Professor and Poet: My Future Career

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Writing has been one thing that I’m been good at and genuinely enjoy doing ever since I  learned how. The ability to evoke emotions and change people’s lives with words has always been a beautiful idea to me. The way that reading words on a page can engulf you and throw you into your own little fantasy world is a frightening and breathtaking feeling. That’s why I’m hoping to become an English professor with a specialization in Linguistics in the future while doing research and publishing a poetry book or two on the side.

I’m currently a senior undergrad about to apply to grad schools to receive my Ph.D. in English, and in the process of this, I’ve also been working on perfecting my first poetry book. But publishing poetry and entering the world of academia are both risky and scary professions to work in. While poetry books are becoming more common, they don’t make as much money as novels do.  publishing companies rarely take on people’s poetry; hence why a lot of poets today have self-published their work. Meanwhile, jobs as a professor can be scarce depending on where you live, but luckily, there will always be a job opening somewhere. Both of these industries are quite a rollercoaster to navigate and be stable in.  now that many people are taking routes other than college,  the need for professors is in decline (but as long as Greek life and parties exist, I don’t think universities will be going anywhere anytime soon). 

When I tell people what I want to accomplish career-wise, they usually respond by telling me that I’m brave or asking me why I don’t decide to pursue a more stable career path. I used to be insulted by those responses, but I’ve come to realize that I can’t change where my passions lie. I’d rather work towards something that makes me happy than be stuck in a job that makes me money but doesn’t fulfill me (not to mention that many people in creative industries can make more than a living wage and are happy doing what they do). 

I do get nervous at times thinking about the possibilities of being a horrible professor or never getting the opportunity to publish my work, but I’ve come to terms that life will play out the way that it’s meant to and I have just as much of a chance of accomplishing my goals as everyone else does. 

So if you’re ever questioning your future path, please don’t lose hope, and remember that you’re just as capable as the people you look up to!