Friday, June 11, 2010


When I was younger, it was really easy to think about what I wanted to "be" when I grew up. On my list from yester-year are things such as: an Orthodontist, an Egyptologist, a Musician, a Physical Therapist, a Cardiologist, a Teacher and a Culinary Artist.

Problem #1: From a very young age, we assume that what we do for a living IS who we are.

I think it was easy, then, because any whim I had that interested me could very well be what I decided would be my future. Depending on what I was studying in school - I could choose it as a profession!

Probelm #2: Whims are far too interesting for me too ignore, but maybe I take them too seriously.

Then it came time to apply for college. Junior year of high school I was ambitious. I was going to apply and audition for 5 music schools - to see where I could go, even though I was pretty set on BYU. HOLD UP! Audition for music schools? What made me decide that? Well, by the time high school ended that's all I had done. Band band band band. So that's what I was good at. So that's what I figured I should do for the rest of my life.

Problem #3: Assumption that you should enjoy, wholeheartedly, something that you're good at and pursue it 'till you die.

Senior year I lost that ambition and only applied for BYU. I was accepted and started, again with the assumption that since I didn't take as many other subject classes in high school, I wouldn't be able to puruse those things in college.

Problem #4: The stigma that you need previous training in something to begin it. Now that's an oxymoron if you ask me.

Freshman year I front-loaded my schedule with music classes, figuring that if I immersed myself in it, I'd be able to tell if I really liked it or not. Then I'd be able to decide if I wanted to continue. Turns out, I didn't like it very much, but I felt locked in to the major because of the large amount of music credits I had accumulated in my first year.

Problem #5: College - what you do to puruse your dreams - was hindering me from pursuing other things (or at least the collegiate strucutre was...)

Sophomore year I was still pretty unhappy. I changed my emphasis in music from performance to contemporary music so at least the major was a little more palletable. I figured music business would be fun. It's the practical side of work that I like plus all the music credits I've accumulated. Not so.

Problem #6: I deceived myself into thinking the program is something it's not.

Junior year. I met with the asst. dean of fine arts, my advisers, my parents and everyone thinkable to know if I could change my major, what I would change it to, substitute some classes that would benefit me in a professional career for some other classes in the music major,  or (if I don't change) how fast can I get myself out of school!??! Great potential in other degree programs, sure, but for some, I have too many credits to even apply. For others, I'd be in school an extra 3-5 semesters. Boo. I decided I'd rather be done with school in a "just fine" major, than in school longer for a degree I love.

Problem #7: Lack of flexibility with my own education.

So here I am, waiting to start my last year of college. What am I going to do afterward? 

I have no idea.

And it makes me really, really nervous.



  1. KINDRED SPIRITS. That's why it took me 13 years to finish college--I changed my major 7 times (and took semesters off to work because I sometimes had no other financial aid), and even my final major was Integrated Studies where I had two emphases and a truckload of upper-division philosophy and writing classes.

    I'm staring down the barrel of supporting myself for the rest of my life, and my job isn't cutting it. I need something that pays more, but the things I'm really passionate about (involving creating with my hands) are things that A. take more school I can't afford and B. don't make that much anyway unless I prove to be BRILLIANT at one or some of them.

    I think this runs in my family. We tend to be pretty darn good at whatever we turn our hands/attention to, but we can't find a focus. It's maddening. I feel your pain.

    On the other hand, I figure I can get a job doing anything and I might as well accept that and use that to pay for my real passions. Right?

  2. I echo some of Heidi's comments. For now, the goal to find a job that will pay for Spencer to get out of school faster-- OR that will pay to take you back to school for a degree you will LOVE. There is also nothing wrong with taking a year (or 2 or 3 or 5) to just work, try a lot of things, and use the time to find some direction for yourself. As I'm sure you know, do you think I want to be an assistant for ever? Or a glorified secretary? N-O. No. NO NO NO. But part of the reason why I'm kind of okay just accepting it for now is because there are things I do want to do in the future (Tokyo Disney) that just need some time to come to fruition.

    I get the hankering to just KNOW what to do. But lately I've come to a point where I don't KNOW what is going to happen, so I just try to move forward in the meantime. Makes the fretting stop, that's for sure. Frees up a lot of time for new hobbies and pursuing goals that could turn into something long-term.

    You'll be fine.

    This blog has great potential for a really good essay, bee-tee-dub. For real. Flesh it out, read some Patrick Madden, and you've got some good insight, sister.

  3. Something I've been noticing as I've been applying for jobs is how often people's jobs don't directly relate to their majors. Even if you don't get a music-related job I think you are in a seriously good spot for finding jobs because of IT Training. I've been shocked at how many jobs I've seen where IT Training experience alone would make you a glowing applicant. You're an awesome teacher with crazy skills and experience in Adobe, Microsoft, Website development, Supervising others, training faculty members, etc. These things alone open so many opportunities for you.

    Don't worry, you've got so many great skills and experience that I'm sure you won't have a hard time finding a great job.

  4. I ran into the same problem to... do I like Advertising. What I realized was that I was only looking at one side of the business. I was sure advertisers made ads and I loved art so that should be the side I liked. Turns out it was much more fun for me to leave Art as a hobby and jump into the strategic side of advertising. Which is why I picked up my art minor and just had some fun.

    Whatever you do, seriously, just make it fun. Besides- isn't Spencer going to be there for like the next 12 years or something?

  5. Glad to know I'm not the only person. I'm in the exact same spot with the music program, only I went the education route, so now I'm stuck in a 5 year program that'll take 6. Awesome.
    I get so restless sometimes, and I have a lot of different interests too, so it's hard!