What to Consider When You’re Thinking of the Future

Once your junior year of high school comes, you face several major decisions about your future. Personally, I was the girl with friends who seemed to have their futures all planned out and lives put together, but I had no idea where I wanted to go in life. At such a young age, we are forced to decide what college we want to go to, if you even want to go to college, and what job you want to have. While this can be a heavy burden, it is something that all young adults face; having to make adult decisions but still being considered a child is difficult. At this age, people are often still figuring themselves out and dependent on their parents. This is often the biggest decision that they have had to make in life. That being said, since I am still going through the process of trying to figure out my future, I have some advice I would like to give to those undergoing it, too.

(Photo by Laëtitia Buscaylet on Unsplash)

Find yourself and figure out what you like. One thing that is essential to figuring out what you want to do is knowing who you are. Personally, math is something that I have struggled with since middle school; knowing this about myself, I knew that in college I should not pursue math. Not to say that things cannot change as you age, but considering that math is something that I have not found enjoyable for years, it is not likely that I will be able to make a happy living off of it. On the other hand, ever since I was young, I enjoyed creative writing and learning about ancient history. Although I am still figuring everything out, using this information has helped me at least narrow down what majors I could possibly consider as a career in the future.

Once you have found yourself, it is necessary to think of what type of lifestyle you would like to have in the future. One obvious, yet essential thing that must be thought about when considering a major is how much money you want to have to live comfortably. This is not saying that you should simply choose a major because it has the highest average salary, but you do need to consider this. While some people may prefer to live a lavish life with a major that pays an average of $90,000, others may be comfortable with a degree that only pays half of that. To figure out how much money you would need to live comfortably, consider the cost of living where you would want to live as well as how big of a family you want, etc.

To add on, you need to think about what type of family life you want to have. If you want to have a large family and spend quality time with them, that is definitely something you need to consider when thinking of what you want to do in the future. A person who does not want to have children or a spouse may be comfortable with a career such as being a doctor that might prevent them from being able to spend time at home or have nice, long vacations with their family.  To add on, if you plan on marriage, one thing you might want to consider is that you and your spouses’ incomes will be combined; however, please keep in mind that things won't always go according to plan and that it would be a good idea to aim for self-sufficiency!

(Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash)

In addition to this, you must always remember that with as quickly as technology is adopting, certain jobs are being rapidly replaced. What is in demand today might not always be in demand tomorrow. That being said, be sure to do your research! I had a friend who I have known since the sixth grade that always wanted to be a pharmacist up until it was time to apply for school. When I asked her why she decided against it, she explained that she was told that with the technological advances that have been made, there might not be as much of a need for pharmacists as there is now. She ended up majoring in nursing. Although she is not going to be a pharmacist, she still gets to work in the medical fields and help others. If it seems as though the demand for what you want to major in will be low by time you graduate, consider an alternative but don’t give up! (A good tool to use for this is the Occupational Outlook Handbook: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/)

Last but not least, make sure that whatever you decide to do, you do it for yourself and not to make others happy. Recognize that college is not for everyone, just make sure you have a game plan. If you prefer to go to a trade school, that’s perfectly fine! If you would rather just start working instead of going to college, that’s fine, too. Don’t spend four years miserable, studying something you don’t like in order to please others! Live your life for you!