I was talking to the Rebel Sister the other day. She's currently at university in her first year, doing English Language and Creative Writing. I'd phoned her to see how she was, since she seemed to be fed up with university the last time I'd spoken to her.
Rebel: I don't know why I even took English Language! I was always better at English Literature.
Rebel: My course is stupidly hard and I have so many assignments and people who've done my course before never seem to be getting any jobs.
Rebel: - It's like, most of the people I know who've done my course are just doing crappy jobs and not writing like they want to. And they're really good!
Rebel:...Well? Don't you have any sagely advice for me?
Rebel: You're my big sister, you always have something to say.
Me: Well, what do you want to do?
Rebel: I want to be a writer!
Me: Well, you need to work towards it -
Me: What? It's true! You could get an ordinary job and write independently. Write at home in your spare time and send it off to publishers by yourself and hope you get lucky I guess.
Rebel: But there are no jobs anywhere! Nobody's taking on any interns in the big publishing companies.
Me: I wasn't talking about writing jobs, but whatever...)
Rebel: I can't use my degree for anything other than writing.
Me: Your degree doesn't need to be specific to your job. You just need a degree to get a good job.
Rebel: *groans again*
Me: *sigh* Well, why don't you aim a little lower? And then work your way up. Like, have you looked at any local newspapers?
Rebel: *groans again* There aren't any good newspapers around here.
Me: They don't need to be good, just willing to take you on.
Rebel: Yeah, well, no offence, but I don't really like those kind of newspapers, you know? The gossiping and stuff - yeah, I'm not into all that fluffy stuff. I want something serious.
Do you ever feel sometimes you're talking to someone...and they're hearing a COMPLETELY different conversation?
The problem is that the Rebel Sister has always been brilliant at whatever she applies herself to, and sometimes manages to get by on pure charisma alone, whereas I'm not as quick on the uptake and have had to constantly work my way up to achieve a mediocre standard.
Plus, the way everyone is talking about graduates and jobs makes me think that in a few years my poor mama will have more to worry about the fact the Rebel Sister has shaved off half her hair.