Monday, September 3, 2012

here's your proof that there is a such thing as dumb questions.

Since I graduated from college, opened my wedding photography biz, and started working as a barista to get a little extra cash, there's been one question I've gotten from people quite frequently. 

Spoiler: This question makes me effing STABBY. 

The conversation normally goes this way: 
Them: "What did you study in college?"
Me: "International Politics and Diplomacy."
Them: "Oh, how interesting! So what do you do now?"
Me: "Ha, a few things. I own my own kickass wedding photography business, part time I act as a social media coordinator for a small nonprofit, and I'm a barista."*
Them: "Oh, how interesting. So like uh... What are you doing with your degree? Wasn't that kind of a waste?"

You know what I do with my bachelor's degree, Every Asshole That's Ever Asked Me This Question? I use my degree to be a well educated human being. I use it to speak intelligently (and with my own carefully-formed opinions backed by numbers and facts) on subjects like human trafficking, Chinese-American relations, and why (barring all catastrophes) Obama is going to win the 2012 election. I use my degree to understand Shakespearean literature, to dissect political rhetoric, and to know what the actual fuck an Oxford comma is. My college degree is useful every morning when I wake and review French vocabulary, and every night when I go to sleep after reading Wordsworth or Howard Zinn, or noting the subtle influences of John Stuart Mill's political philosophy on classic movies like Dead Poets' Society. My college degree is useful because I know who great thinkers like Mill, Wordsworth, Zinn, Machiavelli, Thoreau, and Orwell were, and I know what I think of them, not what someone else told me to think of them.

Basically, I use my bachelor's degree to not be a huge effing douchebag. What do you use yours for? 

*(If their next question after I say this to them isn't a loud "GIRL, when do you find time to sleep?!" I know we won't be friends.) 


  1. Yeah that question really bugs me too. It's always the people who didn't get a degree who ask me that. Bugs the CRAP out of me.

  2. Using your degree isn't always fulfilling, and I wish people understood that. Mainly because I'm using mine and it doesn't make me feel any better. People change a lot and interests change. There are also a lot of degrees that are flat out useless and don't give you any sort of education. But standard degrees that require some effort in the realms of intellectual integrity and well-roundedness shouldn't be judged as: a. not mattering if they're not in something that as immediately monetarily successful (i.e. business or engineering) and b. not judged as "unusable" just because it's not immediately related to a person's field.

  3. This post makes me the happiest. I'm graduating this spring with a degree in Human Geography, but I'm not planning on pursuing a career in that area. I just though it was cool and interesting and I'm enjoying learning about the world.

    But every time someone asks me what I'm planning on doing with me degree and I tell them I'm going to continue nannying and being a barista, they look at me I have no ambition and totally wasted the last four years. Grr. Everyone just needs to learn to mind their own business.


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