Piggybacking off my last post….
If I am choosing a career in academia, would I not make approximately the same salary no matter what discipline I choose? What impassioned me to go to school mid-life was the urge to be more cultured (less ignorant). I didn’t want to die being another American that cant fill in a world map, speak another language or relate to other cultures.
I have always loved history but studying history and being a historian is really two different things. Anthropology seemed like an interesting path. It has everything, history, language, science, travel, culture. It still is interesting to me but also seems…remote. I think I’m a bit old to be an archeologist, as fun as that sounds. I wish I had had the passion to pursue that degree in my 20s! Sociology seemed more useful, especially in today’s political climate. And they make a hell of a lot more money than a historian or anthropologist (on average). I could study the earth or life on it, but I always swing back to environmental aspects of that subject, be it geology or biology. I thought about journalism but need a background in another area to support it. When I thought about careers in any of these subjects, it’s hard to answer the question everyone inevitably asks, “What will you do with that degree?”
My answer to that can now be academia. I can teach and do research. With the time I have, I would like to make an impact. Protect the environment, change people’s lives. I could stay in a lab all day, trying to figure out equations when math was never my strong suit or I could make a difference I can feel. Why not stick with my first love? Why kill myself (and my GPA) trudging through the next year in Calculous, chemistry, and physics when I’m just as happy learning what I need to know in a broader context. As I was dozing off reading the biogeochemical textbook suggested to get a deeper background of my research, I thought… why am I doing this? If I act now I could be taking classes I want to take, not ones I have to power through to get where I want. And anyway, could I ever teach these subjects? No way!
I started college to become the best version of myself I can be. When the realization hit me that I was going down a forced path, as interesting as it sounded at the time and that the prerequisites are a burden weighing me down, I hit a wall. When the second realization hit me that if I changed my fall schedule now to something that suits me better… I felt that the freedom of that weight release me. Hell, I’m doing this to change the direction of my life. This is supposed to be fun! Enriching and liberating! If I want to take freaking piano lessons or art class with my electives, why not?!
I already know the language of the arts and now have a little bit of a background in science. Enough that it is relatable to me. I have always been creative and love the arts. According to FOCUS tests I’m am first Investigative than Creative. I was forcing myself to be something I’m not. I’m not handy with machines and advanced math is such a useless chore (to me).
Human geography is interesting to me. There are concentrations of environmental, historical-context, and economics that sound right up my alley. What if I started with a foundation of geography and went to grad school for sociology to put it all into context? There are similar concentrations for sociology, like globalization, gerontology political, and environment. Or vice versa?
I had this really silly day-dream walking back to the dorm after lab today. I had earned my Ph.D. and was volunteering my time to teach a class to middle school kids about social change, community involvement, conservation, and empowerment. I could speak at community colleges like I first went to.
I emailed the different departments today to take a tour of their facilities.