Being the good student I am--torn between ambition, duty, and total and utter cynicism--I went to my school's fancy mid-college pep talk schmoozing opportunity thingy downtown this afternoon. I'm not entirely sure how to describe this event or its purpose, but you sign up for two panels and a lunch in different "career areas" and you listen to alumni currently employed therein congratulate themselves on their accomplishments, and hear the same canned advice repeated a hundred times. Did you know that it's probably a good idea to want to do what you do? Ok then.
In the morning, I heard an incredibly unremarkable panel on media, in which I was informed that if I want to be a reporter, I need clips. That is fine, but I do not want to be a reporter. And I watched in shock as people drooled over the apparently glamorous world of academic publishing. No one has told them yet about the embittered ABD sinkhole aspect of it. I still heart my job, but I don't think I'd be as hearty after dropping out of grad school.
In the afternoon, there was a somewhat better panel on education in which a Teach For America guy nearly broke down explaining how terrible his first year teaching was. And then four other people blathered about social justice and underserved communities and their personal hatred of charter schools, and a whole bunch of crap that I would apparently be required to believe in if I were to pursue education. However, I'm not doing that either. Ah, the joys of HAVING ABSOLUTELY NO FOCUS IN LIFE. I did ask about Teach for America's rural school program afterwards, and was told by aforementioned nervous breakdown guy that it is very isolating and TERRIBLE.
And then I had lunch with our Dean of Admissions, who, while genial, managed to link every topic to his prospective student recruiting efforts. Oh, you're from Philadelphia? I have such a hard time recruiting there! You're going abroad to Athens? I go to Istanbul a lot to recruit! Despite its being a grad school in the humanities themed table, I never did get to ask whether going to grad school for my personal edification was an advisable option. I sense that it isn't.
I keep getting all these emails from the career placement people about all this shit I'm supposed to be doing to prepare for my fabulous future life after college, which each one reminds me, is just around the corner. Come to this meeting to learn about Fulbright scholarships! Come to this meeting to learn about on-campus interviews with recruiters! Metcalfs! Non-profits! I-banking! Government! Grad school! My school has it all covered; I'm surprised there isn't an information session to guide aspiring unemployed alcoholics through the alcoholic unemployment process.
Conveniently, I have no fabulous future life planned out, though I do enjoy writing fake narratives of my future life on application essays that ask where I'll be in 10 years. I write a different story each time in the hope that one might actually sound tempting when I read it back to myself. I suppose it's a better way to test-drive life than the Sims, which was my previous vehicle for future-testing. (Actually, it was more like a vehicle for relationship testing, but that was a SAD SAD TIME in my life which I have COMPLETELY DISAVOWED.)