Let me preface this post by clarifying a few things. I’m not seeking validation. I’m not seeking attention. I don’t want sympathy. I don’t claim to know the answer to everyone’s struggles. These are my experiences, and the reason why I’ve never done more than briefly reference my struggles is that, until recently, I didn’t think it was anyone else’s business but mine. But given recent events and the growing conversations, I figured now is the time to be a part of the conversation.
Graduation is one week away. The closer that day comes, the more often I get asked what my plans are after I get my degree. I am happy to say that I’ve been offered a position as an assistant for the Gift Processing department at my soon-to-be alma mater. Will I be doing anything related to my major in this position? No, I will not. Do I plan on doing anything with my degree specific to what I studied? Absolutely not. Here are some thoughts on not working in my field.
Dear Mr. Trump,
It has now been about two months since you have been elected the next President of the United States, and what an interesting two months it has been. I must say, the day after the election was a strange day, and I felt such a wide range of emotions watching you win those last few electoral votes – anger, sadness, confusion, panic, intrigue. I usually refrain from sharing my political opinions publicly, but due to the climate of this past election season, I can’t help but feel a responsibility to finally share my feelings with you and my readers.
We all know that one person who, when out with a group of people, spends a generous amount of time taking aesthetic photos of plants, trees, people, chairs, et cetera. That is most likely the same person who needs to get a shot of the table of food when out grabbing a bite to eat with friends. Occasionally, you may see the hashtag #vscocam follow a mildly-obscure-almost-pretentious caption on their artsy photos on Instagram, and you’ll find a lot of their photos are geotagged at either a trendy restaurant or in a city-comma-state you may or may not have heard of. My friends, I would like to shamelessly admit that I am that person, and I am here to explain myself, as well as the rest of the community of wannabe photographers on Instagram.
Let’s turn the clock back to the year 2009. I was fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school, and just got cast as one of the lead roles in my high school’s spring musical, Back to the 80’s. As the title of the play suggests, it was riddled with references to 1980’s pop culture, all of the songs in the musical were from the 1980’s, the dialogue was delightfully cheesy, and all of it was GLORIOUS. Having just missed this fantastic neon-splashed, synth-infused era by just a decade, I will unfortunately never know what it was like to live during the 80’s, but being in this play was one step into experiencing this era, being able to live vicariously through my character. It wasn’t until after I did the play that I realized I missed out on a totally bitchin good time.
If you frequent this blog, or if you are one of the few people I interact with on a constant basis, you know that I am highly introverted. On the scale of introversion and extroversion, I am so far on the side of introversion, you would have to “Ctrl -” about five hundred times before you would be able to see where I stand on the scale. People who hardly know me or people I’ve just met are probably several shades of surprised upon hearing this because – believe it or not, friends and family – I know how to introduce myself to new people when put in that situation. I may seem excited to meet people for the first time, or so I hope it may seem, but on the inside I’m screaming obscenities at myself, desperately trying to pound the awkward out of my words and actions.
Being introverted is something that I wholeheartedly accept about myself. It’s something that I think about on a daily basis. But yesterday, it became so incredibly evident to me exactly how introverted I am when I attended a friend’s wedding, and I am here to walk you through my thought train from the hours leading up to the event all the way to the car ride back home. For those who are thinking, “What the heck, Walt. I could care less about what it’s like to be you,” try and think of this as a guided tour not just through my own mind, but the minds of other introverts – hopefully this will allow you to understand us better.
Hello, it’s me.
In a recent job interview, after scanning through my writing samples, resume, and cover letter, my interviewer turned to me and said, “You’re such a good writer! But you’re a Math Major? Why Math?” Already used to being asked this question under different circumstances – usually asked with a combination of horror and grave concern – I gave her what I like to call my “Spark Notes response” to that seemingly age-old question. After conversing for a little while longer, she leans back in her chair, arms folded, with a look of amazed disbelief on her face, she tells me, “No offense, but you don’t fit in with the rest of the Math majors. You fit in more with my people.” Translation: “You’re way too creative to be studying numbers all day long.” Incredibly flattered, and stifling an “oh please” chuckle, I shared with her more insight as to why I chose Math as my major field of study, and how I exactly intend to use my degree in my career.