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scribbledown
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So I'm doing an English and American Literature degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and in my 3rd year, on track for a 2:1, I've come to the realization of just how worthless my degree is in the 21st century and it's really starting to scare me. I have a girlfriend I love, friends I love, a home I love, and it's all going to end in the summer of 2013 and I have no clue what I'm going to do. I've discovered no great passions, I have no desire to teach people and lead them into the same trap I fell into; I took the course because I wanted to write and wanted to broaden my reading base in the hope of becoming a better writer. What I discovered was that the best writers never studied literature, or did so on the side of something like finance or the sciences. In fact, they actually did all sorts of stuff and wound up writing because they loved reading, because they didn't have the distractions that people in the 21st century have, like movies, TV, video games etc., that people had been reading and writing for ages and it was one of the major sources of cultural knowledge.

Basically, I'm feeling screwed and utterly hopeless. No jobs want a literature major, no industries have use for a literature major, there are no internships open for literature majors, and aside from analytical BS I haven't actually gained any skills. So, somebody please tell me something that will give me some modicum of optimism about my increasingly bleak future. Somebody please contradict me.
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franki91
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Let me just say firstly that there are many degrees out there that are way more worthless than a literature degree.

Secondly, I did an English literature degree at uni and I graduated in summer. I did the degree because I love reading and love writing. So as long as you're enjoying your course then that is a big bonus, because if you'd chosen finance or science or something you might have found it as boring as hell and that would be much worse.

Thirdly, a degree is a degree. At least you'll have a degree in something even if it doesn't help you in any way towards your future. What you need is some work experience. I dont know what kind of writing you're into but see if you can write for your local paper or even just start up a blog.

Fourthly, as far as the skills go, I'm sure you have learned something whilst at uni, even if it hasnt accounted towards making you a better writing. Things such as presentational skills, team-work, listening skills, ICT skills, etc etc.

And as for other famous writers, it doesnt matter what they did. Everyone finds their way in life differently and it doesnt matter if you do things differently. As long as you're passionate about what you want to do then you'll find your way.
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Eboracum
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We are seeing a few of these threads on TSR.

I am only a First Year, but what you have to understand is that for many professions, it simply doesn't matter what degree you have, but it's that you have a classification of at least a 2:1 and from a decent university which you'll have.

You could apply for MI5, Law, Investment Banking. You could apply to be a teacher either here or abroad, you could apply for the Civil Service Graduate Scheme. There are a number of things you could do, you just need to explore them more. Don't look for barriers as to why you can't do it, look for ways in which you can.
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HomoSapiensSap
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I wish I'd chosen english, I would have had much more free time.

EDIT:

I was deadly serious. I wish I'd chosen English or History or Philosophy. Life would be so much more easier and I would be able to actually have a bit more space to think, live and feel, whilst enjoying the course with minimal stress.
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Basiji
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I've been saying this from day 1, all Arts degrees are worthless. Natural sciences, Engineering and technology FTW!
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AmeliaGYC
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You have nothing to worry about. I studied Classics and panicked slightly as its obviously not a vocational degree with a clear career path, but Eng lit and classics are both very open degrees and have allowed me to apply to a range of graduate schemes and internships etc. As for the skills you don't feel like you have gained, you will have learnt much more than you think you have!! Stay positive and enjoy your third year!


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M1011
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(Original post by Basiji)
I've been saying this from day 1, all Arts degrees are worthless. Natural sciences, Engineering and technology FTW!
Well you sound a bit idiotic now don't you?
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Skilled
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You can go into accounting and finance...... That might be interested in terms of writing up reports and interpreting texts
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Jelkin
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I know what that panic is like (I did English myself). But I think what you're actually realising is that there aren't any jobs that ask specifically for a literature degree. There are plenty of jobs asking for a 2:1 in any degree discipline, and literature is pretty well-respected! And what with your friends/girlfriend/passion for writing, you are clearly a likable person who is interested in things (which sounds odd, but hopefully you know what I mean). Don't underestimate how much employers like to see people who are bright and engaging to talk to.

It's normal to get a bit panicky at this stage (I certainly did), and it might be a little while before you find your feet with regards to what you want to do/are suited to doing, but have a bit of faith in yourself - you will have gained plenty of transferrable skills from your degree and you will find something.

