Procrastination Dance – What am I supposed to do with an English Degree?

I have been spending a lot more time lately doing anything but writing. I wander around the city on my lunch breaks thinking of great ideas for blogs and taking photos; I write in my pink journal with the quick notes that pass through my head when I should be working; I come home and peruse through my University texts and notes; I spend time on the internet looking up writing sites and I almost religiously read other’s blogs and books looking for inspiration. I think to myself how much I’d love nothing more than to spend my days researching and writing, yet I haven’t posted to my blog in far too long. My procrastination dance is perhaps what has finally inspired me to finally get down to it and write. I don’t write for the money (and I doubt most writers do, although the majority would love to have a book that hit the status of The Twilight Saga or Harry Potter), I don’t write to read the reviews of praise and criticism (though that always makes my muse happy), but I do write because I love it and always hope my words evoke emotions in others.

If you’d asked me in high school what my least favourite subject was, it would have been English although I’ve been an avid reader forever. Yet somehow, after fumbling through too many semesters and changes in majors to count in University, I now hold an English degree. Huh. Even that accomplishment has taken some time to be proud of because although it looks amazing on a resume that I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree, the common reaction when I say my major is English is “oh… why aren’t you a teacher?” I would shamelessly (and nervously) joke that my BA really stood for “Bugger All”, to quote my grandmother. I would have agreed that it was a pretty useless degree considering I never had any intentions of completing my teaching degree. What I didn’t realize at the time is how truly diverse and English degree really can be. I dabbled in literature classes (Shakespeare to Milton, Modernism to Fantasy Lit), moved on to public speaking classes and classes that crossed over into the MBA programs, tried my hand at a few fictional writing classes and finally stumbled into Intro to Rhetoric because I needed a class to fill my 11:00 am time slot. Until I discovered there were multiple classes specific to Rhetoric (I know, what the heck is that?) I felt I was lost and thought back to high school when we had to take classes that couldn’t possibly apply to the “real world”. The difference was, in University, I was paying to take courses that seemed like a distraction from having to live in that real world. Happily a few weeks into my Rhetoric class and I could confidently say I had found my niche within the English department. I knew then I would likely not write a bestselling fictional novel, but what I could write was real life. I could apply what I was learning to every other class outside my degree, not to mention actually applying it to my every day life. I was now happily part of the sub-culture known as the “Rhetoric Heads” within the Communications department.

University notes I can’t bear to shred.

After spending 6 years in University it was time to get married, move to a new city and begin a “real” career. I thought to myself (and still do from time to time), what am I supposed to do with a degree in English? Many of my friends went on to teach in the school system, or overseas, and a few others went to Graduate school or had degrees that allowed them to go directly into a degree related job field. I tossed around the idea of obtaining a Law degree or even my Masters degree in Communications, but after realizing I didn’t have the money, I decided it was time to just use the knowledge I had already paid thousands of dollars for. I still toss around the idea of getting a Master’s Degree, but for now, I will just use my “art of persuasion” to advance in the degree known as Life.

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