I love reading and writing. I really do but I’m about 99 percent (let’s leave the 1% for some freak-of-nature accident) that I won’t try majoring in creative-writing or english in college or considering a full-time career in it either.
Part of that may be due to the fact that I’m part of a (relatively) conservative Indian family which has gone to college for generations and credits education for raising them above middle-class. My parents can’t fathom the point of college degree not in a STEM field.”‘How will you learn problem solving?” is their biggest concern. To be honest, I’ve heard a lot about how useless degrees in the liberal arts can be- not just in terms of employment but also as something you can learn in a classroom. Most of them are life-skills which come from reading good books and talking to interesting, knowledgeable people. I hate to sound snobbish or anything but most liberal arts are something you need years to properly learn as well as a deep desire to learn about them. They’re like people skills or spices- necessary to have to make stuff palatable, but you can’t exactly eat a whole meal made of them.
Do what you love. It sounds great in theory but when it comes to creative hobbies, there;s a huge chance you’ll be a starving artist if you follow this advice. Writing out my thoughts has just shown how middle-aged I am, but there’s a reason people call me practical (and pessimistic when they’re annoyed with me). if you’ve read any of Malcolm Gladwells’ books (stuff like Outlier, Black-Swan and Antifragile), you probably already know that in all creative industries .01% of the people in it make more than the rest 99.99%.
And I might say I love reading and writing now, but I’m cynical and practical enough to realise that it’s entirely possible- after months of not being able to pay bills and having to get a job at Mcdonalds or something- I’ll look at my one-time hobbies with anger and resentment. Call me a coward, but I’m not willing to see that day, a day in which I look back at something I once loved and thought was the best thing on Earth as scum which held me back.
While I’m listing out some of my bad points, I might as well mention that part of it is laziness. Do I think I can spend 14 hours a day, seven times a week on writing and reading. If I have to be honest, the answer is a maybe instead of the enthusiastic yes it should be.
So while I love reading and writing, I’m going to let it take a backseat to other interests I have such as psychology, neurology, biology and economics when I decide my major and my career.