I don’t know about you, but one of the most frustrating aspects of the college application process was the difference in how adults and I viewed my prospects. Adults were always going on about how many options I had before me – “a million roads you can choose from” – whereas yeah, I saw a million roads, but only one that was “mine”. I was terrified of choosing one of the 999,999 that weren’t mine, then spending the rest of my life trying to recover from such a major mistake.
Looking back now, I’ve learned that there is no such thing as choosing the wrong road. You make your own road, and so it is as “right” or “wrong” as you make it. And the fact that it twists and turns isn’t an indictment of your decisions, but rather a natural result of the way life throws us curveballs and we adapt.
But I still remember the thing that frustrated me most when adults started talking about the millions of options I had: “What millions? I couldn’t even list a dozen options, much less a million!”
It’s a problem that I think a lot of college students and college-bound students face. How can you even begin to figure out which degree will help you get a job when you genuinely don’t have any idea what kind of jobs are out there? (And sorry, looking on jobs sites isn’t going to help you with that, unless you are only interested in a bunch of bland entry-level jobs.)
Now that I’ve been working for a bit, I’ve been amazed at the range of jobs that are out there – jobs that I never heard of while I was in school, nor that I ever would have imagined! And lately, I’ve been thinking that if only there were a list of what kinds of jobs students were getting after they graduate – and not just immediately after graduation, but long-term, too – more college students would feel confident about having “millions” of options to choose from.
So I’ve decided to start what I’m calling “The Million Roads Project“. Specifically for English majors, I’d like to compile a list of all the various jobs and degrees people have pursued after earning their English degree. I’d like for it to be a resource for those still in school, as well as a nice rebuke to the common joke that English degrees are only good for getting you a job as a barista.
I’ve added it as a page to this blog. You can see the link at the top of the page, although you can also click here. If you’re an English major, please consider adding your job to the list. If you know an English major, please encourage them to contribute.
My goal is to have such a long list that no English major will ever feel completely overwhelmed by the question, “But what can you do with an English degree?”
I know you can do a helluva lot. You know you can do a helluva lot.
Let’s map our million roads, and maybe help someone else find theirs.