Where do I go from here?

From a very young age we are asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” As children our responses are always full of imagination and fantastical ideas. We start off wanting to be princes or princesses, or dragons, and eventually as we learn about the world our desires turn to more realistic careers. Such as astronauts, dancers, actors, singers, lawyers, police officers, and fire fighters. Although adults may laugh and scoff at a few of these choices, they are all real world careers that, though it may be difficult, they are very  possible to achieve. As children, yes we dream, and we have incredible ideas for our future, but as we get older and the threat of “the real world” becomes more and more visceral, we must leave our inner child behind (yes even the dream of becoming a mermaid), and actually choose a career path.

The question that we, ourselves as intelligent adults, must pose is this, “what do I want to do with MY life?” That is the key, focusing on what you as an individual want. Many of us begin our college career studying what our parents have forced upon us, and if this is what you want, then great! keep studying, be merry, finish your degree in four years, graduate, and begin your life. BUT if what your parents and friends want for you is not what you want for yourself, you must disregard their opinion, politely of coarse. In the long run, studying what you want and what you love will make for a much better experience.

I have a friend who began studying Biology (lets call her Carmen), because her mother wanted her to, and because her father did not believe that an art career was going to be enough to provide for her.She tried, and she failed (quite literally failed out of her first attempt at college) , and she was miserable. Not to mention greatly disappointed  her parents and herself. Carmen never wanted to return to school,  thought that because she had failed in the past college was not suited for her. How wrong she was. Carmen switched schools and changed from a biology student to a theatre arts student and is infinitely more happy, and motivated. She is under no illusions, studying to be a performing actor is very tough, and the theatre world is very cut throat, however, because it is something that Carmen loves and, for as long as I have known her, has always loved, it is something she is very passionate about and invested in, I don’t think she minds the hard work. She knows her trade, Carmen goes to school to learn the business end of that trade, so that by the time she graduates, she  will be a well rounded, intelligent, professional actor and individual.

I share Carmen’s story to prove a point, This is your life, and your career, and your future. You cannot let another dictate what is best for you because at this point in your life, you are the only one that can say what is best and what will make you miserable. Our parents love us, no doubt, and they worry that we will enter a cruel world with a failing economy, and fail. But if you love what you do and you work hard, you will be able to have a successful career. Take the advice of those that came before you, do not negate it or toss it away. Genuinely take the advice offered, process it, accept it , and take from it what will help you move forward.

-CP-

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