Tuesday, April 22, 2008

"don't waste your brains"

One exam left and my university career as I know it is over. Thousands of other students across Canada are probably feeling the same way, but it has been hitting me hard, the question of questions: "What am I going to do with myself?"

And I have no clue.

I have a degree in Chemical Engineering (Environmental Option) arguably one of the most difficult professional programs you can take at university. At St Mary's University in Halifax, I graduated top of my class, at UBC, I won awards for volunteering and involvement. I've grown up over this experience - as you do when you start University in 2000 - but I'm in a place where I feel absolutely alone and useless. The second most popular question I've been asking myself is "Is this it?"

I can tell you now that I do not want to be a Chemical Engineer by trade. There is no way on this green Earth of ours that I will contribute to the Oil&Gas industry or Pulp&Paper for that matter. Which is where the problem begins. Because that, ladies and gents, is what Chemical Engineers do. Reactor design, process control, sewage treatment, chemicals, mining, and so on. But it is not what I want to do.

I want to volunteer forever. I want to work at a record store like Zulu. I want to take care of those close to me. I want to become a professional gardener. I would like to paint. I would like to be in the service of others. I want to develop skills that are useful and can be passed on. There is no need for me to ever become a somebody because I am already a somebody to those who count.

At a lunchtime conversation with a friend of mine, I told her my predicament and she said "Lindsay, don't waste your brains. You're better than that." But am I? And if so, does it really matter? So my next question, which I would like to pose to my 0.2 readers ( I know who you are Alissa) is this:

Is it better to go out, use the skills you've acquired through University training than to take a job that is simple but makes you happy? Is it ok to be that girl with an Engineering Degree who works for a public garden?

1 comment:

Alissa said...

What does 0.2 mean? :)

Being a lady who took nearly $50 grand worth of school but has yet to work more than 10 consecutive months in a related field of her study, I am ALL about finding your passion and true calling in life regardless of what that piece of paper (a.k.a. your degree) says.

You can use your smarts in other forms than a regular job. I think you, Lindsay, in particular are good at thinking outside the box.

Do what you love. I for one believe that it is absolutely okay to do so.