Jack of all trades, master of none.
It’s a phrase that’s been in the back of my mind for a while now. Especially since I started college. I am an English major who was planning on majoring in Marketing as well until I realized the zero flexibility that plan would allow for taking other classes that interest me. And there are a lot of those.
The other day I had an interview (1/4 this week, pray for me plz) and the interviewers seemed very impressed with my experience, commenting that “she does all the things!” I was flattered that they thought I was so well rounded, but in my mind there was that phrase again, the knowledge that in spite of my wide variety of interests, I was still master of none.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m stretching myself too thin. If, by continuing to learn these different things, I am sentencing myself to being a master of none.
My class choices have reflected these interests, and it’s been a jigsaw puzzle getting them all to fit in 4 short years. I love literature, and (sometimes) writing, so I’m an English major and I joined the Honors Program. I love photography, so I am taking 2 photography classes next year. I am interested in graphic design, so I took a Creative Suite Class this semester. Next semester I will take a film class in hopes of starting a CMCO minor to supplement my marketing minor. In short, I’m all over the place. I need to calm down.
But I can’t.
See, for some reason I’m not content just doing one thing. I feel the need to maximize everything. So when it comes to my college experience, I want to do all of the things that interest me.
But one semester of graphic design does not an Adobe Illustrator pro make. That would take hours and hours of practice outside of class, outside of the school year. Time I don’t have. So why am I taking the class? Will it help, in the long run?
I’m a self-starter, I’ve realized. I get inspired way too easily by things and I start to pick them up as hobbies. For example, yes, I taught myself ukulele and guitar and still like to play piano, but I am not a master of any of those instruments. Not by a long shot.
It begs the oft debated question: is it better to pursue a wide variety of interests or hone in on one or two that you could eventually gain mastery over? Would you rather know a little about a lot or a lot about a little?
My answer so far seems to be a denial of the fact that one should even have to chose between the two. I wish I could be a master of a couple things sometimes, but I seem to have a sort of insatiable desire to know and experience all that the world has to offer.
Maybe I’m just too impatient. Maybe 19 years of existence is not enough to expect mastery of anything. But it sure seems like employers expect mastery, not just “passion” or “interest”.