I’m sure many of you have plans, hopes and dreams for the future, I’m sure even some of you may already have a career path in mind. It’s great to know that you have naturally come to a conclusion of what you may like to do for the rest of your life, as long as that is your conclusion and really what you want to be doing with your life.
My point is that sometimes we follow in the footsteps of our parents because we want to make them proud and we think that is what they want or you have been told it is “in your genes” eg your grandad was a lawyer, your dad is a lawyer so you in turn should be a lawyer. That sounds simple enough, right? But the truth is nothing about making huge life decisions is simple nor should you just go into a university course or degree because that is what your family thinks you should do.
The problem is if you aren’t doing something you truly love or you are forced into a career or degree you don’t particularly like the results can be devastating for you long term. Imagine spending 4 years studying a degree you hate but that your parents wanted you to do then one day waking up and deciding instead of listening to them any longer you would indeed do the film course you have been dreaming of. As amazing that you have taken the leap to fulfil what makes you happy you have still wasted 4 years studying in a course you will probably never use. So why not be strong and adamant in your decision of what you want to do with your life.
How many times have you heard parents say “follow your dreams” when in fact what they are really saying is “follow my dreams, I want you to do the things I didn’t” and that is a terrible burden to carry.
Your choice of career could be unconventional, or it might not make you as much money as what your parents had in mind, but if that is what you want to do day in and day out then you should fight for that. Though our parents should always be respected and their feelings taken into account they must also respect that you are your own person who is capable and able to make your own life choices.
You should be able to chat through options with your parents and families and decide together what your next steps are, because we all need that support while finishing school and undertaking the HSC. During this time (and many times in your life) you will need your support network to lean on and to help you make decisions when times get tough or when you need a helping hand. It is imperative you can chat with them about your true feelings and ideas and them not to judge and talk you out of your plan.
Parents ultimately want what is best for you, but sometimes they don’t actually know what IS best for you. Only you know that and only you can answer those questions.
So take time to think through your plans for the future, take time to test out your choices and take the courage to speak up and change paths if you feel like you are on the wrong one, you must know in your heart of hearts that the path you are taking is indeed yours and no one else’s. When the years pass the only thing you will really want is to be happy and while fulfilling someone else’s plan for you early on might give you some sort of satisfaction eventually those feeing will wear off when you are miserable in your chosen field. So be you, be unique and don’t try to fit yourself into somebody else’s mould. Ever.
Image credit: Photo by Sharon McCutcheon