by Jessica Newlin
When you're in high school, you spend hours taking personality tests that are supposed to match you up with your ideal career. It's based on whether you like to work with people, facts or ideas. Or how compatible you are with being a doctor, a teacher or an artist. My first result? Coroner. I like to deal with facts, details and information, and much less with people. The results didn't get anyone too far though -- nobody had an enlightening moment of "hey, that's what I want to do with the rest of my life."
Find Your Passion
Throughout most of my childhood, I wanted to own my own restaurant, be my own boss and cook food that had the most beautiful presentation. I soon realized that the culinary business was cutthroat for women -- it was a career that throughout history had been sexist towards women. I made the decision that cooking was more of a passion and not my future.
I then decided on being a lawyer. I greatly enjoyed watching CSI, Law and Order and the Mentalist. I wanted to be the person who dealt with case files, clients and the justice system. I decided to go to Adrian College and pursue the Criminal Justice degree with a law track. My sophomore year, I transferred to The University of Toledo and soon realized I wasn't happy with the field I had chosen. If I wanted to go to law school, I could always do it after getting a degree in something I enjoyed.
I thought about taking a semester off because I didn't want to rush a decision I thought I had figured out. So, what I started doing was writing. Writing about my fears, my thoughts, my insecurities -- and it hit me.
I've always written. I've written essays, love letters and just thoughts, and I've enjoyed doing it. I never get bored while reading or writing and I grew up reading much more than the average individual. I wanted to write things that everyone else could read and would be drawn to read until the very last page.
What Do You Want To Do the Rest of Your Life?
You probably won't have it all figured out your freshmen year or sometimes even your sophomore year. Some students spend years upon years in school because they've changed their minds so many times -- and nothing is wrong with that. Mainly, don't be afraid to admit to yourself you aren't happy with what you're doing. I never quite understood how someone who's 18 years old can be expected to decide what they want to do with the rest of their life. That's a hard question, one that some adults in their 30s might not even be able to answer.
As humans, we are constantly learning and we learn as we change. Nothing is wrong with change as long as it contributes to your happiness. You don't have to have it all figured out because, honestly, you never will anyway.
The Bottom Line
Sorry, but career services can only give you ideas; they can't make the decision for you. It may have hit you when you were 15, but most likely it might not hit you until after you have your degree. It's something no college office or counselor can help you decide, or else it wouldn't be your ideas or your choice.
One thing I struggle with is stressing over the future, the unknown. It's hard for me to deal with things I can't control. This was one thing I couldn't control; I had to let it go and give it up in order to understand what I was really meant to do: write.
Don't stress about it. It's a journey, and you'll reach the destination eventually...you just might get there in a different way, in your own time.