Contemplation and Reflection: Part 2

As mentioned in my last entry, this part will be focussed around my musings about my progress in my academic studies and my future goals.

Originally, when I started my course roughly 2 years ago now, I entered into studies with the intention of majoring in Japanese and minoring in creative writing. However, during that first semester, I found that Creative Writing was far more appealing to me than my Japanese papers and I was getting more absorbed in the activities in my writing-related courses than I was in my Japanese ones.

Towards the end of the semester, I was approached by the course administrator, who had noticed the vast difference in my marks in Creative Writing compared to my marks in my Japanese-related papers and suggested that I seriously consider swapping my major to Creative writing, while making Japanese my minor instead, plus taking on a second minor, due to the way the Creative Writing paper is set up (it is one of the few papers that requires 2 minors to graduate instead of just one)

After some careful thought, I decided that yes, I would change my major, while I have held an enjoyment for learning about Japanese culture for a long time now and would like to travel to Japan at some point in the future, I was finding that the studies surrounding it were not all they were cracked up to be. In contrast, I was doing extremely well with my Creative Writing papers, receiving a lot of positive feedback from my lecturers regarding my work I had been doing so far.

During the summer break between 2012 and 2013, I was offered the opportunity to do what is known as the Creative Writing Project, a paper that is not usually done until the 3rd year or the final semester as it is a self directed paper and a Level 7 paper (the highest level covered in Bachelor/Undergraduate degrees). For this paper, I was expected to write a 12,000 word manuscript, to which I ended up submitting a portion of the book I had been working on in my free time, figuring it was a way to kill 2 birds with one stone. Needless to say, I passed the summer school paper.

In 2013, most of my papers were split fairly evenly between finishing off my Japanese minor and working more on my Creative Writing degree, the 3 Japanese Studies papers I did being Asian Popular Culture, Japanese Society and Culture and Japanese Religion and the Samurai, which focussed on learning about Shintoism, Buddhism and the ways of the Samurai during the time of the Shogun warlords. While I could have done better, I think I didn't do too terribly in the grand scheme of things.

Towards the end of the year though, I had to start thinking seriously about what my second minor is going to be - something that I had not put a heck of a lot of thought into until that point of time (slightly foolish, I know...), I ended up seriously considering the possibility of taking up Psychology as my final minor, at one point I had considered doing a Diploma in Psychology, but was unable to go ahead with my plans due to work conflicts at the time. The main reason for this is because I am curious about how the human mind works, why people do what they do, what goes on in their mind and how the human psyche works. Learning more about Psychology will also help with my Creative Writing, since it will help me create more realistic characters and give them personalities that people can empathise with and draw connections to more readily. An added advantage of doing a Minor in Psychology is that if I should choose to go back to University further down the track, after I have enough money to do so, I can always cross-credit those papers into a Diploma or Bachelor of Psychology, opening even more doors career-wise.

So, next year will be the all-important year, if I want to graduate in 2015, I will need to make sure I pass all of my papers; the papers I have been allocated next year will complete my minor in Japanese studies and leave me with one paper left to complete my Major in Creative Writing. Then in Semester 1, 2015, I just need to take my 2 remaining Psychology papers, my 1 remaining Creative Writing paper and one elective paper and I will be ready to graduate!

Career-wise, it is difficult to say what the future holds, having a degree in creative writing opens a number of opportunities, I could try to get work at a Publishing House, Newspaper or Magazine company, I could take on a job as a teacher and teach other people how to hone their own creative writing skills, or I could remain doing freelance work and develop my Psychology learning further with the intention of becoming a fully qualified Psychologist.

The third and likely final part will be coming soon, this will be focussed on my contemplations about life in New Zealand and my thoughts about branching out overseas.

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