What Am I Doing With My Life?
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Politics and Activism

What Am I Doing With My Life?

How old is too old to dream?

What Am I Doing With My Life?

The life I pictured myself having as a 20-year-old in college back when I was in high school is a far cry from the reality. I don't exactly know why I thought that college was such a leap into the future, why 20 sounded like an age I wouldn't reach for a long time, or how I would be any better at making a decision as a 20-year-old when I couldn't be trusted to make a clear choice when I was just four years younger.

Now that I am an adult, I find myself wishing that people would still use that excuse to not tell me things, "Don't worry about that until you're older," and I know that sounds slightly ridiculous because I, and I'm sure plenty of other people, genuinely like being kept in the loop and also like knowing as much as possible about everything that has something to do with them. However, sometimes I end up in situations where being naive would come in handy.

When I'm sitting down to family dinners and am asked by relatives what I plan to do with my life after college, I can feel the blood rushing to my face. I shouldn't be embarrassed that I don't know what exactly I want to be when I grow up, but sometimes I can't help it. They give me some pity, "Well, you have a lot of time until you have to decide." Do I really have to decide at all?

Granted, some of the people who speak with me about the future have their lives mapped out, down to plans for grad school, dream jobs, and where they could see themselves spending the rest of their lives. I don't even know what I want to eat for dinner, much less where I see myself 10 or, frighteningly, 20 years from now.

This is not for lack of trying, though. I have imagined my life with so many different career outlooks, lifestyles, locations--you name it. I find that I am fascinated by everything, so it's hard to choose. The world is so massive and brimming with possibilities, how does anyone choose?

When I was little, one day I wanted to dig up dinosaurs, the next day I wanted to bake bread for the rest of my life. Looking back now, I knew my aspirations were a bit scattered, but I don't see anything wrong with that. Aren't children supposed to grow up believing they could do and be anything? I wonder when that is supposed to stop, when our youth are expected to stop dreaming as gigantically as they do, and narrow their thinking to one profession. That seems so stifling, pushing a person into one role when they could see themselves in many.

I see nothing wrong with being the age that I am and still having a hard time figuring out what I want to be when I grow up. However, I do see something wrong with the expectations I feel are placed upon me and the people my age when it comes to making those big-picture decisions. Maybe some of us weren't meant to have a game plan for the rest of our lives. Everyone is different, and there are a million ways to get from point A to point B; some might just arrive there a little differently than others.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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