P.S. If it helps, I found and managed to get a decent job that I enjoy - don't listen to anyone who says arts degrees are worthless. Maybe you'd be interested in publishing?
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Really_now
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I'm not gonna lie and say your in a better position than someone doing engineering because that would be a lie. However, I know an English grad with a graduate job but they didn't just sit on their butt all day drinking and playing video games. They did internships, they took leadership roles within their university and did voluntary work. If all you did was study then yes yo will have a lot of problems.
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Profesh
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(Original post by scribbledown)
So I'm doing an English and American Literature degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and in my 3rd year, on track for a 2:1, I've come to the realization of just how worthless my degree is in the 21st century and it's really starting to scare me. I have a girlfriend I love, friends I love, a home I love, and it's all going to end in the summer of 2013 and I have no clue what I'm going to do. I've discovered no great passions, I have no desire to teach people and lead them into the same trap I fell into; I took the course because I wanted to write and wanted to broaden my reading base in the hope of becoming a better writer. What I discovered was that the best writers never studied literature, or did so on the side of something like finance or the sciences. In fact, they actually did all sorts of stuff and wound up writing because they loved reading, because they didn't have the distractions that people in the 21st century have, like movies, TV, video games etc., that people had been reading and writing for ages and it was one of the major sources of cultural knowledge.

Basically, I'm feeling screwed and utterly hopeless. No jobs want a literature major, no industries have use for a literature major, there are no internships open for literature majors, and aside from analytical BS I haven't actually gained any skills. So, somebody please tell me something that will give me some modicum of optimism about my increasingly bleak future. Somebody please contradict me.
I'm fairly certain that the marketing, advertising, copywriting, publishing, editorial and journalistic professions would equally beg to differ.
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Basiji
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(Original post by M1011)
Well you sound a bit idiotic now don't you?
How so?
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la95
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(Original post by scribbledown)
So I'm doing an English and American Literature degree at Goldsmiths College, University of London, and in my 3rd year, on track for a 2:1, I've come to the realization of just how worthless my degree is in the 21st century and it's really starting to scare me. I have a girlfriend I love, friends I love, a home I love, and it's all going to end in the summer of 2013 and I have no clue what I'm going to do. I've discovered no great passions, I have no desire to teach people and lead them into the same trap I fell into; I took the course because I wanted to write and wanted to broaden my reading base in the hope of becoming a better writer. What I discovered was that the best writers never studied literature, or did so on the side of something like finance or the sciences. In fact, they actually did all sorts of stuff and wound up writing because they loved reading, because they didn't have the distractions that people in the 21st century have, like movies, TV, video games etc., that people had been reading and writing for ages and it was one of the major sources of cultural knowledge.

Basically, I'm feeling screwed and utterly hopeless. No jobs want a literature major, no industries have use for a literature major, there are no internships open for literature majors, and aside from analytical BS I haven't actually gained any skills. So, somebody please tell me something that will give me some modicum of optimism about my increasingly bleak future. Somebody please contradict me.
Don't feel so hopeless! There are options open to you!

I can empathise because I'm in a similar situation, though it's with A Levels rather than a degree. My A Levels are not academically suitable for the career I want to pursue, but that is not to say they are not useful, and the same applies with your degree. You love reading and writing, and you said yourself that you have a lovely girlfriend and good friends - maybe this degree was important to your personal development, and that's just as significant as a career, and also instrumental to your success in a career.

With regards to what you said about your degree being useless, that isn't the case at all! If you can't find a career you'd like that you're directly eligible for with your degree, why not apply for something like Graduate Entry Medicine? Any degree is accepted in some GEM programs provided you achieve a 2:1 or higher. Don't lose hope, just work hard, get your degree and remember that all achievements are valuable provided you can embellish upon the skills you've learnt from them!

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Id and Ego seek
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If you want to write, find a career to facilitate that desire while giving you enough free time to do so: journalism, law, publishing editor, literary agent, web/newspaper columnist, etc. You have a lot of options and potential; and a good degree, grade and set of skills to actualise it.


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MusicalBookworm
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Not making me feel anymore confident in choosing to apply for English Lit at uni O.o
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Norton1
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(Original post by Id and Ego seek)
If you want to write, find a career to facilitate that desire while giving you enough free time to do so: journalism, law, publishing editor, literary agent, web/newspaper columnist, etc. You have a lot of options and potential; and a good degree, grade and set of skills to actualise it.


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Mmm. Law. Creative. Hah.
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Id and Ego seek
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(Original post by Norton1)
Mmm. Law. Creative. Hah.
You've clearly been doing it wrong this whole time
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Norton1
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(Original post by Id and Ego seek)
You've clearly been doing it wrong this whole time
But...but...if you're being creative how do you know if it worked before?
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Id and Ego seek
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(Original post by Norton1)
But...but...if you're being creative how do you know if it worked before?
What.
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thestarfish
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Ah, dont feel disheartened! There are so many things you could go into - journalism, social media, marketing, even human resources! I bet you know a thing or two about writing persuasive texts! Not all professions are degree related + you're in a good position in the graduate market. I graduated from Goldsmiths in 2010 and ive worked in various roles ever since. Ive just completed a Masters too. Its a real struggle at first but as long as you keep trying, you will definately get somewhere.

Feel free to PM me if you need advice, etc.

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