I'm the girl that has flip-flopped on career paths, literally for as long as I knew what a career was. I started off wanting to be a veterinarian. Then, in middle school, I went to this Marine Biologist Fair at the University of South Florida and decided that Marine Biology was the way to go. After that, I began watching the show Criminal Minds and was dead-set on becoming a criminal psychologist. And after working with children who have autism, I flirted with the idea of Occupational Therapy.
Now that I'm in college, I'm working my non-existent booty off to become an Obstetrician-Gynecologist. With every single career path I just mentioned above, I laid out an extensive plan on how to reach the end goal to get that job. I researched undergraduate majors, good graduate schools, whether or not I had to get certified for anything after graduate school, and what kinds of places I could potentially be working in. The sheer amount of google docs that I have created and deleted in honor of planning out my future is beyond what my hands are able to count. I do want it all figured out, but I also want to explore my options, and those two things seem to clash in my mind.
Much of my uncertainty stems from struggling with feeling inferior when it came to intelligence, and that's probably my fault for surrounding myself with incredibly smart people. I spend so much of my time thinking of what I can't do rather than taking my time to figure out what I can. And the answer to what I can do is, literally anything that I want to do.
So this article is for the girl who wants it all figured out, but keeps doubting her capabilities. It's a hard mountain to climb, but you can do it. And here is how:
If you're trying to figure out a career path, talk to someone(s).
With everything that I considered being, I would look up videos and read articles about the day-to-day lives of real people that had those jobs. More recently, this past winter break I was told by three different people on three separate occasions that I should look into law. So, I contacted a friend of my sister's who is currently in law school and all it took was a 20-minute chat and me asking a shit ton of detailed questions to understand that I don't have the personality to handle the challenges that law school brings.
So, even though it's scary putting yourself out there, talk to someone and find out more about what you want to do.
If you're trying to figure out a major, use your school resources.
Now that you may have a general idea of what you want to do with your life, picking out a major that's right for your path might be the next step. Colleges and Universities have so many resources available to their students. Reach out to your advisors and talk to the career center. And if you happen to be in high school while you read this, reach out to your school counselor. They know a lot more than you might think, and most probably have the tools to help you.
Work hard and..maybe...play a little less.
If you're in college, then you clearly already have education as one of your top values. However, you've also probably felt the inclination to go out to the club and party a little bit! And by all means girl, get your freak on at the club with your friends or maybe a special someone, but don't go out so much that you lose sight of where you're heading towards. College goes by fast. And even though this is my freshman year, the time has gone by quicker than it ever has before. If you want to keep it all figured out, keep your partying at a level where you can still function once the weekend is over!
Use. Your. Planner.
In order to stay on your path to greatness, you have to keep yourself in line. That means, try to plan out your week ahead of time and when you feel inevitably overwhelmed and can't remember what you have planned next, you can take out your handy-dandy planner and take a deep breath because you had your own back.
Remind yourself that you may WANT to have everything figured out, but it's 100% okay if you don't.
One of the most frustrating parts of wanting to have everything figured out is when things don't go according to the Grand Plan. And that's going to happen a lot. So you need to give yourself a little reminder from time to time that you're not supposed to have literally everything figured out. Live in the present sometimes and don't get so caught up with where you're heading and forget where you are now, because I assure you that where you are now is pretty damn great!
I have been told so many times that it's okay to not have everything figured out, but that never seemed to ease my anxieties. Only I knew how to help myself, so I hope this article might help you do exactly that. And remember, this is only if you want to plan out your future. You can be just as or even more successful going with the flow of life.