Escaping the Post-Graduation Funk: part 1.

I’m going to try my hardest to keep this simple and brief!

I graduated in classics in 2012. I considered moving on to postgraduate study (or grad school, as it’s better known in the States), but I panicked regarding my finances and fled back home to my parents’ house in my hometown. As you might have gleaned from some of my other posts, I volunteered for six months with a vet charity, and with the retail experience gained, got a job as a sales advisor working. That’s what I’m still currently doing.

A month or so ago, I was having coffee with my brother, and we decided, right there and then: by the end of the year, which also coincides with our 23rd birthday, we’d have a plan. Not necessarily a ‘this is what I’m going to do and I have all the resources to do this’ plan, but something more substantial than a ‘hmm, well, x, y, and z sound pretty good, but I haven’t thought any further ahead than that’ plan. We have a notebook for all the progress that we will make, something the bro’s therapist recommended him to do, and as long as we’re taking steps toward the prospective plans, then it’s happy days.

In this first part of my new ‘Escaping the Post-Graduation Funk’ series, I’m just going to lay down what prospects I have in mind for my future. These do pertain to me personally, and I don’t profess them to be of any help to anyone, but if they are, then so much the better 🙂

1) Postgraduate study within Classics.

This seems like the most natural step for me, but I do have a few obstacles in the way, namely the cost of tuition, and the fact that I’m currently living in a non-university city. Another con, en ce moment: I have little idea of the specific area I want to focus on, which leads me to my second option:

2) Postgraduate study in a slightly different field, like theology.

My dissertation focused on a theological topic, and it’s always been something that’s heavily interested me. Same problems as 1) re cost and moving, and with narrowing the field of focus down. That’s something that will come to me in time, but I need to be proactive in deciding. Some of the courses I’ve looked at accept graduates from non-theology areas, so I think that a classicist who wrote a theological dissertation and has a first-class degree is not really much of a risk for them to take. 🙂

3) Another undergraduate degree, specifically in English Literature and Language.

There’s that fee problem again, but the cost of a four-year undergrad is about the same as one year’s postgrad, in the end (actually slightly less depending on whichever postgrad I would decide on). The biggest two cons I can see with this are: doing another ‘useless’ humanities degree doesn’t take me any step closer to a career I’m passionate about, although it’s something I really, really want to do, and the fact that I’d need to continue working to survive, so that would mean either pushing through a full-time degree with a part-time job, which would probably kill me, or doing the degree part-time, but I don’t think taking six years to do a ‘useless’ degree is necessarily worth it? Of course, an English degree is not really useless at all, but without knowing for sure what I want to do with my life yet, it’s not lighting up as the best path for me at the moment.

4) Staying with retail.

Getting promoted and working my way up the company obviously depends on outside factors, i.e. management’s decision to give me a promotion or not! That itself doesn’t look likely from a sales advisor’s position, but if I enter a graduate program and take the admin/business side of things, it would be possible to end up in a managerial position. This option seems more useful than some of the others, but the problem is that I’m not sure it’s for me. It doesn’t even have to mean promotions, but I’m not sure I could handle remaining a sales advisor for years without reaching higher, even though I do love my job.

5) YouTube

Obviously the most pressing problem here is that I’m not very regular with my filming, but of course I would be if it were my career. The next, almost equally pressing problem is that my content simply isn’t YouTube-partner standard, in my opinion. My beauty/fashion channel is just for fun and not up to the usual expected standard, and I wouldn’t want to get involved in that side of things career-wise, anyway, and the vlog channel is unexciting vlogs and me rambling for half an hour with no real allure. But we’re really getting into the pipe dreaming here, and I’ll leave the rest for the post that will take this option more in depth.

6) Author/poet

I’ve currently only completed one novel, and that’s undergoing the biggest rewrite known to man. It’s taking me a long time to complete because of its very stilted and turgid prose (if I say so myself). I have a few other projects on as well, which I’ll discuss later in more depth, but the main problems here are: I think I would work too slowly, and it might be very difficult to turn this into a real career.

