Being a senior in college, I am constantly "encouraged" to think about my next step. Every senior in college is because next year we won’t be in undergrad anymore. We will be sent off into the real world. The next step after college is different for everyone. For some people it’s grad school, for others it’s a gap year, and for some, it’s getting into the workforce. This is a big change in all of our lives, and it is not like in high school.
In high school, a lot of students go off to college or off to some type of higher education. Whether it’s trade school or community college for their associates. The path is kind of laid out for them. Also, the expectation for these young 17/18-year-old students is not massive in terms of them knowing what they want to do for the rest of their lives. For seniors graduating college, everyone expects that they know what they want to do since they had college to figure it out. Let me say this for all current seniors in college (which by the way, we’re still in an unprecedented pandemic), not everyone has it figured out. That’s okay, it’s part of life.
With that being said, this expectation has made me think a lot about what I want out of my life, professionally and personally. After spending countless hours thinking about it, I have a vague idea of what I want out of my life with the expectation that this probably will change as I get older.
Professionally, I want to be a high school science teacher. I have wanted that since I was 17 years old, and that goal has not changed. There were my times in my college experience where I questioned this, there were moments where I debated if I wanted to be an English teacher or something not in the education field (I did that for like a day.) However, I always came back to wanting to become a science teacher because it fits me like a missing puzzle piece. In the long term, I can envision myself staying as a teacher for the rest of my life or getting into educational policy and making a change on a systematic and hopefully national level. I fantasize about becoming the Secretary of Education someday, but that is such a pipe dream that I doubt it will ever come true.
As for my life outside of my career, this vision is not crystal clear in the slightest. It’s foggy at best. There are some days when I imagine traveling nonstop during the summers exploring the world and the United States. As I am traveling, I imagine myself living out of a van or tiny home and writing with the hopes of publishing some novels, have those make The New York Times Bestsellers' List. There are other days when I imagine myself flipping homes and random things for a profit. I don’t know, I can’t predict the future. Outside of writing and teaching/helping people, my favorite thing to do is to learn. This world is filled with an endless amount of wisdom and knowledge. I know I have only scratched the surface with what I have learned so far in my life. I want to always be learning in some capacity. That leads me to the one thing that I am certain about when it comes to what I want out of my life. At the end of the day, I want to continuously grow, learn, and be happy and healthy.
That desire could entail anything. It could entail picking up new skills like riding a skateboard, crocheting, learning sign language, cooking (I should learn how to cook regardless), anything else, or it could entail something in a different ballpark. Point is, as long as I am doing those 4 things, it would fulfill what I want out of my life.
What do you want out of your life? Think about it.
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