a cry for help

at 22:39

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Alright kids. I'm asking everyone who ever comments (and, in the event that more than three people actually read this, anyone who lurks) to help a sister out here.

I'm stuck, and I figure as you have access to the innermost workings of my MIND via the medium of blog you're just as qualified to advise me as anyone else in my life right now.

So what do I do with myself? I'm at a threeway fork in the road and the indecision is killing me. I cannot stand still. I just can't. I feel like ripping out my hair, peeling off my skin, fashioning the resulting goo into a minature model of l'Arc de Triumph and setting light to it in sacrifice to Athena. While dancing. Just so that I'll have something to do.

Not a good state of mind to be in.

Here are my options (complete with a nifty pro and con list for each) as they stand now:

Option 1
Take a Masters in Science Communication
Pros: It'll be amazingly fun, I get to be a student for a year, try my hand at documentary production, script writing and other creative malarky and I end up with a formal qualification in journalism.
Cons: I'll be a grand total of £30,000 in debt after it - a year of school will effectively double my total debt and it won't be low interest this time. I'll have to survive on practically nothing for a year. Everyone in the world wants to try their hand at journalism - competition for jobs at the other end is going to be beyond insane. It's not exactly a stable profession at the best of times.

Option 2
Qualify to teach high school level science
Pros: I'd be fucking amazing at teaching and it would keep me constantly stimulated and entertained, I could spend the long(ish) summer vacations writing fiction like I've always said I would. I'd have a job for life at a very liveable from salary. The course would be paid for and they'd help with my debt. Plus I could continue to freelance during vacations to keep my hand in.
Cons: Unless I want to go into management I'd never earn much, I'd have to be slightly more conservative in my future tattoo plans (although I was never intending to go to full sleves anyways). Unlike option 3 below I don't really have the option of jacking it in and doing the masters if I feel like it. It's a job for life.

Option 3
Apply for a graduate scheme in Marketing/PR/Advertising
Pros: Within a couple of years I'd be earning incredibly well. I'd always be busy. In theory I could branch out into the creative side (in practice: not so much), I'd be moving into the right industry if I do decide to take the masters. More experience = better and if I'm uber lucky (like, 1000:1 odds) I may find a company willing to support me through a masters.
Cons: I'd be selling my soul to the city, high stress and company politics have never really been my thing. Despite promises of creative input I'm willing to put down money on the fact I'd be chasing unpaid bills and doing pretty much the job I do now.

So what do you guys think? No matter who I talk to I get a different opinion:

Mother: Why aren't you teaching? You've wanted to do it since you were a kid. You'd make a great teacher. Or you could do your Masters. What's all this about a job in media all of a sudden, you're only saying that because G's doing it.

B&G the flatmates: Don't teach, you're copping out, you've never mentioned it before, it's a waste of your degree. Do a job that has prospects. Take the Masters you can do whatever you want with it afterwards [Alex note: bollocks to that, if I'm spending £15,000 on the thing it's better be worth every relevant penny]

H the co-worker: Do whatever makes you happy because in the end it's your life but the Masters is going to be expensive and how much will it really help you out in the end?

AAAAAAAAARGGGGHHH!!!! It's driving me insane.

Anyhoo: Masters deadline is the 22nd and my application is almost done, I'm registering for graduate teacher training this weekend and my CV is posted and some half-hearted applications have been sent. I'd simply love for some input.

Cause after writing those lists? I'm itching to bust out the frog dissection kit, laser pointer and lesson planner and get educational on some asses.

What do you guys think?

[Addendum: I am aware that I'm incredibly young and that I have my whole life ahead of me blah, blah, blibbity blah. I know that but right now that isn't helping. I have no choice but to leave my job now - pay's going up in May and again in August and if I stay past then I'll be on "hey, I can get whatever ink work I want done whenever I want, oooh look I can move into a bigger place, awww great this means I can have my Westie puppy... and a kitten! What's this? Enough cash to purchase all nine seasons of the X-files AND a pair of red stilletoes. And I don't have to do any kind of complicated mental calculation before buying them? Awesome!" money and I'll never leave. It's now or never folks.]

Edit: want to see how pissed this whole thing has gotten me? I'm broke and I just bought these:

On the up side: I now have hot red shoes.

Weird, I feel more relaxed already...


TK said...

If you go into Marketing/Advertising, I swear I'll never forgive you.

That said, you are young. Don't you roll you eyes at me, young lady. Listen, if the job you're in now pays well, or if good pay is at least on the horizon, maybe you consider sticking it out for a few years, save a pile of money, and then make the decision when you've got some squirreled away. Don't give me that "I'll never leave" shit, because that's crap. You will. You're too sharp to stick out something dull for THAT long.

