While I sit here, finals almost done, a few days left as a junior in college, I wonder what my future career will be like. I question if I will even be able to get a job in the first place. I try to imagine myself as a teacher working with kids in a brand new classroom. I’ve had so many people ask me what my “plans for the future are,” and honestly, that is a really loaded question. I say this because although I may have an idea of what I want to do and what I want my future to be like, that does not mean that what I envision will be what actually happens. Often times, we get to the interview, get the job, are told what our position is going to be, and when you get there… things changed and you are doing something totally unexpected. I am not saying it is a bad thing to think about future plans, and it is not disrespectful or rude to ask someone what their plans are, but I do not think you can give a true and honest answer to that question.
From the time that we are young, we have these plans for ourselves. We say, “When I grow up, I want to be a…” There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You are expressing your interest in something that you might do when you are grown. However, the stress of making plans for the future comes when these young kids grow up and go to high school. Here, students are overwhelmed with focusing on skills to help them succeed so they can go to college, make good money, and live the life! Yeah… why? Why do we overwhelm students like this? I remember being asked on a weekly basis by guidance counselors, teachers, and family members about what my future aspirations were, where I wanted to go to college, how long would I seek out my education… blah blah blah… It became so overwhelming. I knew that I had an interest in education, but when people are constantly in your ear, it becomes too much.
As a college student, I changed my major from Early Childhood Education to a Dual major of Early Childhood Education and Special Education. I’ve had friends who have changed their majors two or three times. I know people who have had to take a break from school to work to make money or simply could not afford to go to school. Life changes! Therefore, plans change!Life is not a consistent thing. Expecting high schoolers, and even college students, to know what they want to do is not realistic. Plans change. How we think and feel about different aspects of life changes. Sometimes, we get into the field we thought we wanted, and we find out it wasn’t anything like we had expected. It is ok to have an idea for your future plans. That is totally acceptable, but not everyone has to. Accept those people who do not yet have a plan. They will find their purpose.