For some of you — namely, all of you high school babies reading this right now — this is a question you may have heard lately.
Late last week, I attended an event at my high school. (No, it wasn’t my 10 year reunion. I feel like that really isn’t a thing anymore?) I realized that it would be the last event I’d be attending at my high school ever again, and it made me hella nostalgic. It’s my baby cousin’s last year in high school also, and so of course, it made me look back at my time in high school — specifically the part about figuring out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
Over the years, people have told me how lucky I am to have found something that I genuinely love to do. While I think that they’re absolutely right, I didn’t always know that I wanted to be a writer. In fact, I wanted be a lot of different things before I decided I would pursue a career in writing. Here are all of my career aspirations, in chronological order:
Would I still accept the job of singer? Why yes, yes I would — and I do, during nights out at karaoke with friends, and after a few drinks.
What I’m trying to say, is that not everyone will know what they want to do right away, and that’s totally fine. Not to mention, I think it’s entirely unfair to expect a 17/18 year-old to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. I mean, I cycled through the last six career options on my list from grade 11 to 12! I will say that yes, I did get really lucky, in that I found something to do that I both enjoy AND allows me to pay the bills. However, I will admit that a lot of my inspiration for wanting to become a writer came from the movie ‘Almost Famous,’ and TV shows like ‘Student Bodies‘ and ‘Sex and the City.’ Yes, I was a girl who wanted to write and wear great clothes, just like Carrie Bradshaw — except I was always team Aidan. Remember, I was 18 when I applied to universities. I chose something that I felt I could be good at, but my choice was based on highly-romanticized fiction. I count my lucky stars every day that this choice didn’t backfire in a spectacular way, as it absolutely could have.
Throwing up this graduation photo for a little inspiration, because while it might not seem like it, there is absolutely a light at the end of the academic tunnel, and it may seem like your life will come crashing down if you don’t choose your career path right away, but I’m here to say that it totally will not. I feel like a lot of people also compare themselves to their peers, and that is such a dangerous and unhealthy thing to do, because no two people are exactly alike, so why should our experiences? I know someone who literally left college after a week of attending, because they felt like their living situation wasn’t ideal. Removing yourself from a situation by doing something drastic like dropping out of college could seem like a terrible thing to do because people frown upon it, but you have to look out for yourself, and make decisions that are going to benefit you in the long run.
Today, I’m making a living writing my little heart out, but my career hasn’t been without it’s twists and turns. In fact, my writing pursuits have taken me to unexpected places (like unemployment), and to some really cool jobs as well. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m still learning.
I think the most important thing to know when you’re deciding on your educational and career path, is that nothing is permanent, and you should feel okay about wanting to do a few things at once. Not everyone sticks to doing one thing for the rest of their life, and that should be an exciting idea, rather than a scary one. I’m still low-key hoping I can be a writer/singer/artist/psychologist some day.