So results are out and some of us are starting college/uni and it’s supposed to be a really exciting time, the start of a new chapter in our lives and everyone is getting one step closer to their dreams.
Well, not everyone… some of us don’t know what exactly this ‘dream’ is. A lot of people have dreamt about their future career since they were little kids and know exactly what they want to do and it seems to me like those of us that don’t really know what we want to do are left behind, made to follow this system of education without any real motivation. I’m one of those people and over the years I have been looking for ways to overcome this difficulty.
You’re bound to have heard that even people that think they know what they want to be when they grow up don’t always end up there; but at this stage when you’re still studying, it can be very difficult to put all of your effort into a course or selection of subjects that you don’t really care about. You may have chosen a course that opens you up to a range of careers, or subjects at college for the very same reason, you may be good at everything and not really have a passion for anything- this is all okay, as long as you think positively about the future and make a conscious effort to try and figure things out.
One thing I would highly recommend is work experience, preferably in your field of study, this will help you to decide whether what you have decided to do (for now at least) is really what you want to be doing 10 years. But experience isn’t always easy to come by, so if you can, speak to people who are already in this field, ask them questions and get a feel for the industry, there are lots of online forums with professionals made for this purpose where you can ask questions, one that I visited back when I was applying for university was engineergirl.org
But more importantly, learn about yourself. You aren’t a Sim with five set traits, as you grow up you change, evolve and mature (hopefully), situations may change you and it is very easy to learn about other people from good/bad experiences but what is most important is learning about yourself.
An article I read on Harvard Business Review spoke about feedback analysis. When beginning a course/placement/job etc, ask yourself what you hope to achieve, having expectations makes it easier to decide what is right or wrong for you. This way, when that period is over, you can look back and see what targets/expectations were met, what else you gained, and how you feel about the situation in a clear and logical manner. This also allows you to begin to limit your options and rule out what doesn’t suit you. Every experience is a learning one, so be sure to take as much as you can from each!
If after each experience your response is “No, this isn’t for me” don’t be disheartened, staying positive is key, I speak from experience when I say that having a negative mindset about the unknown is more likely to make it worse than better. People forget that not everyone has clear cut goals and it can be hard to try and set big life goals when you feel lost and confused in a world where everyone seems to have things planned out. But you can be one of them too, you can plan out your confusion.
You may not know where you are going, but you know what your options are, you can plan how to try them out to the best of your ability, use them to develop yourself, build up your experience and move onto the next challenge. If like me you enjoy change, then being ‘confused’ is a plus in the sense that you allow yourself to try a variety of things!
Every career has a form of development, you are rarely ever stuck in one place doing one thing for the rest of your life, and the same goes with your path towards this career/s, so enjoy the journey and try and keep a positive mind about what the future holds. As a believer, when I begin to feel worried or anxious about where I might be in the next five years I have to remind myself that despite my lack of direction throughout my educational journey, and life in general, God has never not found a way for me, I have never lacked or found myself in detrimental situations; so regardless of my fears I will be somewhere at some point and I know that it will be God that took me there because I have absolutely no idea where to take myself anyway!
I hope that this has been somewhat encouraging- ultimately it all comes down for living the present. I felt that this group of people no matter how small, needed to be reminded that you don’t always need to know where you are going to be, you just need to have faith that you will be something.