Everyone is familiar with that anxiety inducing question. When I switched majors last January, I thought I finally had the answer. I could tell people I was a journalism major now, and they would nod approvingly and tell me what a great fit it was, since I loved writing so much.
Then, the new question came: “What do you want to do with that?”
Well, I don’t even know what I’m doing five minutes from now. So, you can imagine my reaction when this comes up.
The options are endless when it comes to my degree and I’m sure most students can relate to the feeling. I could be a reporter, a professional blogger, write for an online newspaper or magazine or social media platform, work behind the scenes on a news or film set, manage a company’s social media, write for a print magazine or newspaper, etc. The list could go on.
I could do or be anything and that scares me to no end.
Generations before us had to decide on a single career for the rest of their working lives and become company people. Some literally died working. As difficult as it is deciding a single career the rest of your life, it’s impossible trying to figure out what I want to do in an industry that is constantly evolving and creating new jobs.
Our generation isn’t a company-man generation anymore. We don’t stick with one job for the rest of our lives, and I’m honestly OK with that. I’d probably stick my head through a wall if I had to spend 8 hours a day in a cubicle.
Our elders tell us to enjoy our youth while it’s still here, but also expect us to know what we want to do before we’re 23. You get into college and you’re told that you have plenty of time to decide, but the joke is on you — because four years is not long at all.
With all the endless possibilities, I keep having to remind myself of this one basic truth: I am meant to write.
Everyone has their gift and that’s great, but what happens after you discover what that is? Some people have the gift of numbers, while others can build with their bare hands. That’s what is so amazing and daunting about the world we live in today — we aren’t confined to one option. It’s OK to not know exactly what you want to do right now.