We spend most of our teenage and young adulthood worrying about what we are going to do after high-school or college. We don’t have to say this out loud to know it’s true. Oh, did you just say you have never had this problem before? What are you, some kind of control freak?
It’s better if you haven’t, actually. It means you’ve never gone through the “existential crisis” phase! You deserve a cookie.
If you have, keep on reading, this is for you.
It took me a lot to learn this, too, but worrying just means “you suffer twice” (thanks, Newt). Don’t think that if you can’t find a job the second you graduate, you’re a failure, or that if you aren’t married by the age of 27 you are going to die alone. Read the title of the article again.
There’s plenty of time. My mum is the living proof: she has started an entire different career at the age of 46 after several years of not working. And she’s doing amazing. Why? She is happy. That’s what matters.
I was actually having this conversation with her today – I’m silently thanking her for being my inspiration – on regrets. She told me that when you choose a major, you put in perspective what you like doing, but what you can get a job out of. She said, translated and poorly quoted by me: “You need to decide to walk on a path that you will follow cheerfully after the college years, without feeling the burden of waking up every morning. A path that you know you’ll be able to walk on, even on your shittiest days.”
That’s an excellent way to put it, although, of course, I had something to say, too. I said: “Yeah, but that’s not very specific. I, as an individual, can do so many other accredited courses before, during, and even after college. On many other different specialities. I can have a PhD in Mathematics and become the best make-up artist in the world. I love doing both, but I had the opportunity of only one.”
What I am trying to advise you is to try everything you can in life. You never know where you’ll find yourself. If this course or event sounds interesting to you, don’t just decide not to go because “oh, it’s on Economics and I want to become a fashion designer”. You never know what you’ll learn there (even indirectly) and you never know how it will be useful later. Who knows? Maybe you find yourself liking Economics more than Fashion in the end. And oh, what a bummer you participated that time, you only ended up doing yourself a favour by becoming happier.
Don’t be let down by failure. So what if you didn’t get into Med school? That’s difficult as hell, anyway (major respect for the fellow Med students and graduates out there, you’re doing an amazing job, keep it up!!). It just means that is not what you were supposed to do, you were meant for something else. Find that something else and embrace it.
Another important aspect: if you don’t like it, leave. Yes, it might be the same thing your parents told you when you were dating in early high-school. Or not. Anyway, it applies later on, too. You realise that Computer Science is not for you? Change your major. Your boss is being an asshole? Try and solve this like a responsible adult, obviously. Talk with them. Find out why they’re being an asshole to you. Maybe you’ve done something wrong. Maybe that’s just how they are. You never know. They respond badly and you still aren’t satisfied? Leave. There’s thousands of better jobs waiting, and they don’t have to be in the same city, nor state.
Why stay miserable?
Because you’re a bit afraid to take a risk, probably. I’m not judging, it’s understandable. But, honestly, when you’re thinking not to quit stability due to people judging or whatever, it’s mostly only in your head. If it goes well, people will be proud. If it doesn’t, uhm, they don’t need to know. Nah, I’m kidding. If it doesn’t go well, go to the previous steps: fix it or leave.
What I’m truly trying to say, and at this point I believe I am only repeating myself, is that there is plenty of time. It’s true that your parents probably have had their jobs ever since they graduated and are sticking to it, but it’s 2017, for Christ’s sake! Don’t be afraid to do what truly makes your life worth living. While I agree, choose your path wisely, I also add, there are plenty of temporarily unexplored shortcuts that lead to a possible even better destination.
So, seniors, adults, kids dreaming of becoming whatever they want to become, there is hope. There is time. There is enough of everything you need. When you see this, and truly aim for it – I forgot to mention that it doesn’t just land in your hand, it flies around and you jump to catch it – you are certainly going to succeed.