Michelle: Ballerina, Teacher, Marine Biologist, Chef, Publicist or Just a Lost 22 Year Old

Growing up you’re constantly being asked what you want to do when you grow up, even when you are five years old and you barely know what that means. As a child, you always pick whatever you find somewhat cool at that second, like being a ballerina or a mermaid. That continuous asking and pressure is what makes you doubt yourself throughout your life, and has you constantly asking yourself if you’re on the right track.

If I were to tell you the number of times I changed my mind on what I was going to major in when I was a Senior, I don’t know if you would take me seriously. Some people are lucky and choose a career when they’re young and truly love it up until the moment they die. Unfortunately, as I said, I haven’t been that lucky.

Up until I was in 10th grade I swore up and down I was going to be a Marine Biologist, don’t ask me why I thought that was going to be my profession but I did, and then I took biology and I was like “yeah, I am not made for sciences”. Then I decided I wanted to go into culinary school because I love cooking and baking, after a while I wanted to go into theater, and so on and so forth until I made up my mind into Public Relations.  I started my bachelor’s in 2011 as a PR student, later on, changed my major to General Communications so I could have a “broader” understanding of the media.

Fast forward to 2016, almost a year after I finished my BA’s and here I am, still questioning every decision I’ve ever made. Not because I don’t like what I went to school for, but because I never realized that maybe I didn’t like it enough to make it one of my top priorities for the next 30 years. I think that’s one of the scariest things to consider, will I ever love something enough to be willing to do it for thirty years? We grow up feeling pressured about what our life will become after all of our school years are over, about how we’re going to sustain ourselves and our hypothetical families when we’re forty, and how you need to choose a promising career, whether or not it’s something that makes you happy.

I never felt pressured or limited by my family when it came to choosing a career, but I felt and I still feel crippled by my fear of disappointing not only others but myself. How am I supposed to choose one thing, when there’s a world of opportunities out there? How am I supposed to choose something that fills me with joy, but isn’t financially stable? Here I am, twenty-two and questioning every decision I’ve made, looking into multiples schools and programs that might be a better fit for me, while trying to figure out what I’m actually good at.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that this feeling of uncertainty is something all millennials are going through. So many people suffer from anxiety and other illnesses due to the stress this unspoken rule of choosing your entire life at five causes them. Why don’t we encourage people to explore all there is to explore growing up, to enhance their talents instead of putting them down because they “will not bring food to the table” later on in life. We’ve let baby boomers trap us in this bubble of misery, instead of letting ourselves seek for what will make us happy and what will let us become who we want to be in life.

Forever insecure but never settling,

                      - Michelle 

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