Monday, September 16, 2013

women's education + other feminist things


It's hard to believe that 4 years ago I was stressing about where to go for undergrad and what to major in. I used to call my mom and just cry because I hated my major and wanted to switch again. 

I ended up switching my major 5 times, literally, and now I'm starting my 9th semester, my last one before graduation. 

I'm ready to be done with my major, but not really ready for what comes after.

+Since when does rent quadruple in the real world, and why do I suddenly have to pay for all the utilities? Shouldn't "garbage pickup" and "internet" be included? I think yes. And pet rent? Really? Really.

+Wait. Wait. Wait. I have to work everyday from 8-5 with no nap? 

+Then there's my favorite question everyone's been asking, "Are you going to grad school?" I guess now's the time to figure all that out. And that's what scares me the most.

My biggest problem isn't getting my favorite professor, or ending up with the one who has the most ridiculous tests, or ending up in History of the English Language (no thank you). Instead it's what am I going to do for the rest of my life? I've always envied those people that knew day 1 what they wanted to be. 

I'm always wondering where we'll end up. Will it be in the middle of nowhere? What if  my BA in English won't get me a job there?

Being helpless and reliant on my husband's paycheck and knowing I'd be screwed if anything happened to him is my biggest fear in life. I've seen way too many sad stories of women who had to provide for their families unexpectedly, some had degrees and it was fine. Others had to go back to school, sell their homes, move their children all so they could earn a the degree.

I'm tired of people telling me to just have a baby when I say I don't know what to do. Or when I say "I'm thinking about law school" and they reply, "But you're a woman. Don't you want to be a mom?"

I'm sorry, but can a man not be a lawyer and a father? And since when are women not allowed to get the same education a man can get? 

The first day of my sophomore year in college I was paired up with a middle aged women. She told me her story about how she got married really young, had a baby and dropped out of college. And then her husband lost his job. Then he hit her for the first time. He beat her because she didn't have dinner ready when he came home. He told her she was pathetic, and made her believe every hit was her fault. And then he hit their child, and she left him that night. 

She moved all 6 of her children to Rexburg, ID where she started school as a new freshman in hopes of earning enough money to send her kids to school and support not only them but herself. 

Life is unexpected. Josh could become disabled in a car accident or die. Just like that, everything can change.

So since when is an education on a women wasted?

This post turned into a huge feminism essay, so my apologies. But now you know what haunts me at night. 

My thoughts are constantly on what I should do with my life. Should I get an MFA, MBA, MA? I've always wanted to be a lawyer, should I go to law school? Guess I should start studying for the LSAT or GRE or GMAT now. 

But what am I supposed to be? I'm all grown up now, waiting for any inkling. 

I feel like I worked too hard to be unemployed or limited one day. And I mostly feel too young to be done with school for forever. 



I know this is a really sensitive subject to people. And there are many women who don't get an education, then some have PhD's, go to medical school, or law school while having children. Power to you girls. No matter what you decide. My hopes and fears are unique to my life and circumstances. Just like everyone else. And those are my thoughts, and a long ramble on feminism. 



xo


10 comments:

  1. First, women's education is never a waste.
    Second, I really think you should do the thing that makes you most happy. If that's going to grad school and becoming a lawyer...do it, if it's doing something completely different, same applies! You will never look back and regret the time you spend doing things you love.

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    1. Thanks Kathy! You're so right, I just need to figure out what it is that I love, I just need to figure that out.
      xo

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  2. What an exciting adventure you have in front of you! You've got all of these marvelous options to choose from and all you have to do is take one step forward on one of these paths and the adventure will begin! How exciting! Don't you feel glad that you're in America and can make these decisions without any hindrance from the government?
    My dad always said when I was deciding whether or not to try out for some play, musical, dance group, sports team, etc., "If you don't try-out, you're guaranteed not to make it." I think the same thing applies here. If you don't at least try to become a lawyer, will you always wonder if you could have done it? Will you regret it?
    Just some food for thought. Glad to get to know you better!

    Sue // Chevron & Lace


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    1. You're so right, all options are great ones and we are so so blessed to live in a country that praises education. I think your dad is so very wise, I may very well regret never trying to become a lawyer. Thanks for reading and for your input, I loved it!
      xo

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  3. I have been thinking so much about my future, and education recently. This really struck home with me. I am newly married, 21 years old, and am in my second semester of college. And I think all the time, is this really something I want to do? Do I really want to get an education? Is it worth it? Then I think of things you said. What if my husband gets sick, hurt, dies, and I didn't try to get education when it is so available to me. It can be a hard choice. I still am not always sure exactly what my career is going to be, but at least going to school will help me figure it out!

    You sound like a smart girl!

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    1. You know you're so right, education is scary because it means deciding what to do sooner than maybe you'd like. And what if you spend all this time getting a degree when you end up hating the job. But it's so true, the future is unpredictable. No one has any guarantees in life and you should always be prepared.

      And hey, don't worry, I didn't figure out my major until the second semester of my junior year haha. My mom always said, take a bunch of classes you're interested in, then pick the major of what you enjoy the most, that's how I ended up with English. I took this creative writing class and loved it. Even though my emphasis is professional writing it's just the reading and research that I absolutely love.

      One day we'll both figure it out though :)
      xo

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  4. I am just like you Lauren! I graduate in May with an education degree but decided to take a year off and travel the country as a leadership consultant. Now I am stressing over what happens come May when I don't have this job anymore...do I really want to be a teacher? Or do I want to go to grad school? You're defiantly not alone on this constant thought of "what's next?" All we can do is know there is a much greater plan out there then what we can see!

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  5. I am just like you Lauren! I graduate in May with an education degree but decided to take a year off and travel the country as a leadership consultant. Now I am stressing over what happens come May when I don't have this job anymore...do I really want to be a teacher? Or do I want to go to grad school? You're defiantly not alone on this constant thought of "what's next?" All we can do is know there is a much greater plan out there then what we can see!

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  6. I get your thoughts - I just wanted to add one to them: Your education is not just going to be useful in a traumatic case of your husband dying or being injured. Education is going to mean something for the rest of your life - it will five you opportunities at all stages of life and will broaden your horizont in any possible way. Also, why should you not be working successfully even when your husband is healthy and working, too? I don't think there is an exclusive relationship to those two scenarios.

    I am in law school right now and I am loving every second of it. It is a lot of work but I also get so much recognition for what I do and so much satisfaction because I am where I am. So do it - whatever you want to do. Figure out what your place should be in life and don't limit yourself because people around you might think once you are a wife and a mother there is no more you should be doing. As you said, it is a unique and individual decision - don't let others make it for you!

    I wish you all the best for your future!

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