Being a Master of None

As I think about facing my last half a year at Davis as an undergrad, I am faced with a tough pill to swallow: I have no solid career path. I used to lose sleep over this fact and hate myself for going through college without a plan. However, I’ve never been one to plan out my life like a checklist, so that feeling turned more into anxiety. I’ve met so many people who have detailed plans for their future and manage to either stick to it or go in a completely different direction. I would look up to them in awe of how awesome they mastered their plans. Whenever I think about where I’d like my life to go, the saying “A jack of all trades is a master of none” pops in my head. Truthfully, when I first heard this message, I wondered why it was that I couldn’t be good at one thing. I would compare myself to talented and skilled friends who had found their calling and feel shame that I hadn’t found such a thing for myself. I would think about all the things I enjoyed and kept reminding myself that perhaps I could make a career out of those interests. Yet, college proved to be more difficult than I imagined and the challenge of passing my classes was a greater priority than trying to decipher what my calling could be. I felt like I was in a race with time as each year went on in college until the pandemic hit. 

woman holding clipboard with resume on it Pexels / cottonbro The pandemic has been a huge pause that has allowed me to reflect on my interests and what I’m passionate about. For one of my Spring 2020 classes, an assignment was to look at my resume and make a cover letter for an internship application I’m eligible for. My resume had: “Volunteer at the AB540 and Undocumented Student Center on Campus” and “Temporary Law Firm Administrative Assistant.” Nothing less, nothing more. It pained me to see how little I had done during college. And yet, I was proud of having those two experiences on my resume. I had nothing to be ashamed of, but it made me feel like I was being very unproductive. I found myself emphasizing the skills I had learned through these experiences on my cover letter — things like multitasking, efficient clientele service, and call/message relaying, on top of using my bilingual skills. I understood that, though I have little experience in working, I still gained skills and connections that are significant to me. 

Nonetheless, this assignment sparked an interest in me to branch out and join organizations I’ve had my eyes on. In my mind, this is my last year at Davis and I should take a leap of faith — I have nothing to lose! I found and applied to HerCampus as a writer/contributor. It has been refreshing to get back into writing for fun which was something I put off since I started college. Getting accepted to be a part of the ASUCD DREAM Committee has also been rewarding to me as I can keep supporting and advocating for the AB540 and undocumented community. I realized that helping the AB540, undocumented, and DREAMers community is very important to me, and through this opportunity, I can fulfill that. As I look back, I remind myself where I came from: a place of denial, fear, and exhaustion. As I look forward to my last two quarters at Davis, I see potential, opportunities, and abundance. I am grateful to not only get the experience of working with other talented folks, but I am ecstatic to be able to see myself grow my skills. I learned to stop comparing myself to my peers by admiring their success and being happy for them. It’s important to remember that we don’t know what people have gone through to get where they are, but it is equally important not to put yourself down. There’s more than enough space for each person to shine and thrive!  Person holding white scroll Photo by Ekrulila from Pexels Though I haven’t found my “true calling,” I am at peace with exploring all my interests and seeing where they take me. I choose to no longer live in fear that I will try something and then hate it. I now see an opportunity to weed out what doesn’t spark joy. I am committed to taking these lessons with me, even after my undergrad time is up.

“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes, better than a master of one” — Elizabeth English.