Personal Column: My Future

In high school and even college there are many students that have not found out what they would like to pursue with their education. For me, this is more than true. I have spent countless days that turn into weeks evaluating my strengths, weaknesses, interests, dislikes, etc. to eliminate and include different future life goals for myself. The existential dread I feel is common among students, but handling yourself to ensure happiness in the overwhelming thoughts of the future is what matters. 

What many can consider an existential crisis, the contemplation of what our purpose in life may be, I have been experiencing for months now, especially considering I am now a junior in high school and nearing graduation. Being a junior is definitely considered young, I mean we are still children, and many kids are pressured to have their life laid out. But, there is a misconception that everything a child wants to accomplish in life must be planned out before or at the end of high school. 

The pressure adults unintentionally put on children can take a toll on them, we are constantly asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and although there is no harm in this question, the severity of our future is suggested from a young age. From that moment on, there has been an existential dread increasing in what I want to “be.” For me, this is beyond a job. I ask myself what kind of person I want to be, rather than what I want to do and that is the scariest thought. 

How people, including me, handle these overwhelming thoughts vary. I tend to take pleasure in small things I enjoy, like painting, photography and watching movies. Although those are helpful methods, it does not satisfy my worries. To satiate and calm down my thoughts, I do research on schools, consider jobs (especially those that are lesser known) and talk to others that might relate who can offer insight. Weighing my options has proven effective, I have since discovered I would like to pursue something including creativity that will help me grow and learn. 

As I share my thoughts and feelings I would like to reassure other students who may be struggling to figure out what they would like to do in the future that it is okay to struggle and it may take time. I would like to give you the friendly advice of considering your happiness over everything else when weighing options of what you want to “be” when you grow up.