When I started my University career in 2003, I had no idea what I wanted to “be” or what I wanted to study. So like many undergrads, I ran the whole gamut when it came to courses. I took English, Philosophy, Politics, Women’s Studies and an amazing course called History 150: 10 Days that Shook the World. Somewhere between first year and the summer before declaring my major, I begrudgingly took my father’s advice to go the teacher route – he was all about benefits, a good pension and summers off. So when I entered my second year of university, I decided that I would do a joint major in history and politics. Since Trent is a liberal arts and science University and Peterborough is a cultured, hippie-like city, I really dug the politics courses that were offered and I had always loved history in high school. So, there I was – doing a joint-major and on the path of becoming a teacher. At some point during my second year, I gave my head a shake and realized there was nothing about becoming a teacher that I liked – I don’t even really like kids. I let my father down gently by stomping my feet, yelling that I did not want to be a slave to money and then proceeding to run and cry to my mother, who never really seemed to care what I did as long as I was happy. When third year started I was still lost and pretty much had it with my current life. I dropped history, became interested in international development studies (later declaring it my joint major with politics) ended my almost three-year relationship (and have subsequently never been in anything long-term since then) and told my dad that I would get a government job with this major. Truthfully, I had no desire to work for the government, but I had to explain my sudden change in major somehow. When it came time to for my fourth and final year to start, I said F-ck it to the entire university thing and started working full-time as a waitress at Boston Pizza. I told myself that I was taking this time to figure out what the hell I wanted to do with my life – it turned out to be a year-long party.
Their logo is no lie – we were a tight group at BP. In fact, some of the best friends I have right now, I met there. When you work with so many people you really dig, there ends up being an after-party following almost every shift, and since you just worked, you just made drinking money. Anyways, I am way off track (thank you undiagnosed ADD). So I took a year off and floundered, until I realized that I was lost and fed-up with school because I was ignoring the fact that I loved artsy stuff and I was so busy looking for a career that I never realized the awesome courses that Trent had to offer. This is when I switched my major for the third and final time. I declared my major in Cultural Studies and haven’t looked back since. When you take Cultural Studies you also declare a specialization – mine was film, theatre and media.
Exploring this major was a huge stepping-stone to where I am now. I got to take courses like the history of theatre, world cinema and modernism and the avant-garde (to name a few). This course also led me to a media course and in turn public relations. For once I had an idea of what I wanted to do – work for a company that dealt with the arts. Enter my postgrad studies in public relations. My dad kept asking me what I was going to get with a BA in cultural studies, so in an effort to shut him up, I enrolled into a postgrad pr program in Toronto. I fell in love with pr and my passion for writing was reignited (let’s be honest, nothing kills your desire to write like writing boring-ass 30 page essays). I also fell in love with the city of Toronto and all of the wonderful artistic things that it has to offer. So that long-winded spiel brings me to where I am now. I am constantly looking for a full-time job. I suddenly have a new-found respect for out-of-work actors and starving artists in general. Thankfully, I have been doing a lot of freelance writing and it has been keeping me preoccupied for the time being. I hate the looking for a job process, it is a full-time job in itself. Searching and applying and updating and interviewing and worst of all – the waiting. It’s one long headache and it probably doesn’t help that the only sector I apply for, is in the entertainment or social media sphere. I spent almost all of university doing something I hated, just to say I was doing it and I really don’t want to shape my career in the same way. There’s also the fact that I curse and swear WAY too much for the corporate world and I really hate uncomfortable dresses, pantyhose and constantly having to wear heels (you men have it sooo easy).
So, now that I have finally figured out what I want to do, it seems next to impossible to actually do it. To begin, there are not a ton of jobs out there and like an actor at an audition, there are so many people going for that one plump role or in my case that one sweet entry-level pr position. At this point, I have next thing to a brain aneurism when I get a mere call to come in for an interview and I HATE interviews. I dig interviewing people, but the other way around… I detest it. It has come to the point where I think I may projectile vomit on the next person who asks me to describe myself to them and list my three best qualities. It’s like a really bad date only without the fun of eating while you self-indulgently talk about yourself and what you can do for them – yup, just like a date. Then it comes to the point where I am given the chance to ask them questions. All I want to ask is am I getting this job, how much are you going to pay me and are there any cute boys working in this building. Unfortunately, as much as I hate the job search process, it is not something I can get around. Tomorrow I have a job interview and I’ve already started crossing my fingers. The job isn’t exactly pr, but it’s for a company that is in the film/tv industry. Here’s hoping that no vomiting occurs.