by Stacey de Molitor
Fourth-year BA Student/
Recruitment and Promotions Assistant
Mount Saint Vincent University
“What are you doing in university?”
For most university students this is a common question, a seemingly easy question, and in truth, a ridiculous question.
“What are you planning on doing with your life?”
That is what people are really asking you.
Sometimes I think it might be harder for Bachelor of Arts students to satisfy the query of what we do in university because our program does not have an obvious and definitive goal. Unlike some programs, a Bachelor of Arts degree is open to endless variety— forget a fork in the road, we are often caught in an open field with the option of stepping in any possible direction. This is precisely the thing that bothers people. Telling someone my studies are focused on English and Sociology tells them nothing— they are still looking at the same vast openness that they were before.
Perhaps you will think me naïve or flowery, but I think that openness is beautiful, and that the only way to describe what you are doing in university is to tell people you are pursuing your passions. What am I doing in university? I am writing.
I write stories and poems, research papers and proposals. I write data analyses and essays, and I write emails and grocery lists. Some of my writing is good, and some of it is messy and muddled. I write for my classes and my job, myself and for others. Sometimes what I write is presented in my own voice, and other times it is carried forward by others’. If you ask me where I see myself in five years, I will tell you writing. I can’t predict my specific career path, but I hope that for those interested in knowing, this response will be enough.
For now, I have been working for nearly a year within the Mount’s Recruitment office. I am so pleased to say that what started out as a broader assistant position has now narrowed into a writing-focused role. I have the opportunity to write communication pieces, promotional materials, and even speeches for Mount administrators on a regular basis. Being a student and having such recognition, responsibility, and trust imparted to my writing has not only been a compliment to my work, but also a further learning experience— enabling me to grow and explore my capabilities as a writer, as a creator, and as a professional.
For my fellow English students, I hope that you are doing something valuable, something important, and something that will benefit you in every way in your future. Regardless of whether I know you personally, or have yet the pleasure of meeting you, I have two hopes: the first is that you are living your passions—or that if you haven’t found them yet, you have at least devised a witty retort for anyone who asks you what you plan on doing with your life. The second is that if by some stroke of luck and genius something I write ever finds its way into a library, I hope you’ll do a girl a favour and sign it out… that way when I shamelessly check my own titles I can feel good about knowing the list of time-stamps in the back aren’t entirely my own.