What do my distant relatives, random acquaintances from freshman year classes, and the kid I talked to for six minutes at last night’s mixer have in common? They all want to know what I’ll be doing after the ever dwindling last few months of college.
The short answer? I don’t have a clue. But unlike my non-existent list of potential postgrad job offers, my shit list — filled entirely with people who have been bugging me with this ridiculous question and this girl from my econ class who asks too many questions — is a whole lot longer.
If this situation doesn’t sound familiar to you, then you’re probably one of the jerks on the other side of it. You probably picked a major with one intended end point. If you’re pre-med, you’ve known for four years the intended end goal, and that your immediate next step is med school. Same for pre-law and most business majors. Which is great for you, but stop being a dick about it to everyone else.
This is by no means a new dilemma. To all my fellow English majors out there, I’m sure you feel my pain regardless of which year you’re in. It starts out innocent. When you’re a lost little freshman they still think they’ll sway you into a STEM field. Casually pointing out if you don’t know what you want to do yet why not just take an intro science class or give it a try. It’s as if everyone thinks you picked your major out of a hat and the twelve years of being tortured with math and science wasn’t enough exposure to decide if you liked it or not.
As you make your way through college dodging labs and letting your calculator collect dust at home, the questions about your future keep coming at full speed (along with enough questions about “what grade do you want to teach” to make you physically nauseous). And, alas, one day you too will end up like me – in your last semester of college, résumé filled to the brim with experience, and every single person you talk to trying to tell you how to get a job.
Let’s get this straight. Just because I don’t know what I’m doing yet doesn’t mean I haven’t been attempting to figure it out. I’ve received every form of advice from, “have you gone to the career center” to “have you checked Indeed.com.” Really? Do people think in 2017 graduating college seniors haven’t thought to check Indeed.com for jobs?
Regardless of how ridiculous the advice is, the worst part is that it’s completely unsolicited. If I didn’t approach you and ask for your advice about how to get a job, it’s probably because I didn’t want it. While you may be an expert in your field or a pro at maneuvering your way through grad school applications, you can’t help me because I don’t want the same things as you. Save us all some time and just bypass the conversation. Let “what are you doing after graduation?” become the new taboo question like “how much do you weigh?”
And stop assuming every English major wants to be a teacher. We don’t..