I have always been a planner. I've planned out every aspect of my life down to the smallest, most minuscule detail. And my career aspirations post-grad were no different. For as long as I can remember I've always had these dreams and goals that I've strived for, but now as I'm about to graduate college, it's crazy to see these dreams are actually coming true.
When I was growing up I always was hard on myself. I expected a lot but that was mostly because I had these ideas of where I wanted my life to go. In high school I worked incredibly hard to do well, to be involved so that I could get into the school I wanted— the University of Central Florida.
Most people in high school, from friends to teacher's, even my friends' parents, they all questioned why I wanted to go there, claiming that I was "too smart" or that I could get into a more prestigious university. And while that was kind that they thought so highly of me, it also was insulting. Because the truth is, I didn't care about the prestige. I cared about what was going to make me happy, help me learn the most within my desired field, and most importantly, allow me to thrive and grow as a person. And I can say without a shadow of a doubt this was the best place for me.
It wasn't until my junior year of high school that I first came across the field of advertising and public relations and instantly I could tell this was the path for me. I did my research, completed endless "what career should you do" quizzes, and time and time again I kept coming back to this field. As I write this I am now college senior majoring in advertising and public relations with a job secured for post-grad with the company I always dreamed of working for. And I can say without a shadow of a doubt this was the best choice for me.
However, much like with my school choice, many people had their doubts. They told me I should be a doctor or a lawyer. They told me I wouldn't make money or I wouldn't be as successful as if I did something that used my brain more. And again, this was meant to be kind, but it was hurtful.
If I've learned anything over these past four years, it's that it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks about your choices in your career. It's your career. You're the one who will have to wake up every morning and go to work, who will have to hustle day after day. If you enjoy what you're doing, that's the most important thing. Play to your strengths and what you love, don't chase a paycheck. If I would have listened to all those people who doubted my school choice or my career choice I know for certain I would not be as happy as I am today.
With less than 50 days until I graduate and officially join the real world, I am incredibly calm and relaxed, which is not my usual state with my future. But the difference is that now I am confident with who I am and what I can accomplish. I have learned so much over these last few years. I've met so many amazing people, personally and professionally, who have taught me so much. I've fallen in love with the path I have chosen and know I am ready for what comes next.
The best advice I can give anyone, whether you're about to start your college journey, in the middle, about to finish, or long out of it, is to go with your heart—it's never too late to chase your dreams. Don't let anyone deter you from what you love. It's your life, and when you follow your heart and never stop, you will be successful.