As I finished my high school diploma and getting ready to pursue a bachelor’s degree in political science, I encounter quite a large number of people in my age being abudantly worried and confused of which college major is worth to choose and eventually choose certain major based on job prospects. While I understand where this consternation comes from, given the fact that we need to earn a decent income to live comfortably and to survive in this crazy world, I’d argue that this mindset is not best one to embrace, at least for me.
For one thing, choosing a college major based on future job outlook tends to be quite stressful. Pursuing fancy majors and therefore having ‘respected’ jobs and good money, the idea that the society dictated us to have, is what I think as one of the reason to why depression has surged to epidemic levels in recent decades as it has impacted millions of people. In the midst of complexities of modern life, with all its pressure, many people see life as a showroom, where your job and status define your worth as human being. I see this as a societal/psychological challenge we have to tackle for the better future.
I think one of the solution to this problem is to adapt a healthier perspective that we choose certain major only because we love it and not what other people say. Yes it is cliche but I do still find even myself and plenty of people around me being kind of submissive to the external force. When we truly love what we study and give the best effort to it, we no longer need to worry about our future job since it will look for us in reverse as we are the experts to whichever field. In addition to that, all fields of study are equally valuable if you want to take a peek to its essence rather than the value that the society give.
Long before I opt to study political science, I have always been interested in political issues around the world. I’ve always enjoyed reading news about, let’s say, Jokowi-Prabowo’s presidential race, the Yellow Vest demonstration, the Hongkong anti-extradition bill protest, the Korean conflicts, Theresa May’s resignation, Ibrahim Zakzaky’s political movement in Nigeria, and so on so forth. I wondered what it means to have power, what is state and nation, how some conflict appears and winds down, what is far-right ideology, traditional conservatism, Marxism, social democracy? All these question have been lingering on my mind and I really can’t wait to figure that out. Having said that, it is safe for me to say that I don’t really mind about postgraduate jobs and I’ve stopped caring about a career, since I’ve let myself to enroll in this course for the sake of it. I don’t know but this kind of mindset is somehow liberating like a breath of fresh air.
This thing works only if you know yourself and what you love/passionate about. I know a friend of mine who had no idea what major she wanted to pursue and eventually chose whatever option available rather than asses the importance of the each options beforehand. If you’re part of the crowd who still haven’t gotten your heart set on any fields of study, it’s okay everyone has their own time. But one thing I want to point out is maybe this plight is what “formal” school accountable for. I argue that schools distract students to freely explore whatever they passionate about by giving too much content, too many subjects. Students are not getting enough time for genuine learning or reflection and that’s what happened to my friend.
Another thing just to remember of why caring about a career before studying in college is no useful is that degrees are no longer a guarantee of getting a job or a better pay nowadays. It is no a secret that information learned during college is not always useful to actual work demands. Unless you opt to work as traditional “professionals” like doctors or engineers, your skills and experiences are much more looked for than your degrees and certificates.
Ever since I started my homeschooling years and having conversation/listening to many activists (SJW, whatever you call it), I’ve came into conclusion that caring about our own career may sometimes charactarized us as egoistic individuals. It’s like okay I choose this job bacause of the money, I want to become more prosperous by myself. Meanwhile our nation still have a lot of problem, it is burning and choking on its own smoke. Education system, mindset, infrastructure, segregation, corruption, lack of identity, social gap are the problems we’re facing yet we choose to not give a damn. I believe that humanity should be our raison d’etre, regardless of what path we’re on. What I mean by that, our personal job/career shouldn’t be the final goal, because if it is then what’s the point of our existence.
So there you go, I hope this reaches you (and I) well.