I have a full-time job, work 40 hours a week, have my own place, drive my own car. For a while it looked like I’d be a career intern, but when I finally signed an actual contract detailing the terms of my salary, I could hear Webbie in my head, “I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T.”

A year later, try B-R-O-K-E.

Every time another friend posts a Facebook status about her upcoming trip to Puerto Rico, or how she’ll be on Miami Beach in T minus zero, I wish I would have stuck with that damn business administration major. What the hell kinda job offers unlimited vacation time to new employees – and how do I apply?

Just in time for graduation season, The Daily Beast compiled one of those photo galleries with a tweet-ready headline you can’t ignore, “20 Most Useless Degrees.” I figured it’d be a quick read, something to breeze through, chuckle at and forget. But I never made it past the first click: #1 was Journalism.

It would have been easier to digest if it hadn’t confirmed what I already suspected. From a median starting salary of $35,800 to a mid-career figure of just $66,600, it looked like I’d be starring in my own reality show, “Hardworkin’ Welfare Wives,” for the rest of my career.

My law school and pharmacy friends had $20/hour internships and the promise of jobs that would start in the six-figure range. Instead, I “followed my dreams” on a masochistic journey to save the world with the noble journalistic truth. When ever-important early education majors also make the list of lowest-paying degrees, the “I do it for the love” philosophy seems less and less logical.

A recent study by Georgetown found that people with a college degree earn 84 percent more over a lifetime than those with only a high school diploma. The other half of that, though, was that what you major in is more important. But as I see another “Just touched down in LA!” tweet, I’m thinking I might have made the wrong choice.

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  • I have to agree with everyone who says your college degree is what you make of it. Don’t let self-pity get you down, some people wish they had the opportunity to go to college. So what you don’t build a career in your field of study…most people who have built successful careers started out with very different educational backgrounds.
    Use your skills and gifts to your advantage and network.

  • This article resonates with me as it did with so many. I write because I love it but when I thought of career, i thought of money. I actually did stay with the business administration major, but I had regrets. Maybe I should have chosen journalism?

    But then when I think about the life I want to have, and the fact that I want to be able to provide things for my children that I didn’t have, I think I made the right decision. You don’t need a degree to write. You just write. But any young person, who wants to be better at their craft would do what you did. I respect you and it to took courage to “follow your dreams”. I’m gonna say you can still have it all and still be a writer. You’ll probably be better because of your journey! Good luck and thanks for this article!

  • Phil

    My Bachelor of Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University has done me no good so far. Top honors etc, and I’ve been looking for 6+ months. “They” tell you (in the military) a good career punctuated by a B.S. from ERAU will help land a lucrative second career. What a joke. I’m 300+ job applications and still looking.