The inevitable decision…that I've managed to avoid making…as yet

Please note: If you’re tossing up between Arts and Science then this post may be of a slight interest to you. If you’re not, it probably won’t be at all. ๐Ÿ˜€ Again, if you’re considering creative writing, this may be interesting. Otherwise, not so.

Ok, I made the decision to study Science at Melbourne instead of a double degree Arts/Science at Monash, but I still feel I am constantly refusing to accept reality and pick a side, a job, a subject.

Any VlogBrothers fans out there? ‘I want ALL THE JOBS!’ Yes, I do.

Alright, maybe not ALL the jobs. I know I could never be an accountant or a professional hockey player or a cat. I removed those from my mental list years ago.

But the word ‘writer’, ever since I can remember, was always at the top of my list and, in some ways, it still is. And yet here I am doing science. Confused? Yep.

Well, if it helps, I’m doing creative writing as breadth to make up for ditching a whole degree on the subject. And I’ve basically decided to do science because I want to learn as much as I possibly can about the world (restricted of course to the Life Sciences :P), before I start commenting on it through writing about it. Though that is something I do hourly already. ๐Ÿ˜› Also, I’m one of those hypocritical, pretentiousย types who wants to make the world ‘a better place’ and yet spends their whole life doing nothing about it except occasionally sending a strongly worded email to their local member and bothering to turn the heater off at night. So doing science makes me feel like I could maybe contribute more in the future to things like conservation projects and whatnot.

Another reason I choose science was that an arts degree with a major in creative writing won’t help you a great amount in breaking into the industry. If I decide to go for it in a few years time a short course or diploma or something would probably be more worthwhile. Writing is hard to teach; it’s something you have to practise and practise and practise predominantly by yourself so I thought getting a degree in it might not help me. I was also scared that studying something so in depth might make writing seem too much like work and that’s something I never want to happen. If you’re interested in writing because you want to write a novel or poetry or anything, a degree won’t help you get published.

I do believe, however, if writing is truly what you want to do and it’s the only thing you want to do, go for it. That goes for anything really. ๐Ÿ˜› But if you’re tossing up between a few options I’m guessing you’re as torn as I was.

I can attest that doing the CW subjects as breadth will give you some insight into the industry and help you develop ways to improve your own writing, and it’s also a good way to know/check that you’ve made the right decision. I loved my creative writing subject last semester but I like just writing things on my own, which probably means I’ll never get anywhere with it but I’m comfortable with that idea at the moment. ๐Ÿ™‚

So that’s the long story behind my decision to do science at Melbourne Uni.

Also, I was tossing up between Monash two buses and trains away and Science at Melbourne one bus or bike ride away so I’d be lying if I said the travel time difference wasn’t a factor I considered. ๐Ÿ˜›

4 thoughts on “The inevitable decision…that I've managed to avoid making…as yet

  1. Hi. Just wanted to say that you sound exactly like me (although I’m an Arts student)!

    Oh and being a “hypocritical, pretentious type[s] who wants to make the world โ€˜a better placeโ€™ and yet spends their whole life doing nothing about it except occasionally sending a strongly worded email to their local member and bothering to turn the heater off at night” is pretty much a prerequisite for being an arts student :p!

    Anyway, as soon as I learnt how to write I’ve wanted to be a professional writer. The biggest thing I’ve learnt so far in trying be a writer is that there’s always this mental voice in the back of your head that questions whether you’re good enough or whether you’d enjoy it if it became your full time profession. It’s so hard to overcome and sometimes you just can’t get over it. I really admire professional writers for being able to cope with the mental side of writing, to write day in day out without going insane :p. I tried doing it last summer just to see what it’d be like, setting myself the goal of writing a page a day about the random ramblings and rants that I came up with about my observations on society. It was really fun for about a month but after that it got extremely tedious and I got writer’s block big time! If I had to rely on my writing to earn an income during that time then I probably would have driven myself insane!!

    I still love writing and do it heaps when I have spare time, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not cut out do it as a profession. But I’m okay with that though because at least now I can move forward without having any regrets about whether I should have persued it further or not.

    I apologise for the long post, but anyway, if you’re really torn between deciding to be a writer or not maybe you should try what I did to see if you’d like it or not. Now’s the perfect time to try as you’re not under the pressure of being paid for your work and you’re not working full time in a 9-5 job. Either way, I think it’s worth giving it a go because you’ll most likely come to a decision by the end of it.

    Hope that helps!

  2. Thanks for all your advice, I really appreciate it ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, I’m trying to start writing at least a little every day so I’ll see how that goes in the long run. ๐Ÿ˜€ But given I’ve chosen science I guess I’ve sort of chosen to not take it on as my sole profession. I’m happy just doing it for me at this point, but we shall see…

  3. Hey Emily,

    Most unfortunately I was unable to be a cat, either. However I did consider arts. I do love writing and languages but I have a passion for science. I do Science as I do subjects that I enjoy and that interest me and I learn languages and write in my spare time as my hobby. I guess whichever you choose ultimately depends on where your strengths and passions lie. I do have strengths in languages more so than maths say for example, but since I am not doing pure maths in uni it is not too much of a problem for me.

    When it comes down to it, choose whichever one you enjoy more, because you’re going to end up doing for the rest of your life. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Hi Ben,

    yeah, I realised eventually how boring being a cat would be ๐Ÿ˜›

    It’s all good at this point, definitely happy with doing science and having writing just being something I do for fun. ๐Ÿ˜€

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