Ask and you will receive: A Guide to Building your Own Path

Ask and you will receive: A Guide to Building your Own Path


A question that many BA students keep constantly asking and weighs heavily on them is: “which field I should opt for to pursue my postgraduate studies (Linguistics, TEFL & Applied Linguistics, Culture, or Literature) is worth-pursuing ?”

First of all, it is arguable that there is no perfect field nor is there one that can work separately from other disciplines as long as humans deal with fields like Arts/Letters and Human/Social Sciences. Never do I, personally speaking, aim to prove the superiority of one artistic/literary genre over another.

The physician, for instance, uses his laboratory and consultation room to solve his patients’ problems. The linguist’s job is to theoretically examine the language, descriptively or prescriptively, and explain or come up with rules for learners to respect and use appropriately. The sociologist’s task is to analyze social phenomena related to society and then provide solutions for decision-makers. Each field appears to be unique, and, hence, all of them are complementary rather than contradictory, because we are in need of all of them; we need medicine, linguistics, sociology, and all other areas of study to account for many questions that have remained unanswered to date.
I now return to the question of which field is to be opted for in postgraduate studies.

Well, I believe, it’s all up to you as a BA student to decide. Ask yourself what you truly want in your future academic endeavors. Do you want to be a linguist, majoring in any field of this branch like phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics & pragmatics? Do you want to be a TEFL expert or an applied linguist, someone who wants to excel in a teaching-related field of study? Do you want to be a cultural scholar, going through one, from various, cultural subject(s)? Do you want to study literature and master one aspect as poetry, (post) modern novel or drama?

Whatever you desire or crave for, perhaps you should ask yourself, “Why do I want these major fields of study?” Do you want to major in culture, for example, because you really need to explore a certain issue that is novel and, therefore, has not previously been investigated? Do you want to major in literature, for instance, to make a comparative study of novels that previous scholars neglected before? Do you want to specialize in linguistics to tackle an issue, like phonology or syntax, which many scholars have missed? Do you want to major in TEFL & Applied Linguistics just because you feel that you want to investigate and add something to the field of education of your country? And, above all, why do you want to major in the aforementioned fields of expertise? Is it because you think it will give you feelings of satisfaction, success, pride, and achievement? Do you want to major in a specific field because of the feelings of contribution and making a difference you believe this will give you?

In short, if what you really want is simply to change the way something is understood, explained, conceived and constructed? If what it all comes down to is the fact that you want these things or results because you see them as a means to achieving certain feelings, emotions, states or goals, and most importantly “a job,” that you desire, then the the answer is as Mathew once said: “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”