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Please Don’t Ask me “What I Want to Be”

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

We have all been there (at least, I hope) on Chomp answering questions searching for what career will fulfill our wildest dreams. Welp, as I’m sure we know Chomp is about as helpful as the drive-thru menu/speaker at Chick-fil-A. I was told to be an arts director, which in theory is lovely, but I want money to live comfortably and travel. I have also gotten a casting director, which is straight delusional on Chomp’s part. Like how am I supposed to earn nearly 6 figures from being a casting director? I’m not a fairy godmother, and I am not connected in the industry.  All-in-all, what I am trying to convey is that I do not know what my career or passion is meant to be and, in this country, a large part of discovering who you are is supposedly defined by what pays the bills.

Since we have been kids, a prime question we have been asked is “What’s your dream job?” and starry-eyed children respond with ballerinas, astronauts and doctors. However, as soon as you enter middle school, you are swiftly and frequently reminded at just how impossible these lifelong dreams are. You want to be a ballerina? Well, you must be small, thin, beautiful, perfect, elegant and strong. Want to be an astronaut? No chance because we don’t even go to space anymore. A doctor? Well, prepare for 7+ years of schooling, acquiring hefty student debt, a receding hairline and endless disrespect from your peers and patients.

I am going to be fully honest – I have no f***ing clue what I want to be, what life I want to live and what my “plan” is. Any person older promises, “You have all the time in the world.” But to me, it does not feel like that. I know my posts are typically lighthearted, but the pressure that is applied, or I apply to myself, is genuinely and wholly suffocating. I feel as though these four years are a ticking time bomb and as the clock runs, I am getting more and more behind. Is this true? Am I really so terribly behind? Am I going to be crushed by the corporate world? I truly do not know.

In moments like this, I remind myself of a few things. First. I have anxiety…box checked… diagnosis confirmed. Which means sometimes the rabbit hole can be viewed from a different perspective and can be escaped. I also tell myself to look at those I admire, whose words I trust: my family. My mother went to school for biology and zoology. She is not a realtor kicking butt in the Boca Raton house market. My Father? Also a victim of biology, except he now runs multiple of his own businesses. My grandmother? The most incredible woman you will ever meet. She’s 95 and living her life to the fullest each day but also was a florist, a mother and a caretaker.

So many of these combined stories help me redirect my thoughts to the sticker on my water bottle that reads, “It will be okay.”

Something I also find fear inducing is that my future rests entirely upon me! It is my drive and ambition that will propel me to success, or maybe even my fear that will bring failure. What a wonderful thing to have floating in my brain space.

I hope some of these words made you feel less alone because in reality, truly, you can do whatever you want, and at least I do know some of these: hike the Appalachian Trail, backpack through Europe, work in a foreign country, meet wonderful people, experience true love, stargaze the most beautiful skies, watch the Aurora Borealis, ski many mountains, overcome challenges and watch those mountains become ant hills, sail the seas, eat incredible food, own dogs (hundreds of them) and much more I cannot even think of right now.

In truth, as much as I have ranted, I do think I have a purpose, even if it’s not defined by one passion or one curriculum. I love being kind and watching people smile, and I love any animal, especially if they have fur.

My main purpose in this article was to create a space that is void of judgment and exists as a commentary on the arbitrary expectations of our upbring and education, in a vacuum.

Another thing about me is that I love to learn so if you have any ideas you want to share, or if you just want to rant, my email is 4natashamail@gmail.com and opening and responding to emails is a guilty pleasure of mine so please use it.

Natasha is currently a freshman at the University of Florida majoring in business management and minoring in communications. She hopes to also explore linguistics in her studies as well. She is a new news writer for Her Campus and looks forward to spreading joy and knowledge to all readers. Her hobbies range from backpacking in the wilderness to painting. While she currently working toward a career consulting, she hopes to also explore life as a national forest park ranger. In her upcoming years at University, she hopes to study in Europe, gain friendships, and keep on learning and growing.