7) Musician

I’ve put this almost last because it’s definitely the most ridiculous of them all, for a few reasons – the main one being that I don’t actually play any instruments currently! I used to play the trumpet, and I own a guitar, piano, and violin, but can’t play them yet. I know it’s very difficult to turn music into a viable career, especially non-mainstream music, so this one will probably remain a pipe dream, if not an on-the-side hobby.

8) Something else entirely?

Maybe I just need to try something new, see what happens? Try for an office job, horticulture, something I’ve never tried? Think outside the box a bit? I’m perhaps deluding myself into thinking that any of the paths I’ve suggested for myself will lead to something that will work for me. Maybe my dream career’s out there, and I just don’t know it yet!

It’s not so that I necessarily have to stick to the ideas I currently have, but as I’m nearly 23 and need to be thinking about my living, I should probably have some ideas I can actually work with! In the next parts of the wee series, I’ll be going into more detail about each option, and keeping the blog updated about steps I take toward advancing in any of the potential career steps. If it’s not necessarily interesting for any of you, at least I’m keeping a log to help keep me committed. 🙂 I’ve probably droned on forever and a day now, so…

Until next time,

Sascha x

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Four and a half months later.

I’ve been out of action for quite some time now, on all of my creative outlets, really; both my blogs, both my YouTube channels, and my novels are going at a snail’s pace. I’ve been active on Tumblr, plus the usual Facebook and Twitter, but that’s it as far as things go, so life’s been pretty dead around here. I’ve been busy with my newish job, but I’ve still frittered away lots of my free time, although in the past week or so, I’ve been feeling creativity slowly flowing back to me, so it’s only a matter of time before I’m back filming for YouTube too. 🙂

One of the first things I want to mention is that while I’ve been AWOL, I’ve become quite active in feminism groups – I’ve always felt feminist, but up until a few months ago I thought of the label as a sort of dirty word, a stigmatized word that I didn’t want to be a part of. Now I proudly embrace the label, and feel I must heavily apologize for what was my last post on this blog – The Burden of YouTube Popularity. I failed to recognize that the YouTubers I mentioned are victims of the patriarchy too, and that they are just as influenced by that and the media as we all are. It was unfair of me to put them on pedestals and forget that they are human beings like the rest of us. I rescind most of what I wrote on that subject, though I will keep the post up, especially as there was a comment left on it that I think people would appreciate if they read the post with their nostrils flaming.

I’ve made a lot of lovely friends through my feminist presence online, and as much as having my eyes opened to a worse world than I realized, I’ve enjoyed the journey. I still have so much to learn, but I am willing to learn, and I am never going to stop fighting for every single one of us, that we may be free of the shackles of patriarchy.

As I mentioned, I’ve been working a lot, but since it’s in retail, it’s been pretty soul-destroying. No, I do enjoy my job a lot, but in terms of productivity and creativity, it really doesn’t offer much. I have agreed with myself, and my brother since he’s doing the same thing, that by the end of the calendar year, we shall have a game plan – whatever it is. I know my working there is temporary, and I need to push myself so as not to end up settling for less. My 23rd birthday is at the very end of the year – the 31st, in fact, so quite literally so – so I feel it’s good timing. My brother as part of his therapy is setting aside certain time each week for making progress on a sort of ‘life to-do list’, and he’s involved me in that, at his psychologist’s suggestion, so options will be carved out quite soon. I know that without my own input, life cannot change, and go all the awesome new ways I’ve always hoped it would, so I’m making a massive effort from now on to get myself where I want to be.

Certain things I’ve massively procrastinated with – even getting my room redone. I’m needing to drastically reduce my belongings, and get my walls painted, and make my room a wonderfully creative space in which to work. I need to get back up and running with both my YouTube channels, since I’ve had lots of plans for them for a long time now. I need to restart the Cover Version Tuesday contest that I was posting each week on this blog. I need to move a lot faster with my novelwriting, and write more poetry.

I can’t keep calling this a post-graduation funk, nor can I let another funk keep me away from all the things I love for so long again. Here’s to hoping I get back on the wagon for good 🙂