Saturday, June 14, 2014

Indulging in Big Dreams

Kids with big dreams are encouraged. Adults with big dreams are scoffed at. 

When you're a kid and you say you want to be the president, an astronaut, even Superman, teachers and parents and adults smile big and tell you with complete sincerity, "If you believe it, you can achieve it."

But when you're about to graduate from college and tell people about your big dreams, suddenly they're not inspiring, they're impractical. When are you going to start thinking about your career? Don't you want to do something practical and stable? It's not a viable option unless you can make money. Forget about having your big dreams supported as an adult if they're not sensible. It was cute when you were five but, when are you going to start growing up?

Taken in Notting Hill, London

It really bothers me that the question I get from everybody now that I'm a senior in college is, "So what do you want to do?" 

What do I want to do? I don't know. I guess I want to travel, I want to see the world, I want to take advantage of being young and go out to clubs before I get too old to be there. I want to fall in love over and over with different people and I want to take up cooking, no painting, no bartending. 

But that's not what you meant, is it? You mean what am I going to do as a post-grad to start building a "real" life for myself. What am I going to do as a career. What am I going to do to be a sensible, full-fledged adult. 

I know what you mean, but that's not how I will answer your question. What do I want to do? I want to live. I want to move abroad for a few years and teach English in another country. No, it won't help me build my career. No, I won't be making bank. But since when is that the most valuable thing in life?

My senior year of high school, I would hate going to family functions because I would inevitably get all the questions about which colleges I had gotten into and what I would major in. As a future film student, telling people that I would be majoring in film was not exactly "practical". And now, as a college senior without any clue as to what I want to do career wise, I find myself placed in the same situation. 

STOP. ASKING. ME. 

Not because I am ashamed of my answer, but because you will be ashamed for me. 

-A

2 comments:

  1. Hey! It feels great to have you back, I had been checking my feed daily to see if you had posted anything lately, so you can imagine my big smile now.

    In other words, I completely understand this post. I just recently graduated high school, and I got a scholarship to travel and study an IB in India, which is like going to high school all over again. While my parents have been pretty supportive, no one else has and it makes me sad and frustrated. I try to give it as less importance as I can, but it still hurts to see the people you love doubt your choices.

    Also, I plan to major in Art History, so all I get from friends and family every day are comments on how I will be poor and unsuccessful. I don't care about being poor. I want to see the world, and meet new people and try new things and learn languages. I want to feel happy and free and satisfied with the kind of things I'm choosing. So yeah, even though I'm younger, I kind of understand how you feel.

    Anyway, you go girl.

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    Replies
    1. Hey, thanks for the comment!

      I've talked to so many of my older relatives who all told me they didn't even find the career of their dreams until the second half of their life. Most people go through 3 or 4 career changes. My philosophy is that you have your whole life to find the career that suits you but you only have a short time to be young, so you might as well take advantage of your youthful energy and mobility while you can. As you get older, other things take precedence (career, husband/wife, children). You might not always have the desire or ability to travel. You never know what joys or sorrows life will bring so I try to ask myself: How much would I regret not doing what I love now (travel, study Art History) if something happened to prevent me from doing it in the future?

      I felt the same way as you in high school, I feel it now in college, and I am sure I will feel it throughout the future stages of my life. All I know is that I have not had a single regret about any of my choices because they were choices I made based on things that made me happy.

      Good luck with everything, and I hope I get to read about your studies and adventures someday!

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