Teaching sounds great, and if it's really, REALLY what you want to do, I'd say go for it 100%... but that's not what it sounds like.

So my advice? Take some time to think about it, and make some cash while doing so. In the meantime, have a kickass social life, party like a rockstar, to justify your doldrum job.

Yeah, that was probably more opinion than you wanted.

girl with curious hair said...

You're asking me for my opinion? You poor, poor girl. Things must be getting desperate. Here I go:

As I may have mentioned, I have degrees in Microbiology, British Literature and IT Management. I know of what you speak. The good news is, you do have time to experiment and see what fits.

The marketing/pr option seems to be a bit of a reach to me, because by trade you will need to 'manipulate' facts. You can channel your creative forces in a much, much better way. You bring up the other two options in the context of financial (in)security--a very realistic concern. Both require you to have passion for what you do to either continue competing or not become apathetic.

I realize this won't help you much, but, how about an unsolicited option you have mentioned before: IP law. It will afford you to exercise that very big and creative brain of yours. It will literally take you all over the world if you chose. It is a field that requires you stay up to date with science and allows you to start your own practice after a relatively short time. You can also teach at University level if you chose.

I know this was WAY more than you wanted (and unhelpful to boot), but you did ask.

On a positive note, I want to go shoe shopping with you. I COVET those!

Alex the Odd said...

TK: Point taken, I don't think my Mother would forgive me either to be honest.

Also: I swear to god you're psychic. I din't roll my eyes that much though, promise.

Unfortunately staying in my job past October doesn't really look to be too much of a possibility right now, the group I work for hasn't had any funding in the last few years and I've just heard some muttered conversations about packing up the lab and moving to Spain if our current applications don't go through... so it does look like I'm more than a little screwed (being that I only exist as a status symbol for our group leader so they'd never renew my contract once he's gone).

Advice about partying like a rockstar absolutely taken, I've been filling my social schedule up for the next few months with all kinds of awesome things - and it is making my time at work FAR more bearable.

GWCH: You're utterly right about IP, but as I discovered last year I simply couldn't afford law school without getting funding from a big city firm - which I'd then be tied to for the next five years. Which sucks. It's pissing me off that my finances are even an issue - they wouldn't have been a couple of years ago but I'm starting to realise just how much being in debt sucks.

Stupid sense of financial responsibility. Stupid developing maturity.

Glad you like the shoes, I plan on wearing them for Tequilamas with my newly-fitting again favourite dress.

And unsolicited opinions are utterly welcome and also: encouraged.

Thank you so much for your input guys, it means a lot. There's no such thing as too much of your opinions.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here's my experience:

I opted NOT to go for the masters and went for the soul-sucking, pocket lining job. I lasted two years, and by the end I had shaved my head. Seriously. But on the upside, I eradicated all of my debt and bought a house, which has NOW enabled me to go for the lesser-paying, far more soul-fulfilling job. Those were a bitch of two years though.

I didn't go back to school. In fact, if someone told me that to keep my current job I would have to get a masters, then I walk out the front door and start panhandling. So there ya go. I'm a firm believer in real world experience.

But having said that as well, I think you would be an amazing science writer, and the future is heading that way, my lady. Even if it is slim pickens now, it will explode in the next decade. (Think alternative energy, organic science, etc. etc.--which you probably know far better than I).

More like 11 cents, but there it is.

Good luck! And because life is awesome, you can eventually do all of the above!


Anonymous said...

oh, and FUCK YES to those shoes. I'm coming with you and curious...

Anonymous said...

(long time lurker:)
Option 1 all the way! Its more you.

(I don't usually say much even in real life, hence the lurking! But those shoes are heaven!)

Good luck

MelodyLane said...

Alrighty, here are my two cents. As someone who graduated with a Psych degree and then took the soul killing banking job, do something that you love. I am currently back in school working on Biology this time so that I can go to grad school and get a degree in Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences. After 2 years at the bank, I could not take it anymore. I strongly advise a different route or at least, one that is not a soul killing pile of suck.

MelodyLane said...

Oh yeah, I want and covet those shoes.

Agent Bedhead said...

#2 would be the safest bet, and it would possibly give you enough free time -- evenings and summers -- to pursue a master's degree, regardless.

Plus, student loans are a bitch. If you can finance your way through grad school by working as a teacher, you'll be way ahead by the time you get out.

Anonymous said...

Nice therapeutic shopping, girlie.

Long winded advice should be sitting in your inbox.

MuddiedWaters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AussieOsborn said...

{Total lurker here...}

I would say go teach for a while and see if you like it and if it provides you with everything you need/want. If it does, then you're set.

If not, then I'd reconsider the Masters option.

It might be worth noting, here, that I made this same choice just weeks ago, so that def. plays a role in my advice.

Also worth noting? SHOOOOOES.