YES, I STUDY HISTORY, NO, I DON’T WANT TO BE A TEACHER

It doesn’t seem to matter where you go, but as a History student, once you tell people what you study the instant reply will be “Oh, so you want to be a teacher?” I’m not even just talking about weddings and bumping into the mums of old school friends. I took my dog for her booster jabs last week, and even the vet was asking the same old thing.

To clarify: I have never wanted to be a teacher. My ambitions lean more towards working in a museum, gallery or archive – definitely not the classroom.

I wonder if being a teacher is the only thing people can think of in response to you studying an arts subject, like History or English or Media, because they don’t really want to say that it’s unlikely that you’re going to get a job at all. All I know is that I’m bored of being asked if I want to be a teacher by seemingly every family friend and neighbour.

The alternative is to be asked a broader and yet more horrifying question, like: “Do you know what you want to do?” because the likely answer will be a resounding no. No one really knows what they want to do, and asking just makes us all feel foolish and sad.

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