I work for the creative writing magazine at my University. I’m the “Prose Editor”. I handle the fiction and non-fiction submissions. AKA, anything that’s not poetry.
I love my job. (I call it a job… it’s more of a paid volunteer.) It’s great. I love writing, I love reading, I love working with the authors and editing their pieces to make them the best that they can be; to help create the end product that the writers originally imagined.
About a year ago, I discovered there was such a thing as a creative writing magazine. Who knew? I think I found out about them from my creative writing professor, who handed me a long compiled list of mags that accepted student work. When I found out, I thought I had stumbled onto something big.
That’s it! I’m sure I shouted in my head. That’s what I’ll do. I’ll work for a creative writing magazine/journal once I graduate from college. Sounds good to me!
Little did I know, nor could I ever imagine, that about four months later… I would be working at a creative writing magazine – at my college, no less!
Like I said, it’s a great job. I get to do all that cool stuff I already mentioned, as well as hang out with the staff (who are a group of amazingly cool people themselves), go to poetry readings, have magazine launch parties (in which we eat cheese, drink wine, and wear fancy clothing)… basically, I have the opportunity to do what I love with people I love in the town I love.
I hope I can be so lucky once I graduate and get a “real” job. I mean, honestly, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I keep asking people, “What am I going to do the day after graduation? … What are you gonna do?” (And with my literary magazine idea already completed, well, I’ve got nothing.)
College students, generally, are pretty cool. They tend to be intelligent, open minded, fun, interesting, etc. Well, the ones I hang out with, anyway. People getting a higher education are just interesting people to know; they’re either involved in some cool project, or they’re helping out in the local community, or they’re working in or at the University itself, making it a better place in one way or another.
Universities and colleges are where the smart people hang out. Where the kids with bright futures live. (Oh, and I go there, too. …) So, when I ask my, “What are you going to do after you graduate” question, I always expect something other than what I tend to hear: “Oh, I’m going to be a teacher” or, “Oh, I guess I’ll be a professor.”
Uh, excuse me, what?
I think this has happened with the last 6/10 students I’ve spoken to. The rest of them, the 4/10, either have a different career in mind, or, more commonly, still have no idea.
I can’t believe it, though! A teacher? You want to teach? You’ve just spent the first 25 years of your life in school, and now you want to teach? What?
I don’t want to teach. I know that much for sure. (Crossing possible careers choices off of my ‘list’ is better than nothing, right?) No way! Maybe I’m just too selfish to be a teacher. Or, maybe I dream too big. The way I see it, you’ve only got one life. You’re gonna die. (Hate to break it to you like this.) Why waste it doing something you don’t love? Why not try, why not risk it (whatever “it” is) and go for your dream job? Why be a teacher?
Ok, Ok, I understand that some people really do want to teach. Like, they’re passionate about it, and it’s how they want to spend their life. And that’s great! Good for them. But I’m not talking about those particular people. I’m talking about the really fucking awesome people in this world that become teachers/professors because they just don’t know what else to do, or they’re too scared to do it, or (this is probably the most correct option) they’re too smart to do it.
“What I really want is a good paying job.” This is what I hear a lot. People just want to do something that will make them money. A good, steady, income. Be reasonable: get a reasonable degree, get a reasonable job, live a reasonable life.
I’m sorry, but that’s just not good enough for me! I don’t care about money. Really, I don’t. But, at the same time, money is a necessity. Money buys shelter and Charles Bukowski poetry books. It’s just not that important to me. A successful life and job is doing what I love. For me, that’s not teaching. That’s not a lot of things. I don’t know exactly what it is yet. I love so many things, maybe that’s why I can’t settle on one job. Maybe I need to find or create a job that lets me do lots of really cool, interesting things.
I don’t know! I’ll admit it: I don’t know. Not a clue. And it is so scary, not knowing. You’re expected to know. “What are you majoring in?” “What are you going to be when you grow up?” “What are you going to do the day after graduation?”
Can I respond with: “Who Cares!”? That’s what I want to say, sometimes. I’ll figure it out. I’m just going to live my life and see where it leads. I want to do so many different things. I don’t want a “regular” job.
I don’t know!