Here’s a fact that many of you Pandas probably already know intuitively but don’t often think about—our destinies are not set in stone. Just because you were into dinosaurs as a kid doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll grow up to be a world-renowned paleontologist. Similarly, just because you majored in—oh, I don’t know—English literature doesn’t mean that you’ll do anything remotely linked to your university degree (though it can happen!).
Voice actor André White aka TikTok user Blackkout___ started up an interesting trend when he asked people to share what they majored in and what they do now. André showed his wit by going first in his video and saying that he majored in communications and he’s now depressed. Now, depression is no laughing matter, however, the voice actor used his sense of humor to show that we really don’t have everything figured out in life by the time we graduate from college. Far from it! Life’s full of twists, turns, and loop-the-loops.
Have a look through the most interesting ‘major vs. job’ revelations that people posted, and remember to upvote the ones that you found the most amusing. I’m also incredibly curious to find out what you Pandas majored in and what you do now.
André was kind enough to answer a few questions that I had and shared his opinion that we should all live bolder, experiment, and do what we're passionate about. He also pointed out to Bored Panda that there's far more pressure to go to college than before and revealed how he took his first steps into the voice acting industry and how he's already worked with some amazing brands.
"If you are 18 and you feel lost and not sure of what your next move should be, GOOD. No one should have it all figured out at that age. And the same goes for a 25-year-old or a 35-year-old. Don't feel like you HAVE to do what society tells you to. Go to a community college, go to an HBCU, start a business, find your passion because your passion is what's going to make those tough days a little less tough. What makes you smile ear to ear? Do that! Life is way too short to look back in 30 years and regret anything," the voice actor urged everyone to grab life by the horns and live to the fullest. You'll find the rest of his interview with Bored Panda below.
"In college, I was a communications major and now I'm depressed."
I went to school for shoe design, but I ended up dropping out. My family was poor, so I just started working a regular job, but still held onto the dream. I started posting on social media and literally 10+ years later, finally, I have my own shoe. This colorway is inspired by Goku from Dragon Ball Z, it's a collab with one of my favorite shoe brands, Sia Collective, and it wouldn't be possible without your support. So thanks.
“I got my associates in General Studies, my bachelor's in Behavioral Science, my master's in Administration of Human Services, and now I’m a stripper.”
André believes that there's more pressure to seek higher education because the cost of living is rising everywhere and people are still being told that college always leads to a great job.
"People feel like a college degree is how you get respect. College is still being pushed as a safety net when in reality going to a trade school, community college, or pursuing the path of an entrepreneur can be just as rewarding," he said that there are always valid alternatives. "I wish that we would teach our kids that there are so many other options and that if college is what they want to do, then fine but don't ever box yourself in."
I was also very interested to find out how André decided to become a voice actor. "I broke into the voice acting industry and content creation space about 3 years ago," he shared with Bored Panda. "I love the chance to tell a story through my lens and how I see the world. People have always told me that I have a unique voice so I said, 'I might as well use it.'"
André has already gotten to work with some world-renowned brands, from the History Channel and The Smithsonian to The Boston Celtics and Colgate, as well as many others. "I am very excited to see what's next for me, using my brand to help people see the world differently."
Statista reports that there were a whopping 19.6 million students in the United States in 2019. Of those, around 14.5 were enrolled in public colleges while the rest went to private ones.
“Public colleges, also called state colleges, are mostly funded by state governments. Private colleges, on the other hand, are not funded by the government but by private donors and endowments. Typically, private institutions are much more expensive. Public colleges tend to offer different tuition fees for students based on whether they live in-state or out-of-state, while private colleges have the same tuition cost for every student,” explains Erin Duffin.
The US has in excess of 4k colleges throughout the country and, perhaps somewhat surprisingly, California is the state that has the most. However, despite the fact that there’s a trend of more and more Americans getting their higher education degrees, the costs of doing so aren’t so friendly.
There’s no doubt that there was more social pressure to go to college than before which, coupled with overall better economic circumstances (before the pandemic), made higher education more accessible. Well… somewhat. You see, tuition costs are are still very prohibitive in the US. Statista points out that annual expenses for students total around 75k dollars. And that’s just for a single year!
"Okay... Computer Engineering... And Now I'm A Chef."
“I majored in Electrical Engineering and now I am an Electrical Engineer. Y’all really hate on STEM majors until we all have jobs!”
These over-the-top college costs lead to fresh college graduates shouldering immense debts. The BBC notes that over 42 million people in the US (or one in six adults to put it into perspective) hold student debt which is more or less 30k for a four-year undergrad degree. Some borrowers are in default, others are behind on their repayments, and the US government (which owns around 90 percent of these debts) believes that around a third will never ever get repaid.
Whether or not to go to college, at least in the US, is a bit of a catch-22 situation. On the one hand, degree inflation means that in order to compete well in the job market, you need to have a higher and higher level of education.
“In college I spent most of my time avoiding my studies learning to play the harmonica. Today I make my living playing the harmonica and the grandmother of the harmonica.”
"I got my associate's in Early Childhood Education, [then] I was a dual major in English composition and Criminal Justice, and I started my masters program in Criminology. But now I sell potato chips."
On the other hand, student loans are massive financial burdens, and choosing to go for a more practical, well-paying trade might be the better option for some. And that might be a valid alternative when you take into account that you might not even end up doing what you majored in. Personally, I have degrees in political science and international relations and, I have to tell you, there’s way more politics, philosophy, and science involved in writing for you Pandas than you might expect. So I’m exactly where I want to be.
"Now I get paid to cook delish Lao Food and host cooking parties. Moral of the story: live your dreams, bish and don’t listen to nobody. Trust yo gut and listen to yo damn self and don’t be lazy bish.”
I was a biology major and I help depressed people
“I majored in Theater – acting. And I act like I give a fuck every single day of my goddamn life.”
"We went to college so hard that we came out with engineering degrees. A lotta good that does. We use it every day!"
“I Majored In Psychology And Now I Go To Therapy.”
“I originally went to my local community college and got my associate's degree in Liberal Arts. Then I transferred to Temple University on full academic scholarship and got my Journalism degree. Ultimately, I graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Advertising and Public Relations and a minor in Statistics...And now I sell compromising videos and photos of myself online and tell people how to f**k."
"And why do I do this you may ask? Because I make more money that way than I do with all those degrees. In all seriousness though stay in school."
“I did my bachelor's in general arts with a minor in Philosophy, I have my paralegal license from the Law Society of Ontario, and I did my master's in Public Policy with a focus in Law. I currently tell people not to murder each other on the internet, and sell weasel-themed merchandise."