It's OK to be 20 and Have No Idea What You Want To Do

It's OK To Be 20 And Have No Idea What You Want To Do With Your Life

Now is the perfect time for trial and error.


Since the earliest days of our educational careers, we have been asked what we want to be when we grow up. Our dream jobs start out as "police officer" or "fireman," or, like my nephew, they start with more creative jobs like "racecar driver" or "singer."

As we grow older, those broad answers dwindle down to very specific ones. We learn what we're good at and what subjects we hate (I'm looking at you, history). By the time we reach our senior year of high school, we are all supposed to know what exact job we want to have for the rest of our lives.

I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do in my life from the moment I picked up a camera for the first time. My best friend and I would go around our neighborhood for hours filming our own version of "iCarly" and producing our own silly short films. In high school, I started at a CTE school where I received hands-on learning for this career of video work I wanted to go into.

By sophomore year of high school, I thought I had my entire college career planned out.

I had my dream college chosen, my academic calendar for that school planned, and even had an internship opportunity picked out with a "How-To" guide in terms of applications. I was ready for what I thought was going to be my future.

Little did innocent me know that God had other plans for my future.

As I entered college, I took a creative writing class. I had no interest in this class besides the fact that it fulfilled a requirement for my college. By the end of the semester, I had found a new love and skill of mine.

This past school year, I began writing articles for this awesome website that you are on right now! I discovered a love for something I never knew I had a love for.

As excited as I was to start back into my video/film journey, it felt as if something was missing when I sat down in classes for my major.

As we began filming short films, there was none of that joy in what I was doing as I had felt before. No matter how many times I tried to get myself amped up to film, something I once did every day, I couldn't feel the same feeling I once had. There was a part of me that felt as if I didn't fit in with those I had classes with. There was this gut feeling in me that video work just wasn't for me.

I mentioned the idea of switching majors to my parents and they were fairly, if not fully, on board with the decision. \

Do I know exactly what I want to do? No, but that is totally fine.

I am nearly 20 years old and still have no clue what I want to do with my life.

Some may view this as a problem, but I view this as a perfect opportunity for trial and error. At what other point in my life will I have the ability to do a complete turn-around, other than during a mid-life crisis?

This is the perfect time to stop, think, and figure out what you want to do with your life before we are all hit with the reality of adulthood, if we haven't already.

It's okay to have no idea what you want to do with your life at 20. Truth is, even adults don't know what they want to do with their lives. It's not something we will know immediately. It's all about trial and error, and now is the perfect time to do it.

Popular Right Now

Working With People Who Are Dying Teaches You So Much About How To Live

Spending time with hospice patients taught me about the art of dying.


Death is a difficult subject.

It is addressed differently across cultures, lifestyles, and religions, and it can be difficult to find the right words to say when in the company of someone who is dying. I have spent a lot of time working with hospice patients, and I bore witness to the varying degrees of memory loss and cognitive decline that accompany aging and disease.

The patients I worked with had diverse stories and interests, and although we might have had some trouble understanding each other, we found ways to communicate that transcended any typical conversation.

I especially learned a lot from patients severely affected by dementia.

They spoke in riddles, but their emotions were clearly communicated through their facial expressions and general demeanor, which told a story all on their own.

We would connect through smiles and short phrases, yes or no questions, but more often than not, their minds were in another place. Some patients would repeat the details of the same event, over and over, with varying levels of detail each time.

Others would revert to a child-like state, wondering about their parents, about school, and about family and friends they hadn't seen in a long time.

I often wondered why their minds chose to wander to a certain event or time period and leave them stranded there before the end of their life. Was an emotionally salient event reinforcing itself in their memories?

Was their subconscious trying to reconnect with people from their past? All I could do was agree and follow their lead because the last thing I wanted to do was break their pleasant memory.

I felt honored to be able to spend time with them, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was intruding on their final moments, moments that might be better spent with family and loved ones. I didn't know them in their life, so I wondered how they benefited from my presence in their death.

However, after learning that several of the patients I visited didn't have anyone to come to see them, I began to cherish every moment spent, whether it was in laughter or in tears. Several of the patients never remembered me. Each week, I was a new person, and each week they had a different variation of the same story that they needed to tell me.

In a way, it might have made it easier to start fresh every week rather than to grow attached to a person they would soon leave.

Usually, the stories were light-hearted.

They were reliving a memory or experiencing life again as if it were the first time, but as the end draws nearer, a drastic shift in mood and demeanor is evident.

A patient who was once friendly and jolly can quickly become quiet, reflective, and despondent. I've seen patients break down and cry, not because of their current situation, but because they were mourning old ones. These times taught me a lot about how to be just what that person needs towards the end of their life.

I didn't need to understand why they were upset or what they wanted to say.

The somber tone and tired eyes let me know that what they had to say was important and worth hearing. What mattered most is that someone who cared was there to hear it.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

My First College Gal Pal Road Trip Was Amazing

Every girl should have one good girls trip.


In some way or another, everybody has a list of things they want to do in their lives before it's all over. After all, we're human. There's adventure to be had in every life. One thing I have always wanted to do before I grew too old and grey was go on a road trip with my gal pals to the beach. A couple weeks ago, I achieved this memorable milestone, and it allowed me to open up to new surroundings and experiences.

On this trip, I went with two of my friends from college, Kait and Lindsey, to visit my roommate Elizabeth in Virginia Beach. This was pretty big for Lindsey and I because neither of us had been to Virginia Beach before. Thankfully Elizabeth and Kait knew their way around the city, so we never got lost on our way to and fro.

Like most vacations, my favorite parts probably took place at the beach. I'm always at utter peace stomping through mushy sand or leaning down to splash the salty water that tries to knock my short self over. We took pictures and did something us college girls rarely have time to do especially in school: Relax.

The four of us did not live up to the crazed stereotype of girl trips in movies. Although I finally got a chance to sing along to Taylor Swift in a car ride with my friends, so that's always a plus. We played "Top Golf" one day, and by some miracle, I actually won the second game by a fair amount after much humiliation in the first one. We visited some of Elizabeth's family, and I finally got to meet her giant dog Apollo (I call him 'Wolf Dog'). Everyday was another chance to ask with enthusiasm: "So what are we doing today?"

Our trip wasn't like the movies where we all cried or confessed our deepest darkest secrets. Everything the four of us shared was laughter and this calm feeling of being at home, in the chaotic peace of each other's company. We understand each other a little better due to finally seeing what we're like outside of Longwood University. After this, all I can say is that we're most definitely planning the next one!

Related Content

Facebook Comments