With the start of my second year of my Communications and Media Studies degree comes the familiar doubts and anxieties about whether this is what I want to do with my life.
I chose this degree while still in high school; wanting to go to university for something to do with writing that was more likely to get my a job once I graduated than a straight Creative Writing degree.
But what do I want to do with this degree with a major in journalism once I leave uni? I have no idea.
I think that magazine writing would be a good choice for me, since I don’t think that I’m that interested in entirely news-based stories.
So perhaps feature writing is it. But if I’m being perfectly honest I don’t read many feature articles, or magazines for that matter. I also feel like I have only the most basic knowledge of the industry that my degree is geared towards. So how am I even supposed to think about gaining a job in it?
This anxiety-riddled train of thought is what led me to Google, “What do I want to do with my life?”
And this was the first result:
In his article Mark Manson provides a new perspective on the age old question of ‘What is my purpose in life?’ Although Manson claims that what we are really asking is, ‘What can I do with my time that is important?’
With seven questions that I would never have thought to ask myself. But now that I am, hopefully I will find my own answer.
1. WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE FLAVOR OF SHIT SANDWICH AND DOES IT COME WITH AN OLIVE?
As a ninenteen-year-old with extremely limited responsibility, at the moment there is no kind of ‘shit-sandwich’ or personal sacrifice that I would deem to be ‘uneatable’.
I have no plans to start a family for a minimum of fifteen years. I don’t think that working crazy hours would really bother me that much. I want to travel, so re-location isn’t an issue.
I know that there are some things, such as working with children, or heavy customer service or anything science-based that I would definitely not be able to handle. But none of these things really seem to apply to my limited idea of my future; which is to write. Or I suppose, read. As I guess a publishing house isn’t out of the question either.
2. WHAT IS TRUE ABOUT YOU TODAY THAT WOULD MAKE YOUR 8-YEAR-OLD SELF CRY?
Here’s the thing with this question. I don’t really remember my childhood. I know that I’ve also loved to read; especially fantasy novels.
And I still read them.
But what is true about me today that would make younger me cry?
I don’t know. Maybe when I’m older I will. But right now, I don’t think I can answer.
3. WHAT MAKES YOU FORGET TO EAT AND POOP?
Again this can be answered with fantasy novels, or at the least, very good ones.
Or a good TV show, but I don’t see how that will influence what I want to do with my life.
Perhaps editing and reading unpublished novels is what I’m looking for. Not being a feature writer.
4. HOW CAN YOU BETTER EMBARRASS YOURSELF?
I hate embarrassment.
And yes, I know, so does everyone else.
But I seriously hate embarrassment. Introverted and anxiety-ridden, embarrassment is my greatest enemy.
From the time I wrote a fake love letter in year 1 and got in trouble from my teacher, to any time that I feel like my status as an ‘intelligent’ person is being threatened. These moments will haunt me for the rest of my life.
So how can I better put myself out there, totally exposed to the judgement of others?
I suppose by doing this. By having my writing as a Communications student judged and ridiculed by the strangers of the internet.
Perhaps next I will post a review of the latest fantasy novel I read. Who knows.
5. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO SAVE THE WORLD?
By writing? By editing and reading new fantasy novels? I’m not sure.
I’m studying Spanish at the moment. And one of my more defined life goals is to travel the world. So I’m sure some volunteering work will be in my future.
But how will what I want to do with my life save the world?
What if I write feature articles on things that aren’t just the latest Australian suburb news story.
Domestic violence, child slavery, child brides, extreme poverty, and water scarcity are among my top world issue concerns. So perhaps these are the things that I will write about in my future.
6. GUN TO YOUR HEAD, IF YOU HAD TO LEAVE THE HOUSE ALL DAY, EVERY DAY, WHERE WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
I especially like this question, since I feel like I’m always at home. So my answer to this would be do all things I always said I would.
I would take up by first free trial of kickboxing, I would volunteer in something involving child literacy, I would spend all day outside reading fantasy novels and posting my ideas about them. I would write stories about all the people that I know, and I would create my own fantasy world of dragons and knights. I would learn to surf and go on hikes to find hidden waterfalls. I discover what makes every person happy. I would drive out into the bush to watch the stars and write about my adventures.
I would write and I would live.
At the end of this long, meandering post, I think I may have found my answer to what I want to do with my life.
I want to write, which I did already know. But I want to write well, I want people to enjoy my writing, and I want myself to enjoy it.
I want to travel and save my corner of the world.
I want to read every novel I can get my hands on, and I want to write about how they made me feel, and what made it good.
So I shall continue my Communications degree, but perhaps throw a few creative writing subjects in with it. And I shall write about everything and anything until I find the one thing that I never want to stop writing about.