On Not Giving In

by The Macleod

If there is one question I’ve faced more than any other in the years since I begin university three years ago, it’s “So what are you going to do with that degree?” With my history degree. What am I going to do with it? What could I possibly do? There are no jobs out there! The piece of paper is worthless if it’s not in engineering or computer science. Apparently there are no jobs on this earth that require what being a history student has taught me. Things like writing well or thinking for myself. Lost qualities in today’s online eWorld.

Has it occurred to anyone that once I graduate I may simply be smarter and wiser and better equipped to handle a wide variety of professions? Everything from law to business to education to basically whatever it is I want to do. The difference between people like me and people like everyone who sees what I’m doing as a waste of time is their perception of university as a career college. It’s just a training centre where you learn specific job skills to aid you in a specific job once you graduate. But not me. I have a more classic view of what a university’s function is. When I graduate I will be a writer and, more importantly, a thinker. I will be a smarter, more cultured person and therefore better equipped to take on a lot of different jobs. Is there one specific job that I’ll be “trained” to do? God no. What if I were to get bored of a job like that after a few years? What would I do then? Probably be forced to keep that job and retire a bitter and resentful human being forty years down the road. Yeah, great plan. Sign me up.

So what am I going to do when I graduate then? Who knows? I’ll figure that out as it comes. But what I do know is what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to give in to the view that I need to get my act together as soon as I can. This means settling down a bit, getting a full-time salaried job. Maybe get engaged, get some direction, get a mortgage. I’ll be married within two years, have kids within three or four, get a small house, a dog, and a fucking white picket fence. I can not give in to it! There is nothing attractive to me about that path in life. It’s nothing more than a recipe for a mid-life crisis. I will wake up in twenty or thirty years and wonder where all my dreams went. Why didn’t I explore the world and explore who I really am and what I really want before I fucking settled down and joined the ranks of people who have a burning desire to acquire a wicked stock portfolio before their twenty-fifth birthday? A waste of a life.

I have forever to get on with a life like that. But I’m only young now. I will not be the guy who sits on his couch wondering why he didn’t do all the things he’d dreamed of when he was young. I’m going to make them happen. I’m going to see the world and not be roped into the suburban prison of mowing lawns and fighting early morning commutes. Leave that to the middle-agers. I will never again have absolutely no attachments to anything and we should all take advantage of a situation like that while we’re still young enough. The world is an enormous place that extends way beyond any middle-management corner office. Money and a career are great, but so is living life.

*It should be noted that I had consumed about as much marijuana as did all of Aerosmith c.1979-1984 – it resulted in a bitter and resentful mood.

  • On Not Giving In
  • by The Macleod
  • Published on November 1st, 2001

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