Saturday, 22 August 2015
What's the Point
My life is a routine of classes and assessments and the same people every day. It's a continuity of trying to keep my priorities in the right place and aiming for the next good result, before starting all over again.
When asking people what they've been doing, it's always the same reply. "Oh, you know, I went to school today..." and that's it. That's it every single day because that's all we really do. 6 years of our primary school lives were centred around education, and we're living through 6 more of high school before shipping off to another 5 or more years of education in university.
"At least our subjects have variety," someone said to me yesterday when I was complaining about how unnecessarily repetitive the school life is, "When we get older we're going to be doing the same of the same thing all day every day in our jobs." Now how miserable does that life sound?
They say do what you love and you'll never have to work a day, but what if you don't know what you love? Everyone's aim is to be successful, and ultimately that does mean to be happy - but when you don't have a passion or a specific dream, sometimes success can simply mean being rich and famous. Being swayed by the realism of probability, I'd rule being famous out since that's predominantly dictated by chance; so I guess that leaves the aim of being rich.
Observing the people around me there seems to be two ways of almost definitely obtaining that: either work your way up to becoming the partner of some huge financial advisor corporation, as all my supposedly 'successful' relatives seem to have done; or become a doctor as the majority of private school girls' parents have done. So in a world full of lifestyle options, I've narrowed it down to two careers, both of which I can't say I'm passionate about but will probably end up doing one of them.
In some ways, being a doctor does sound like a fulfilling life commitment. The idea of saving other people's lives shows that you're actually doing something with your's, something more worthwhile than making money out of money. So I want to be a doctor then?
Living in a family of this culture, being a teacher, a magazine editor, a personal trainer, an actress or anything of the sort is looked down upon. I know my parents would support anything I do, but I also know they wouldn't be proud of a lot of the society-worthy professions out there. I know the snobbier halves of my family would look down upon my career choice and myself as a person, unless the success factor of being rich and famous swept in. They would become bitchy school-girls at dinner parties, talking about that girl who had so much hope but ended up throwing it all away. It would be somewhat of a mild scandal. That wouldn't be enough to stop me from doing what I want though, if I knew what I wanted. This is just the culture that's ingrained itself in my head.
My biggest fear is of becoming a workaholic. A lot of these doctor parents, or any of the people we consider rich, seem to be working 24/7. My friends who have doctors as parents all take the bus or walk home. They talk of their parents being 'called in' at random times because that's simply how the medical industry works. You can't choose when people get sick. My second aunty, my only relative in the medical field, is career obsessed, and I don't want that to be my life priority when I'm older.
But I'm afraid that the way I'm going, career is already my life priority. School is effectively my career at the moment, and that's all I'm forcing myself to care about. When there's important assessments, all aspects of social life get cut out. I make less of an effort because I'm too busy spending the extra 8 hours a weekend per assignment. I tell myself not to care about trivial things like life, but I do, and it's healthy. Maybe my lack of brain commitment to my outside-career life is a good thing, because good grades are a tangible sign of success, but are they really all there is?
And I'm working so hard that when the time comes to pick a career, when that final overall percentile comes in, I couldn't bear to throw it away on anything less than the most prestigious profession available to me. This profession may not be my life's calling, it may not be what I love, but if I don't choose it then what's the point of all this work I've put in?
The other day I was watching Good Will Hunting and Skylar says, "Private school, Harvard, and now Med. School. I actually figured out that by the end of it, my brain will be worth a quarter of a million dollars." And what's the point?