By Meaghen Carter
Should I be worried that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up? I’m a second semester senior with scholarships to a great school where I’ll be at for the next four years, but it’s not knowing what comes after that scares me. Every adult I talk to seems to ask “What are you going to major in?,” “What’s your dream job,” or, the most terrifying, “What do you want to do with your life?” I mean, how should I know? I’m only 17 and I’ve barely been out in the real world. I’m still learning what I like to do and what I’m actually good at.
I thought asking my friends what they want to do would help me with my decision. They all seem to know what their calling is in life and it’s something they’ve been working toward for years. They want to be doctors, nurses, lawyers, engineers and businessmen. And lucky me, I have no interest in any of those.
So I thought about the classes I like and if any ideas could come from there. Psychology: Psychiatrist? I listen to enough people’s problems already. Psychologist? Doing our IA experiments, but a million times harder for the rest of my life? No thanks. Band: Any job in that field would require me to play my clarinet more than I already do, no. Student Leadership: Is there even a job for that? Guess not. Then I considered teaching in general, but I remembered I would have to deal with grading and obnoxious high schoolers. And that is something only certain incredible people can handle.
Next, I moved on to hobbies, but I soon realized no one would pay me for watching New Girl, playing Temple Run, or sleeping. I love baking (ask anyone that’s tried my banana bread, I’m pretty good), taking pictures and finding new music. And I know there are jobs that will allow me to do that, but do I even love any of those things enough? And finding a great, stable job in any of those fields would be nearly impossible with this economy.
Maybe looking at “what I want to be when I grow up…” worksheets from elementary school would help. I found pop star, famous actress and mom. Pop star? No, we are not even going to consider this one. Famous actress? As much as I’d love living in a studio apartment for the rest of my life, and maybe land one national commercial, I’m going to have to pass. Mom? Sure, but not for a very long time and I’ll still want a job.
So now here I am; sitting in the journalism room having a mini panic attack in my head over what I’m going to do with my life. All I have to go off of is a list of what I don’t want to and the link to a website that is supposedly going to tell me my ideal major. This whole crazy train of thought started when the Pussy Cat Dolls’ “When I Grow Up” came on the radio.
I’m sure I’ll be fine. I’m sure college will prepare me for my ideal job and for the real world. I’m sure I’ll figure all this out eventually. But right now, I have to enjoy the rest of my high school career and not worry about this. Because I want to spend these last few months here happy, and with my friends; not stressed out about things that are years down the road.