Merely asking a student, “What do you want to do in the future?” can cause serious worry to arise from the depths of their souls. Before we transitioned to adulthood, we didn’t have to be serious with our response to that question. However, once we enter the last couple of years of college, parents begin to want an earnest answer.
Even so, this earnest answer strikes fear of the future into the hearts of any college student.
As an elementary school student, I used to tell people I wanted to be president, as I’d always wanted to become the female president. I quickly realized that becoming president entails many public speaking events. I quickly threw that career option out the window after that.
I then changed my desired career path to a teacher and then nurse. I aspired to care for others and nurture them.
Then, middle school came, and I discovered my hatred for science. I realized pursuing nursing wouldn’t prove feasible, as I would not grasp the knowledge required for this profession. was not the correct path for me to take.
Not until 10th grade did I realize I wanted to pursue a career related to English literature.
Although I first considered becoming an author, I recognized the slim changes of becoming a successful writer. Then an epiphany came to me one day. As I watched a Harry Potter marathon over the summer, sitting bundled underneath a blanket on my couch, I wondered how J.K. Rowling’s editor felt reading her stories for the first time.I then concluded that I wanted to work at a publishing house, and have felt that way ever since.
I’ve had a few trials and tribulations along the way: people questioning my choice in career, their facial expressions demeaning my desired occupation. Alternatively, when I have a hard time analyzing a passage for one of my English courses, I doubt myself, wondering if I have chosen the right path for myself.
The future can seem terrifying. No one knows what will happen tomorrow. No one even knows what will happen in the next ten minutes.
Whenever I tell someone that I double major in English and Classics, they give me an odd face. They wonder what I could do with those two degrees and worry that it’ll turn out as a waste of my time (as if I don’t worry about that enough). I understand that it might prove difficult to obtain a job in a publishing house, but I feel ready to do whatever it takes.
Regardless of how prepared we feel for our future, anything can happen. Someone might wake up one day and realize they want to pursue a different career path. That idea that we’ll strive toward our goals only to question years of hard work scares us. I still question myself every once in a while. I worry about what the future has in store for me. However, I remind myself that no matter how much I try to prepare, I can’t change fate. No one can. We need to take it one day at a time and not overthink into the future.