Live life based on passion, not college major

Story by Megan Henry

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When I was in elementary school I remember being asked what I wanted to be when I grow up. I answered “teacher,” like half of the girls in my class, and listened to the boys ramble off answers like “police officer” and “fire fighter.”

Now that I’m an adult, I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Sure, I have my major picked out, and I have a job track in mind, but I don’t know if that’s really what I want to do my entire life.

And you know what, I think that’s OK.

It’s scary to think that 18-year-old recent high school graduates have to pick a major they’ll spend the rest of their lives working in, when only a couple months ago they had to raise their hand to go to the bathroom. That’s some major pressure.

Sure, some people know what they want to do without a doubt. But what if you don’t? I had a good idea at the time that I wanted to work with journalism. Then I took classes in psychology and business, and I started questioning my decision. So many times I’ve thought to myself ‘I wish I could just see where I’m at in 10 years,’ and I’m sure I’m not the only person who’s ever had that thought.

The only thing that keeps me sane when I start having a pre mid-life crisis about my future is thinking about something my dad once said: “I’m 40-years-old and I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up”.

It’s reassuring to know someone who graduated college and has been in the work force longer than you’ve been alive still doesn’t know what he wants to do when he grows up (key word: grow up). It doesn’t matter how old you are. An elementary schooler thinks a teenager is a grown up. A teenager thinks a 30-year-old is a grown up. And at 40, apparently there’s still some growing up to do. Age is just a number.

The older I get the more I like to think that everything will work out the way it’s supposed to. Maybe you major in one thing and work in another. Maybe you have one kid, or no kids, or five kids. Maybe you move to a different country, or state, or down the road from your parents. Maybe everything happens for a reason.

In the words of Ferris Bueller: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Keep this in mind the next time you wish you had your life put together at 20-years-old. Enjoy the little things, and don’t worry about the future. If you work hard and count your blessings, I have a good feeling you’ll be more than OK.

I have my whole life to grow up, and there’s no reason to worry about having my life put together when I’m still in the middle of living it.