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Unsure about the future and okay with that
April 21, 2023
Every time someone asks me what I want to do when I grow up, I jokingly respond with: “That’s a great question,” and then proceed to tell them that I have no clue what I want to do when I’m older. I mean, I have some ideas, but I’m not particularly passionate about any of them, and I know that many other people are experiencing the same dilemma.
For the longest time, I thought I would computer program for a living. I’ve taken computer science classes at school ever since I was first given the opportunity in eighth grade, because I thought computer science was my thing. And while I haven’t ruled it out entirely, in recent months I’ve realized that computer science is not my thing, because if it were, wouldn’t I be coding in my free time? Wouldn’t I have built and programmed my own lightsaber by now?
Not to mention that there are so many subjects I enjoy, so many things I’m interested in, but I can’t tell if any of them would suffice as a career. I love to read, but I can’t see myself being a writer (ironic considering I’m writing right now). I love movies and television, but I cringe at the thought of having to tell people I’m a film major (that’s a ridiculous reason not to join the film industry). But how can I discard an entire career when I’ve never experienced it?
With all this uncertainty, there’s only one thing I can do: make an effort to find a career that I love. This is why it’s so important for teenagers to take advantage of the opportunities we are given. Join a club, even if you’re unsure about it at first. It might become something you look forward to each week. Apply for an internship and see if you might consider it as a possible career path. Take a college course at Metropolitan Community College—for free—and decide whether the subject matter is something you’d like to pursue further. Our passion won’t come to us, we must actively seek it out.
But it might take time, which is something we still have plenty of. Really, we have our whole lives to discover our passion. If you’re going straight into the workforce after high school, you aren’t stuck with the career you’ve chosen. According to numerous online sources, such as Career Foundry, the average person will change careers five to seven times in their life. It will take a few tries, but eventually, we’ll end up where we’re supposed to be.
And if you plan on pursuing a higher education, most colleges allow you to apply undecided. This enables you to spend your first year or two getting general education requirements out of the way and exploring possible interests both in and outside of your classes. According to Amy Bergerson, associate provost and dean for undergraduate education at Miami University, the national average of students who change their college major is 75%.
So, if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, don’t be hard on yourself. We’re not alone in our indecisiveness, and it only makes us more human. Also, we’re teenagers, and we will still have plenty of opportunities to discover our passion. I wish everyone, especially those with a graduation in their near future, a successful and fulfilling life outside of Central High School, even if you’re not yet sure what that will look like.