Wreck.

I just had a complete meltdown about my life.  I’m hesitant to blame my intense emotional crash on Clomid, because blaming things other than my skin (like, say, my actual behavior) on my hormones has always been something I am loath to do.  It feels like a cop out and makes me feel like idiot.  However, I haven’t been a downer like this in a long time, so maybe it does have something to do with the medication.  It would be the one and only side effect I’ve suffered through these past five days and only just hit me now, at the end of the round, so maybe thank God for small miracles? I don’t know.  What I do know is that I am les mis.

Here’s why:

I am now 26.  I am a thesis away from a master’s degree in Anthropology (technically Forensic Anthropology, making me “master” of archaeology and skeletal trauma analysis) and I already know there are approximately zero more jobs I am qualified for now post-grad school than I was before.  In fact, I’ve found I’m actually less employable, because when people see a crazy Master’s on a resume, they immediately assume one of two things: 1) that the Master isn’t in it for the long haul and will eventually bail on the job and it wouldn’t be worth investing in someone who will move on to Master in other things; 2) that I am total weirdo for studying something like dead people and skeletal anatomy.  (I worked in the lab at the La Brea Tar Pits for two years, excavating and doing bone reconstruction on Ice Age mammals bones, and that was so incredibly amazing I decided to get pursue it further in school.  Verdict: bad call.)

Basically, I’m pretty much an established adult numerically and have been plodding through higher education and/or working for the past eight years and I am essentially no more qualified for anything that I was at 17 when I graduated from high school.

In addition, despite going to a relatively inexpensive grad school (and luckily having escaped undergrad with no debt), I still currently have all the student loan debt I’m willing to incur if what I currently make is the end of the line for me.  Unfortunately, I’m beginning to realize that in order to make more than I currently do, I’ll probably have to go back to school for a different degree.  I was considering a Master’s in Education for a long time, because ultimately, I would love to teach science in some capacity, but I don’t want to be $60,000 in the hole, attempting to pay it back on a teacher’s salary.

In my ideal world, I would work in museum education or for a children’s science non-profit or at a school in a less insanely expensive part of the country (i.e. not West Los Angeles, which is actually prohibitively expensive) or make more money at the school where I currently am (and really love).  However, I feel pretty trapped by my idealist life choices (such as pursuing passionates without considering their real-world value) and that’s hugely upsetting.  On the flip side, I feel like a gross cynic when I consider finally just going to law school so that I can have a “practical” degree.

I either need to finally start selling baby clothes on etsy (more on that later!), apply to law school or take my coworker’s advice and remember that I’m only 26 and chill the eff out.  (However, she eventually married a millionaire, so my subconscious is rejecting her advice as null.)

I’m going to take a mental health break and crack open the brand new copy of this tome that landed on my doorstep this afternoon.

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3 thoughts on “Wreck.

  1. I agree a little with the coworker’s advice of “chill the eff out.” But I would also recommend thinking about all of the “soft skills” that you’ve gained from the Master’s degree. For example, my degree is in theater… which, let’s be real, is USELESS! So I pointed out that with theater, I have teamwork and leadership skills, I can meet very firm deadlines, etc. I’m sure you have gained skills as well (I’m going to guess research and data analysis at minimum – which might be helpful in a publishing company – especially one that is “Business to Business or text book publishers). The museum jobs sound awesome and fun! Have you looked around for any (I know they exist on the east coast)? Also… if you’re a teacher, wouldn’t you get a raise with a Master’s? (I know you would in Massachusetts, not sure about CA). Can the career center (at the school where you got your Master’s) offer any advice?

    Good luck!

  2. Thank you very much for the positive Master’s energy! I’ve been feeling pretty crappy about the decision for a while now. You are absolutely right that I’ve got a ton of teaching, research and data analysis experience now and I can totally use that to my advantage – I’m just overwhelmed by how creative I’ll have to be to sell those skills. I’ve actually looked into academic publishing (I worked at a literary agency for a while) and will start sending out resumes to publishers and museums and community colleges as soon as I submit my thesis and get the degree (which should be no later than June, if my program can get it together). Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of museum education jobs available in LA and the one or two that do open up are hugely competitive. I think that’s why I’m considering moving for the first time – I really think casting a wider net is the only way to go.

    Thank you, thank you for the luck! I will most definitely need it. My husband was voted “Thespian of the Year” in high school (and is still SO proud of it) and went to college on a musical theater scholarship, so he would think your degree is fantastic. 🙂

  3. I’m not sure if they would have a program near or around you, but there is a program near me that is only 2 years long for a Bach. Teachers certification if you have a degree in something else might be a Canadian thing though.

    I have a degree in communications. I’m hooped too

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