As a senior nearing the end of their time in college, I began to think about how real the next chapter of becoming employed and entering adulthood was becoming. I was frequently asked questions about my post-graduation plans and the one I dread most, which is, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” In truth, I struggled to visualize my career or where I would be in July, a couple of months past graduation.
However, despite what society would have us believe, I’ve found peace in that we don’t need to have our lives figured out. In fact, I argue that experimenting with new passions, jobs, and curiosities throughout our twenties, is a necessity in finding a job and creating the life that will bring the most fulfillment.
While some students do have the luxury of knowing exactly where they want to end up, many do not. Now, more than ever, it’s becoming more socially acceptable to experience various careers and industries. From one perspective, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I recently watched a YouTube video that discussed why the majority of college students will choose the “wrong” job in the beginning, and how it is extremely hard to go straight into the perfect job simply because we lack real-world experience. However, that is not to say we will not find our dream career. Rather, we craft our dream careers over a period of time as we learn more about ourselves and our strengths.
In my mission to make the most of my remaining college experience, I make it a priority in making time for doing what I genuinely enjoy. Personally, I enjoy dabbling in a variety of different hobbies, such as singing in an acapella group, doing art projects, and focusing on maintaining intentional relationships with people who are important to me. While these are hobbies that do not directly correlate to a specific career path or fit on a resume, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many people and broadening my perspective, which has molded me into the person I am today. Also, doing what I love helps me keep a growth mindset and strive to be better. Above all, it’s important to remember that we are amazing, complex human beings, and we need to remember more often that our identities and self-worth cannot be simplified into a job title.
That is not to say I’m not doing my part in researching and networking to make connections to get closer to figuring out my career goals, but I’ve stopped comparing myself to peers who seem like they have everything figured out. It might sound repetitive to say that everybody’s journey is different, but the foregoing comparison makes me more conscious of how much growth I’ve had over the years and motivated me to keep learning. My aim isn’t to “have everything figured out” but focus on making a series of choices that help me grow in my professional and personal life.
I’ve accepted that I may not start out right away at my “dream job,” but I do know that I’m taking important steps at the beginning of the journey that is right for me.