the long and winding road

With my impending graduation next July, I’ve started considering my career options. I know, my first sentence is already a yawn. But that’s the truth of the matter, and I have to come up with a plan fast before I end up roaming the streets with a cardboard sign saying, “Will sing for food.” And I’m not even a good singer.

My dad saw how worried I was that entire day (but he was, in fact, the one who got me thinking about what I’m going to do after graduation) and sat me down for a talk before I went to bed. He told me to stop worrying about the things I can’t control and that it’s near impossible to be unemployed in Singapore.

But with a degree in English, I can’t exactly qualify for a profession, if you know what I mean. I mean, it’s all fine studying English in university, but it’s an entirely different issue looking for a job that requires an English major. Is it true that English majors are doomed to end up as teachers? Not that teaching is a dead end. That’s not what I mean. It’s just … I’m not the teaching sort. I have zero patience for kids, and I’d only see it as a means to earn income, the way I view my tutoring job now. The people around me who are well on their way to becoming teachers, you can totally see the passion in their eyes when they talk about the kids and their job. I don’t get it. But should all else fail, maybe teaching is the only way to go.

Here in Singapore, if we sign on to become teachers, we get tuition paid for by the government but we’d have to be bonded for three years to the Ministry of Education. So if I decided to get bonded (after doing a year of post-grad in the National Institute of Education), I’d have to spend three years in the teaching business.

Gerlynn squawked at me to think through it carefully and discuss it over with my dad before embarking on – and I quote – “hare-brained notions” like spending three miserable years doing something I’m not keen on. How is it that some people such as her can be so logical and calm about everything? I’m a mess when it comes to making decisions for myself. Gerlynn always says, “Make your own decisions! You’re 21!” Even my dad said that the other day – he told me I had to rely less on him to make decisions and be an adult now. I could blame it on my horoscope (Libras easy-going at best, and indecisive at worst), but that would be dumb.

I cried during that talk with my dad. He told me to put less pressure on myself, especially on something I can’t control (although I don’t really get what it is I can’t control about getting myself employed). Before tucking me into bed he told me to communicate with him more (I was pretty reticent the whole day, worrying) so that he won’t worry about me so much and he’d know I’m okay. I cried even more after that because what kind of daughter makes her father worry like that?

I know, I know. I was in a strange mood that day. And the weather did nothing to alleviate it. After the scorching morning, the rain gods were having a blast. The party lasted all the way until evening.

But post-graduation jitters aside, I have more pressing issues, like finding a part-time job to tide me through December. I don’t mind scooping ice-cream or desk work as long as I can find time to swim every day and don’t have to travel all the way to Alaska to work. Just putting this out there.

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