What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Easy. be rich. live in a united Ireland. be happy. Why is that not an acceptable answer?

I’m a final year student, so one thing I always get asked is, “so what are your plans for after uni?” Let me tell you now, I don’t even know what I’m having for dinner tonight, let alone what I’ll be doing for the rest of my life.

There’s this expectation that people should know exactly what they want to do and where they want to work, but no one really knows, do they? Some people figure it out when they’re 10. Others figure it out when they’re 40. Some never do.
Not even the people who ask the question know what they want to do.

How can someone who has work experience in 4 different roles possibly know which one job out of a million out there, they want to do? Maybe I’ll get a job related to my degree, maybe I won’t. I don’t have a BALDY. And that’s okay.

Final years and graduates don’t HAVE to go straight into a job that they’ll be in for the next 30 years. We are under enough pressure without being made to feel that we have to have it out figured it out, as if trying to figure out how to Harvard reference isn’t hard enough.

We hear “What do you want to be when you grow up?” from primary school. Don’t you think it’s a bit weird that one of the first things you ask a 5 year old, is what their desired employment is? Like, of course they don’t know what they want to be besides a “princess”, “astronaut” or “Shakira”. I’ve wanted to be famous, an author (attempted to write MANY novels but could never make the plot last longer than 1 page), a musician (can’t sing), a model (HA imagine), a lawyer (realised it was gonna be a LOT of work) and here I am full circle back to Shakira. She has a lovely life, wouldn’t mind being her. Or J Lo. She’s the dream.

Anyway, if that’s all the phases and notions we go through when we’re growing up, why would that stop? I’m still getting older, still figuring out what I like and what I’m good at (I will find something yet, just you wait). And I don’t expect that to stop. What’s all the fuss about wanting to know what you want to do? Sure isn’t life more exciting when you haven’t a CLUE what you’re doing?

You might want to be an accountant (God knows why), but you might get a job as one and actually hate it. Maybe it’s the job, maybe it’s the city, maybe it’s your boss (probably the job though). The same job isn’t actually the same job. You don’t know anything til you’ve tried it, even when you have, come a different set of circumstances like a different company, you could be miserable. Back to the “I don’t know” stage. Welcome, have a seat x

I’m not doing a degree where there’s a clear-cut path at the end of it. IT, go into IT. Law, go into law. Medicine, be a doctor (after like 20 years of uni). I do communication, advertising and marketing. So I have a whole load of choice and variety, which seems like a good idea but I’m hella indecisive so it would’ve been nice to have a narrower idea. But the thing is, I didn’t choose this degree for a job. I chose it because it sounded interesting and I fancied actually ENJOYING the next 4 years. So, if I don’t get a job related to it but that I still love, that’s okay. I don’t care that I don’t know what I want to do, so why should anyone else?

“What do you want to be?” Happy is a valid answer. Healthy is a valid answer. “I don’t know” is a valid answer. And Shakira sure as hell is a valid answer.

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