Living the (not so much) high life…

14 04 2008

By Danielle Brock (Dangirl)

Alright now I know I’ve already ranted on about my future but I now have a new issue that I’d like other peoples’ points of view on. So, here’s the thing. 

When you’re a little kid you have all these dreams of what you want to be when you’re big. I went from doctor to school teacher to astro-physicist back to doctor then to politician and now pretty much have my heart set on journalism, which is what I’m currently studying for. As you grow up your plans obviously change but this is not only because your previous plan wasn’t cool enough but because you realise that being something like a school teacher is not going to put a BMW in the garage and caviar on the table. And we all know that deep down inside everybody has dreams of such luxuries when picturing their futures.

But here’s the thing. I do have dreams of travelling the world, living in my dream mansion and sending my children to the best private schools but I know that as a journalist I will probably never be able to afford such a lavish lifestyle. Yes, there is the possibility once you’ve reached the top, but that could take years. However, even though I hope to be financially secure, I could never dream of giving up something I love so much for a profession that simply pays well. A very good friend of mine has done this, giving up her love for Drama to pursue a career in Law, simply because it’s a professional degree that will guarantee her a job at the end, and a good salary. But she hates it! She still has a dream of opening a Drama school but, as she says, ‘one day’. She is not the only one. I have another friend who has a passion for English and a love for writing but is about to complete her BCom degree because it’s a more promising degree.

Now, I don’t know about you but I do not know how someone can spend three to four years studying something they hate, with a clear understanding that they will spend the next 20 to 30 years doing this job everyday, just because they will be financially secure. Maybe I’ve just lost the plot but I’d rather wake up in the morning and WANT to go to work. I’d rather have a passion for my career choice because it is a love for the job that will push you up the corporate ladder and push you to do things that will get you somewhere within that field.

I am in no way questioning my friends’ choices and, who knows, 10 years from now I could be kicking myself for registering for a degree in Medicine. But I just want to know if I’m the only one with this mindset or am I living in the dream world and should plan a career change? What is better, a future you love or a future that pays?

mansionexpensive carhomeless-coderhobo


Back to good ‘ol tuna

9 04 2008

By Danielle Brock (dangirl)


So, I just got off the phone with my mother after one of those ‘so what’s happening in your life’ conversations. Nothing new. But then that question popped up: ‘You’ve got your degree at the end of this year, what are you going to do next year?’ Woah! Wait a sec. I’m comfy in this little bubble they called Rhodes student life, I don’t want to have to think about stuff like that! However, I do.

The last three years here seemed to have frozen time. Yes, I am now three years older but I don’t really feel that I’m now an adult ready for the big ocean. I’m still the sponge at the bottom of the sea, absorbing any information and knowledge provided to me. I would have no idea what to do if I encountered a shark or which anemone I could safely house myself in. Now, there’s always the option of staying here, becoming a Gtown local and, as my dad likes to call it, ‘professional student’. But that’s not my plan, I need to get out of here, but where do I begin?

You see, we’ve all been in this position before, I don’t know what the fuss is about. Going to ‘big’ school, then on to high school and finally university we all experience that transition from big fish to little fish but moving into the working world, I think, is very different. Now you’re just a tuna fish. One of millions. Ordinary. And perhaps good with mayo. You spend your matric year slaving over exams to achieve marks that won’t even be looked at by future employers, and the same goes for university marks. All they wish to see is your race and gender and, if they’re really desperate, your degree. It’s sad really. And to think all these years of hard work and money to be told ‘sorry, you’re not previously disadvantaged, we don’t want you’. It is this factor that worries me a bit. Call me proudly South African if you wish but I have hope in this country, even if we can’t see it (ha ha), but I too will become a part of the brain drain just to secure a job position. Or will I? I’ve watched friend after friend, of all ages, scuttle off to the UK to do the usual two year stint. Earn pounds waitering, spend it at the pub and clubbing, then head back to SA broke and looking for a job. So, back to square one.

Still, I’m left pondering, where to next? Ever since I was a little girl I used to make plans for my future and by the time i’m ‘big’ I hope to have squeezed all these dreams in. But for now, I’ll stick to complaining about essays and tests because life is easier that way, believe it or not.

university stresstuna