Plight of the Multipotentialite

This is a bit more of a personal post, but something that I wanted to talk about. I have a lot of interests. And I do mean a lot. And sure, you can say everyone is interested in a lot of different things, but I feel like this is different. Yeah, I’m doing a computer science degree in college, but I love so many other things just as much. I wish I could just do everything.

I have sort of an obsessive personality such that when I get interested in something, I go full force on it for some time. Inevitably, however, the fervent interest I once had will seem to fade, and a new venture will spark my excitement again. I’ve went through these stages all my life, and I feel pulled in multiple directions, never able to settle on one true “calling”, or even a few.

I feel like this puts me at a disadvantage. Many of my peers “do one thing and do it well”, and this will certainly help them get a job in the workforce. These people have extensive experience and advanced skills, along with multiple independent projects that bolster their merit. On the other hand, it seems like I haven’t done as much by comparison. As I said above, I’m a computer science student, and I am attempting to apply to graduate schools this fall. However, I feel almost sorely outmatched. I don’t know 20 different programming languages. I haven’t made any “apps” or websites or done any significant research. The skills that I do have are mediocre at best. And that’s where I feel like this problem is.

Becoming good at anything takes time and deliberate practice. And because I find myself perpetually hopping between a myriad of hobbies and projects, I never take the time to become an expert in any of them. It’s the stereotypical “Jack of all trades, Master of none” deal.

There are multiple ways that I could go from here. I could narrow down my interests and try to pour all my time into improving my skills in just a few things relevant to my career ambitions. I could also carry on the way I have, learning many things in hopes that a multitude of skills I’m okay at would be better than having a few skills I’ve mastered. I feel like it would be a better career move to cut down all the frivolous things that I do and focus only on skills such as computer science and math. However, I feel like that would be a hard transition to make. I’m just a naturally curious person, and as such I like trying as many new things as I can. I’m just worried that this will hurt me both in academia and the workforce.

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