreams that should be set aside in order to pursue other dreams?  Besides, when I get to the point that I've achieved this dream, will the reality be anything like what I imagine?  I do not want to spend years and money chasing a wisp of a dream that doesn't exist. 

{via weheartit}
I don't have to decide today, of course, and I know I want to pursue the MA in English--I was definitely not done with my studies in the subject when I graduated in December.  But being admitted to the MA program has me pondering the next step and exactly what I should do now in order to get there, even if I have two years to decide (and that's assuming I finish my MA in two years).  For those of you who are a little older and hopefully wiser than me, how did you decide what to do when you finished your undergraduate degree?  

Post title credit goes back to this Bebo Norman cd I had in high school.  He's the only Christian musician I ever listen to anymore; I still love the poetry of his songs, especially this one from another cd.


Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

You can only take things one step at a time and follow your heart. I still haven't decided if I should leave my PhD program with a Masters or come back after a year break to finish the PhD. It's tough. We never know if we're making the right choices. We can only make the best decision for us right now. Just trust it will all work out, whatever you decide.

Aimee said...

There is a book I am currently reading that might be a good resource for you. It is called Find Your Strongest Life by Marcus Buckingham. It is about discovering your strengths and how to use those strengths to help you make decisions for a successful life. Also for the working girl, how to incorporate your strengths into your job. I found it to be interesting! And your post reminded me of some of the thought-processes in the book.

Mo said...

It's ok to not know what to do, it took me a while to figure out if I wanted to go back to school or not (about 4 years post-undergrad, to be exact.) When I graduated, I had no idea how many possibilities there were for careers, and it took some time to figure out what my work style is like and what I enjoy doing. That was the other thing, I didn't really fully understand what I enjoyed doing until I started working. I only found out after some trial and error, and some really bad gigs. So go explore! Go on informational interviews. I know it's scary to not have a straight path to a goal, but trust me, you want this flexibility to find what you really love doing. Good luck. :)

KT @ KT's Refinishing School said...

I think this is a tough decision most if not all MA students have to make at some point which doesn't make it any easier but at least you know you are in good company :)

It sounds like you have some time to mull things over, which is always good when deciding something like this! Good luck!