Utilizing That College Degree

Graduating is the easy part, utilizing that degree is the hard part.

UNITED STATES—For more than four years you attended that university taking classes to obtain that degree that you were interested in. Notice the key word ‘interested.’ That was the one thing I found frustrating about college, the factoid that you have to settle on a specific major. I mean sometimes people have multiple interests or things that grab their attention.

I mean throughout my entire college career I was desperate to take meteorology, entomology and law courses, but because of my course schedule it was nearly impossible for me to take those electives. If I had to be honest, during the 3 years it took to obtain my degree in English with a minor in Film Studies I was only able to take a total of four electives. Yes, that’s correct, only four electives. So imagine having to choose electives that coincided with my extensive schedule that didn’t allow much flexibility. I mean, I literally did almost everything in my power to take a meteorology course, but I had degree requirements that made it impossible for that to happen.

The bigger question I’d like to address is what to do once you have obtained that degree. I know so many people who don’t get the opportunity to utilize that degree they worked so hard and paid tons of money for. It’s quite frustrating to say the least.

I knew with my English degree that the notion of becoming a successful writer was not something that would happen overnight; it would take loads of time to make something happen, especially since my focus was to become a filmmaker. I’m slightly peeved because at the time that I was working towards my degree, the university did not have a ton of courses specifically dedicated to filmmaking courses, whereas now that is not the case.

The biggest question I got all the time while working towards my degree was the notion that I was going to be a teacher. I never expected teaching to fall into my repertoire simply because I knew if I wanted to teach it would have to be at the collegiate level. Why? It gives a bit more freedom to control the material that I wanted to teach in my classes. I got the opportunity to test those chops when I became a tutor for my university’s student athlete program. It was quite the experience, as I discovered I had a knack for teaching, but also it was something that gave me excitement as well.

From that position, I was able to parlay an internship that actually allowed me to utilize my writing skills. To those who are born with the gift to write, the importance of writing daily is the key to sharpening those skills. Do you think it’s possible to get better at something if you’re not utilizing those skills? Nope. Some work so hard for degrees and rarely even get the opportunity to utilize that degree because the job or career they move into fail to allow the utilization of that education.

Is it slightly frustrating? Yes, because I think anyone that earns a degree wants to do everything in their power to use that education that they have earned to further their career or share that information with others. When you gain knowledge, I believe it’s important to pass that information onto others. This creates a domino effect where the knowledge continues to filer amongst people. Sometimes the obvious answer regarding ways to utilize your degree doesn’t always fall right into your hands, but with a bit of thought and sometimes guidance things work out in ways that you never expected.