“Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.” This quote left me with a powerful message, as I kept it proudly hung above my bed all four years of college. What it didn’t account for, however, is advice on how to find what that fire-setting thing actually is, or where to even find the fuel in the first place.
So you're 22 years old, a recent college graduate, and don't have the slightest clue where to go from here? Join the club.
You’ve spent countless hours researching every potential career path under the sun. You started out your life wanting to be an artist, finger painting your way to fame.
You moved on to wanting to be an astronaut, but then quickly realized knowing all eight planets by heart isn’t enough of a qualification. Then you moved on to wanting to be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, engineer, architect, and then back to doctor (Wait, how long is residency again???) Hey, at least you have options right?
Ultimately, you've decided you really don’t know what you want in life — and that's OK.
When you imagine yourself 15 years from now, an infinite number of scenarios cycle through your head. Will you be living on the west coast or east coast, or perhaps even in Canada? 10 kids or no kids? This level of indecisiveness and uncertainty is not uncommon among those in our generation. Unfortunately, not many people don’t revere indecisiveness as a phenomenal character trait; you'll have to evade a lot of "but you ought to have it figured out by now!"s in your life.
But you’re 22 and sometimes you still accidentally refer to yourself as a kid — that’s because for all intents and purposes — you kind of still are. You have your entire whole life ahead of you, and if you’re lucky, about 80 more years to figure out what you want out of it. It’s never too late to find yourself. Some lucky people figure out what they want in life at 12, some at 65, but most don’t figure out what they truly want until they’re well into their 20s.
If you’re someone who still has no idea what you’re doing with your life, you're in good company.
Just take a second to breathe; get to know yourself a little better before you dive into something; don’t jump into a profession just to make others happy; and for God’s sake just stop and smell the flowers every once in awhile, maybe you’ll even decide you want to be a botanist.