Posted by: hellonhairylegs | August 25, 2008

Navel Lint

I’m good at everything. English, maths, science, history and geography were all A average subjects. I still don’t know what I want to do with my life; you see I’m good at everything that doesn’t involve physical labour or coordination. That is, I’m good at everything that doesn’t involve doing anything.  When I cook, clean or sew it is terrible to behold (I’m hoping a few years more of practice will cut down on the blood loss).

The only two things I’m great at are economics and feminism. I was reading books about micro-lending for fun when I was eight. So I figure I can either become a blood sucking capitalist or an academic. At the moment I’m wondering what the hell I should do with my life. Having careers advisers assume you already know is kind of scary (and if I hear one more B-average student expressing their wish to be a doctor because their parents say so I’m going to explode).

I was feeling nervous about all this as I went into my second half of the day. In summary, five awesome women convinced me that some bricks are lose in the wall we’re slamming our heads against. Thank dog for liberal teachers, kickass receptionists and awesome doctors.

(It was only the pop up porn add that reminded me that I’m a commodity and should just get a husband/ boyfriend/ protector, damnit!  -whimper-)

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Responses

  1. Ah, I don’t miss my youth at all. The problem is you spend all day in school for 12 years, 16 if you go to college, even more if you go to grad school. So, basically, everyone is being trained to become an academic, researcher, or teacher!

    I don’t have any advice for you. I had to go back to school to train for a career, after having gotten a “useless” B.A. I put useless in quotes, not because I think my college time was a waste (it wasn’t), but because college does not prepare you for the outside world. But society clings to that idea with all its might. If you want to know what the purpose of school is, read “My Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn.

  2. I’ll look it up bonobobabe. The main issue is that I want to do something useful with my life. I just don’t know what.

  3. Don’t stress too much about what you want to do. Enroll in a uni degree that allows you to be as diverse as possible in the subjects you take– one that will let you take both arts and science subjects (a double degree, if necessary). Flexibility is the key.

    And then do your honours, and go into an academic career. 🙂

  4. Neoclassical economics, for all its flaws, is/can be a nondiscriminatory way of assessing the world because it is all about productivity. It is widely adhered to and is spouted endlessly by lots of people who don’t really know what their talking about (like me) and so can be a powerful tool to beat people around the head with. That is, you don’t have to become a bloodsucking capitalist just because you study economics — if you want to become one of those do finance or commerce or something.

  5. be a bum for a while!!! it’s fun. I did the degree first and now I’m “a traveller.” study what you enjoy sutdying and figure it out later. few people do things related to their degrees.

    Also in my bumming i got more involved in activism, speaking of useful things…

  6. I had a similar problem and inclination – only towards linguistics and not economics 🙂 You don’t have to decide now what you want to do with the rest of your life. You really can change your mind if you want.

    At the moment, with a BA in Linguistics and Indonesian, half a masters in development, anthropology and gender, and five years in the public service… I do sometimes wish I had a technical skill or trade: teaching, carpentry, building houses, something. Economics could be that for you. I’m good at being a public servant and I enjoy it, but I think it’s not necessarily that useful to developing countries (I want to keep working in development) – even though I’m about to go work overseas and do just that.

    However, on the bright side, I am a good example of how following your interests (a) makes you generally happy (b) introduces you to jobs and ideas you would never have thought of. I really want to work in development now for a long time, and I like working in the government, but I fell into both things just by kind of by accident, because of the subjects I originally chose at uni… and I could have accidentally fallen into a number of other good options as well.

  7. Actually, now I think about it, I didn’t even set out to study linguistics or Indo on purpose… I did linguistics because everyone said ‘you should do linguistics if you’re studying languages’ and it turned out to be, like, my favourite thing ever. Indo was just because I had studied it for so long and liked it and I was able to take it at uni – but at the time I was much keener to study Italian, and I did, but I ended up dropping it two years in to focus on Indo (because I was better at Indo).

    I’m a bit of an overachieving drifter, or a drifting overachiever, I think, if that’s possible.

  8. I think you would improve economics no end, but it might also be worth being pragmatic and considering whether being around economists and economics students will drive you utterly screaming bugfuck.

  9. Wow, thanks everyone. It is so easy to get nervous when you are surrounded by other students and teachers telling us that this is the most important year of our lives.

    Nakedthoughts, you’re right, no matter what I end up doing, I can also do activism. Useful in the extreme.

    Hendo, I get what you’re saying. Anyway, linguistics and anthropology sound awesome.

    Ozcloth, yeah, that is a consideration. I’ve met a few economists (all the female ones were nice, most engaged in micro lending/ redressing the gender gap) and a lot of them are jerks.

  10. It is so easy to get nervous when you are surrounded by other students and teachers telling us that this is the most important year of our lives.

    Your teachers are lying, and the other students simply don’t know better. Seriously. 🙂

  11. Oh yeah, WOW. A good HSC mark can be useful, but your mark doesn’t determine your future. I got 66%, then went off the rails for a couple of years. I now work in a law firm, have one degree, another on the way, have an 11 year old son, have a wonderful and exciting life (ok, yes I know that working in a law firm may cast doubt on that claim for some but I love it) and I’m 32.
    Best of luck w exams etc.
    Economic knowledge gives you a LOT of cred in arguments where lefties cop a beating without it.

  12. “I’m good at everything. English, maths, science, history and geography were all A average subjects.”
    great… go make the unreal real…

    “The only two things I’m great at are economics and feminism. I was reading books about micro-lending for fun when I was eight. So I figure I can either become a blood sucking capitalist or an academic.”
    Nope…third choice… help with the ever more urgent global work to stop the fuckers from your country n others who are stuffing up this small island state with emissions and cheap bad redundant imported products and nuclear routes and structural adjustment policies and free trade bullshit trade dealers working happily in collusion with homemade fuckers sitting with them in the tropical sun and celebrating gdp and paris principles and mdgs by wtos and adbs…

    “At the moment I’m wondering what the hell I should do with my life. ”
    cross frequently/dark side of the road teaches quicker and sunny side is there to keep you walking on…”

    luck and love to you
    peace, oneva

  13. “The only two things I’m great at are economics and feminism. ”

    That’s a pretty powerful intersection. You may want to look into both women’s studies and a plain old economics degree. You don’t have to stay in academia to use either of these.

    You are already showing your propensity for writing, and if you have a similar propensity for seeing economic patterns, you could be a serious force at the local, national, or international level (private, public, or non-profit sector) for creating, planning, and promoting enterprises that give women opportunities for equal pay and meaningful work.

  14. Thanks Beppie, oneva, jen and fuckpoliteness. That is all really good to know.

    I guess part of me is scared to go into feminism and economics. Scared that I’ll care too much or epically fail. It is silly now that I think about it.


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