(This probably is going to be a jumbled mess because I've got tons of things floating around in my head, so if it doesn't make sense, I apologize in advance!)
I guess let's start off by saying I'm only 20, so I know this is going to sound REALLY crazy, but all of a sudden I have started getting really scared and unsure about what I want to do with my life.
I feel like it's too late to take an interest in something to study at school. Most of my friends I went to high school with knew what they wanted to do, took AP classes, and then went on to college to study accordingly. I started high school thinking I wanted to be a pediatrician, so I took all the sciences and maths I could. Well, I realized "holy crap, that's a LOT of hard work and I don't have the passion to do all that" so I got over that "dream". (Really, I don't have a huge passion for anything... well, anything that I can translate into a job, which is my main problem I guess...) I got through high school and when it came time to apply for college and pick a major, I went with the default of Business Admin.
I've been thinking about it for a long time and I don't know if I'm happy just "settling" with a major. But, at the same time, I'm afraid I've already dropped the ball and am behind because I took so many classes in high school to prepare myself for one dream, only to forget about it all together. I didn't prepare myself for anything else. I feel like if I go into any other major (say, psychology, which is what I've been pondering for a little while now), I'll be behind. I know tons of people that took psychology classes in high school, I was not one of them. (HA! I can't even spell "psychology" right without the spell check! )
Then, I had the crazy (for me!) thought of "I'll just marry rich and raise a family! Then I won't have to think about what I want to do with my life!" Well, obviously there's holes in this. 1) I don't know anyone rich! 2) I don't want to get married OR have children! So, I think I need a back up plan...
So, my question for all you is: When did you know what you wanted to do? Did you ever feel like it was too late? That you were ill prepared? Am I destined to work retail forever??
I'm a firm believer in the "today is the 1st day of the rest of your life" philosophy - so go for it!
Best and Worst Jobs 2010:
With the present economy, it's important to pick a job/career that can't be easily outsourced.
You're still young, you're not really suppose to know what you want to do for the rest of your life at this age.
What I went to school for when I was 20 was Law Enforcement. I dropped that and joined the Marines to do a career and retire from. Yeah, 4 years of that was enough. I went back to work in the gym and teach aerobics and personal train, gave that up somewhat when I had kids. Decided culinary school was for me and that's my job now. I'll see how I feel 10 years down the road and if I'm in a new field then.
It's not all about money it's about doing what you feel is right for you for a career. Sometimes people are lucky and it's the one they study for others usually search until they find the right one.
I think it's a myth that by the age of 18 (graduating high school) you're really sure of what you want to be when you "grow up". Your interests change as you get older and gain confidence.
You're young enough to "try out" several careers and young enough to enjoy doing it. Not only that, but by doing so, gives you so much more versatility in future job markets.
I finally went to college after all my kids left home. Yes, I was a non-tradtional student and it was ok to do that. There is no stigma attached to that.
Sometimes you just have to try on several different hats to find the one that fits and looks good on you
Some people know what they want some don't. Some have people in their lives who naturally saw their gifts and interest and nudged them in the right direction. Some will wake up years after achieving their desired job only to find they really didn't want that at all. I had many career ideas when growing up and now I find cake a passion, because I like to make people happy, I love cake, and I love being artistic and accomplishing something and getting it totally finished and then on to the next task.
You should take an aptitude test and talk to a guidance counselor/career counselor. I think it's great that you are realizing this now and still have so much time ahead of you to reach whatever goals you set out for soon.
Thank you for all the words of encouragement! I've finally been able to register for some General Ed. classes at the state university, so now I don't feel so "Gosh, what am I doing with my life?!" I've signed up for a psychology class to see if it peaks my interest. I think that's what my plan is for now... dabble in a little of it all just to see what fits (like someone up there said ) I kind of like the idea of taking a bunch of "What? Why that?" classes. Who knows, maybe the most random class will end up making the most sense in the long run Underwater basketweaving anyone?? Haha! Joke!
Another thought... If you have a career that you may think is for you. Find someone currently in that field and ask to shadow them for a few days. Some careers look kind of cool and when it comes to the nuts and bolts it is actually quite boring.
I'm almost 32 and I still haven't settled on a career. You're young and have plenty of time. You don't have to set yourself on a path for the rest of your life right now.
all the current data on jobs/careers says that most people your age will have at least 4 if not more DIFFERENT careers in their lives.
find an interest -- pursue it.
when interest changes -- pursue the new one!
don't need to be a drudge stuck in the same rut all your life.
