I used to dread talking about my degree with distant relatives over dinner.
“What course are you taking?” They’d ask over the last few spoonfuls of rice and embutido.
“Creative Writing po!” I’d say with a big smile.
Freshman me was more enthusiastic. Until I became more perceptive of the confused looks and the faltering smiles that masked my relatives’ confusion.
The louder titas and titos are more frank though.
“What’s that? What future will you have after college?”
“Oh, so Journalism?”
If my social battery is low or on power-saving mode, I’d usually smile and nod at the latter. Most times, I’d use my spiel. I’d say that we had four tracks we can choose to specialize in. Writing in poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama. It only covers the first question of the former though. How can a freshman kid like me answer the second?
After falling harder in love with my degree though, I bet I can better answer my titas and titos now. Except, they moved on to the buko salad and are talking scandalously about their pamangkin who plans on taking photography as a degree. And so, this list, in no particular order, is for all the kids out there doubting whether they should pursue their passions just because very few understand it.
1. AB Photography
Your favorite photos don’t have to remain in memory cards and camera rolls. Turn your hobby into your profession and work as an art, fashion, or wedding photographer. You can also venture into the advertising field, photojournalism, among many other possibilities, and tell the most meaningful stories through a single shot.
2. AB Art Management
If you love art, museums, and dream of curating an exhibit one day, this degree might just be for you. This degree trains you in curatorship, exhibition design, art writing, research and documentation, and the marketing and promotion of the arts. You could connect with local, international artistic and cultural institutions, become an art critic and historian, a culture and heritage advocate, or an editor for art and lifestyle publications once you graduate.
3. AB Interdisciplinary Studies
Can’t choose between two courses? You can have the best of both worlds through this degree! Take courses in at least two disciplines and study them through the interdisciplinary method. For example, you could take courses in both BS Management and BFA Creative Writing, or AB Communication and BFA Theatre Arts, to name a few, and become fully equipped to face a variety of fields after college. From working for the arts, media, or entrepreneurship, you can’t go wrong with this degree.
4. AB Panitikan (Filipino)
AB Panitikan shouldn’t have to be under an “Obscure College Degrees” list. Sadly, with the Supreme Court’s ruling on CHEd’s Memorandum Order No. 20 Series of 2013, that removes Filipino and Panitikan as a core subject, this is where the degree seems to be headed. That’s if, and only if we allow this to happen.
Cultivate your love for the country through research, creative writing, translating, and literary and cultural analysis in Filipino. Enter the academe, become a translator, a news writer, a publication staffer, a Filipino literary writer, a scriptwriter, or a cultural officer after college!
5. AB Production Design
Production designers might just be TV, film, and theatre’s more underrated heroes. In this degree, you will learn how to create new worlds or bring olden times to the present by studying theatre and film design, art history, media studies, stagecraft, prosthetics, and costume construction. After graduation, you’ll be ready to enter the field of media and arts and work as a costume designer, exhibit designer, set designer, or special effects artist for films or theatre plays.
6. BFA Creative Writing
Love reading books, poetry, essays, or watching plays? Why not write your own? In this degree, you will experience writing workshops in the genres of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and drama. Through the study of literary and critical texts and its creative process, you’ll be ready to work as either a content developer, editor, journalist, producer, a public relations officer, or a professor in the academe after college!
7. BFA Industrial Design
This fine arts course immerses you into the field of industrial design, photography, design theory, ergonomics, package and systems design, and drawing techniques for industrial design, among many others. These will allow you to design and develop packagings and the systems that go into the production of various products. Work for graphic design studios, manufacturing companies, and the creative industry after graduation.
8. BS Digital Game Design and Development
Turn your past-time into a full-time job! This five-year degree will teach you how to design and develop games not only for entertainment but for education, physical or mental therapy, cultural preservation, advertising and more. From learning about programming, algorithms, databases, and other fields of computer sciences and mathematics, you might just be ready to market your game before graduation.
At the end of the day, remember that obscurity is temporary. It’s only obscure now because there’s not yet enough of you who are brave enough or have the resources needed to walk on the road less traveled. But, you could be a pioneer. A pioneer paving the way for others more doubtful and afraid or do not yet have enough resources to reach for their dreams. Besides, when you love what you do enough, your relatives’ confused looks won’t matter.
One day, your skill, built by love and passion will make them understand. Pride and admiration will replace skepticism and it would all have been worth it. (Soldier on, pioneer!)
This story originally appeared on Edukasyon.ph. Minor edits have been made by the candymag.com editors.