Lately I’ve found myself pulled in two opposite directions and just when I think I know what I want, it changes again. The constant struggle between making a decision that to many seems ‘obvious’ to most is slowly driving me up the wall. How can anyone seriously demand that you pick the one the thing you want to do for the rest of your life when your life has just barely begun. The thought of choosing a career path that you will follow for the next 40 to 50 years is absurd. With the way job markets have been going, it is thought that most people will have 5 distinctly separate careers before they retire (Generations before us have had at the most 2).
Most people laugh when I explain that I’m trying to decide between a career in music or law. They wonder how a career in music could even be a consideration for someone whose other option is law school. After that comment, I explain to them how most musicians are not a bunch of deadbeats who want to skate through life. In fact, a number of scientific studies have researched how the study of music affects the brain and come up with not so shocking results; playing music makes you smarter. Musicians are far more likely to have higher IQs than non-musicians. Additionally, intensive musical training is often associated with increases in IQ (looks like that Bachelors of Music degree you got did teach you something).
Sometimes I wonder if our entire concept of institutionalized education is flawed. Could it be that by our very own efforts of providing a ‘major’ for everything we force round pegs into square holes? By that I mean we force college students to choose what they want to do from list of ‘pre-approved’ majors. I would argue that kids ages 18 – 22 are not qualified to judge what they would like to do for the rest of their lives. This is not me advocating 4 years of drunken debauchery.