No, you don't sound crazy, you sound like a normal 20 year old. But that is what college is for..finding out what you DO want to do in life. Take your pre-reqs and take a few other classes to see what you may be interested in...you may be very surprised. The average college student changes their major 3 times.
The second point I would like to make is that what you start out doing in life may not be what you end up doing in life. You may take a more varied path...and that, someday, may include a husband and kids...or may not.
I started out with the husband, by your age I was pregnant and by 21 had my first child. I had been to college for two years and thought I wanted to be a teacher. Right about the time I got my AA in early childhood education I found out, thru practical application (working for a preschool) that I was truly not cut out to give all my energy every day to someone else's kids.
So back to college where I thought I wanted to be a nurse...fast forward 3 more years and I found out that photography is where my talents took me. From there I became a wedding/portrait photographer and was working outdoor photography for fun...then people started getting wind of that and liked my work and I became a nature/wildlife photographer for many years. I was still married with one child at this point.
Fast forward to 9 years ago when we had our son and I couldn't be gone for 2 weeks at a time on photo shoots. My daughter had started working events by this point and was asking me for help and suddenly I became an event coordinator.
3 years ago I sort of fell into cake decorating (something I'd only done for family/friends before) and became a professional 2 years ago at age 45. So now I am a cake artist as well as an event coordinator. A far cry from the teacher I thought I was going to be 27 years ago.
So, no, at 20 you don't necessary know where your life is going to take you or what you are going to end up doing for a living. But that's part of the journey of life...seeking out the answers and seeing where your interest and talents lead you.
Good luck with your journey.
its the 20 something crisis! lol. im having the same! i turn 20 at the end of the year.. annnnd im panicking. I dropped out of school at the begining of year 12 as i was offered a management role in the job i was working at at the time. I also had the promise of university training and working my way into head office (i was working for a big retail chain) Anyway, to cut a long story short, i feel pregnant a year later and moved 5 hours away to work a dead beat job and be with me (then) partner. I still planned to study, and actually had everything in line ready to go once my son was born. I worked up until a month before my son was born, so couldnt study then..
anyway, so things happened, my ex turned out to be a total a$$ and my perfect little dream fell apart. haha. oh goody. so i moved back to my "hometown". My son is now 14 mths old, im studying via distance ed. to be a personal trainer.. planning to go to uni next year..but what the hell am i going to do there? geez. i dont know.. im thinking teacher..
But it takes a while to figure things out, take my personal tarining, well, paid 5 grand for my quailifictaions, and have found out its going to be almost impossible to work as one. ( most trainers work early morning and late evening.. find me and childcare centre in my area open those sort of hours and i will love you for life...hahaha)
BUT, i can use my qualifications to get exemptions at uni! yay! So while im not nearly as motivated as i was when i first started the course (im being honest here) i know its still going to count, so i still do the work.
so basically, my point is, dont let yourself get down when your "dream" shatters in front of you. When it comes to careers, you can transfer skills all over the place! Most people have an average of around 7 careers or something these days.. ive decided im going to go thru my 7 as fast as possible so i can find the one thing i truly love..
so far ive been a waitress, retail assistant, customer service officer, personal trainer and a mummy. fair enough a mummy is going to be forever.. =) lol, but thats 5 careers down so far. hahahaha
I get into these crazed episodes every once in a while. Like, "Okay I have to do this, this, and this NOW! And if I don't the world is over." I've calmed down a bit, even more since reading all of these suggestions/words of encouragement. I'm still worried about it, but I know it'll all fall into place when it needs to.
I think what set me off was just slacking in school. I did a year at a regular university. Did a stint in culinary school after that. Then... I did nothing for a year. I felt totally down about myself and was fairly certain I was going nowhere. So, signing up for school has made me feel a whole lot better even if I don't know what I'm going to do with it. We'll see! Thanks again everyone!
lol i know exactly what you mean! i had a total freak out this year with the realization that i was turning 20.. its hard too, when you see some of your friends with their lives totally sorted! but when you think about it, most people our age are in the same boat.. just floating through trying to find what they want to do.. i think im almost settled on being a teacher.. almost...haha ive got another year to fully decide. good luck!