We are raised in societies where binaries are normalised. We are generally expected to follow one, distinct and easily recognisable or easily categorised lifestyle. This goes for so many aspects of our being - from gender and sexuality to careers. For now, let’s focus on careers. When we ask little kids what they want to be when they grow up, we expect them to give us one answer. We expect to hear responses such as “footballer”, “ballet dancer”, “police officer”, “fire fighter”, or “astronaut”. When we are given two answers, we laugh it off. As we progress through education, we are required to make choices, eliminating certain subjects in order to follow others. We are advised to stick to certain groups. For example, we expect people to pursue an arts and humanities based path or scientific and mathematic route. By the time we reach college or university level education, we are expected to have chosen a single subject which we can focus all of our attention and effort on. When people try to spread their interests, they are told that they will become a jack of all trades and master of none. But why is this the case? There are plenty of individuals who have proven that you don’t necessarily have to stick to one area to be successful. It is indeed possible to thrive and flourish in multiple disciplines! So, if you’re interested in following more than one dream at a time, read on for some sage advice!
If you find it hard to believe that you can excel in multiple areas, you just need to seek out some inspirational figures who can prove that this is possible. Just take a look at Jozef Opdeweegh who is both a professional footballer and a professional race car driver. These two sports don’t seem to have many interlocking skill sets at all, but he has still managed to become a professional in both. Then there are a whole host of other individuals who have crossed over from careers in music to entrepreneurship, from careers in acting to modelling, or from careers in politics to ice skating!
Consider Joint-Honours Degrees
The previously mentioned inspiration may seem to be limited to individuals in the public sphere with performance roles. But you can merge different academic paths too if this is what you wish to do! More institutions are acknowledging the importance of interdisciplinary study, and are beginning to offer joint-honours degrees where students can focus on two different areas at once. Alternatively, you could look at taking certain modules from different departments. Sometimes all you have to do is ask! Email the module convenors or other authoritative individuals and ask whether you can take extra credits or even just audit alternative modules. Most will be thrilled that you are interested and welcome you with open arms.
As you can see, it is indeed possible to follow more than one dream at a time. You just have to focus and manage your time effectively. The outcomes will be more than worth the effort.