Job Hunt

by Samantha
“You can be anything you want to be.” If you grew up anything like how I did, (admittedly) privileged in a middle-class, sheltered existence hidden away from life’s real demons, then these words probably sound familiar to you, proclaimed by your proud parents ever since your 5th birthday. Like me, you may have grown up believing this, assuming that if you followed all the ‘rules’ (get good grades in high school, get into university, don’t fuck up royally) you would land yourself not just a job, but a CAREER that would catapult you into a divine lifestyle of sipping overpriced cocktails on dimly lit patios around the city, laughing gaily amongst friends about how grand life truly is. Now I am sure there are some, if not many, who are doing this as I write, but I am not part of this club. No, I write to you as a largely ignored temp, from the chilly halls of a gigantic 16-floored corporation that darkens the financial corridor of downtown Toronto. “Shannon, to the front desk please”; if only my name was Shannon…

Days away from my convocation ceremony, I find myself recalling an episode of Grey’s Anatomy in which drippy Meredith whimsically narrates: “No one grows up thinking they’ll be ordinary. Everyone thinks they’re going be great”. If I wasn’t born great (and this remains to be seen, Mom), when will I achieve greatness, or better yet, have it thrust upon me? My mediocre math skills guided me away from career-practical majors like accounting and into the murky territory of “the arts”, even murkier still: psychology (and no, I can’t read your mind). September 2004; frosh week flashes into my head; yes, those engineers may still be virgins as we cool Arts and Science kids cruelly predicted from beneath our paint-splattered coveralls, but will I really end up at McDonalds? From what I hear, they have a good training program and a half-decent benefits plan…

I scoffed at my hippie friends who took off half way through their degrees to save turtles in Nicaragua or to travel Europe. “Can’t they wait? It’s just two more years”, I thought, churning out yet another 20-pg term paper. But no matter how many lattés I sipped from the fourth floor of the library, elbow-deep in musty coffee-stained encyclopedias older than both of my parents ages’ combined, I couldn’t deny that nagging feeling which pulled at my conscience. I was jealous. Sickeningly jealous that they were brave enough to leave the comfortable confines of university and explore the unknown, because no matter what your parents told you, university is one big security blanket. Not knowing what you what you want to do is ordinary, letting yourself wander so you can learn about who you are is great; those who do are truly brave. Four years and one $20,000 piece of paper later, I am left with even more questions than when I started. And how I wish to find the answers — Oh, the places I could go! If only I could rid myself of this pesky day job.

(Stay tuned as the job hunt continues…)

No Comments

  1. Miss Fortune
    June 26, 2008

    As a current university student majoring in (don’t judge me now) English Literature, I sympathize with you. I am starting to get increasingly mirked by my Science friends’ smugness and unless I turn out to be the next J.K Rowling (well you never know) my future is quiet narrow.

    Heres hope to you, and to Arts majors everywhere!

  2. raedrake
    June 30, 2008

    It feels so good to know I’m not the only one!

    Rae:)

  3. Anonymous
    December 30, 2008

    I agree with you completely. A new teacher…who is unemployed because ‘there’s a decline in student enrolment’. ugh

  4. sevans
    January 3, 2009

    a decline in student enrollment? don’t kids still need to be educated in a recession?? egads

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