Still Figuring out My Life Path at Age 23

I will turn 24 years old at the end of this year. In December, I will grow one year older. 

Yet, I would probably still be figuring out my life path when I turn 24.

5 years ago, I started my Waseda SILS undergraduate journey. Throughout the 3 years in Japan and 1 year in Canada, I took numerous psychology lessons and thought: “I’m probably going to become a counselling psychologist in the future.”

However, I hesitated once again. I am definitely not a typical Sagittarius female: not that candid, not outgoing, not determined enough.

I had always been afraid of stepping out my comfort zone, which is why I am still constructing who I desire to be or who I will be 5 years from now.

If you are at the stage of applying for a university undergrad program: take some time to write down the areas of study that you are most interested in. It can be a general area and doesn’t have to be specific if you are not sure yet! If the condition allows, you can take courses in several areas during your freshman and sophomore years. Consulting advisors at the career center via appointment would also be a good option.

My brother had a few talks with me regarding my future career path since the beginning of university. When my brother asked me: “What is an area that you are strongly interested in?” 

Again, it took me quite a while to come up with an answer. I simply wasn’t sure.

Ever since high school, I had thought about the career that I want to pursue in the future. The answer changed continuously from cram school English teacher in Taiwan to graphic designer, to interior designer, to nutritionist, to counseling psychologist, to “English teacher at an international school”, which is the final answer that I have stuck with for a while.

woman sitting on a brown sofa in front of a neon sign that says Via Daniel Monteiro on Unsplash

If you are at the stage of ‘graduated from university but still considering your career path’: it would be a good idea to take part in some part-time jobs and internships. Search for those that require personal experience that you already have, and give it a shot! You might end up in the area that you didn’t study at university in the first place.

Since the beginning of this year, my personality has changed quite a bit. I have become (a little) more determined, more outgoing, and probably more mature. I decided to continue with a 2-year graduate school at Waseda since I hadn’t settled on what I want to do for a living. Sure, you can call this a temporary escape or buffer so that I have more time to think about what I want to pursue in life.

Having said all this, maybe you would find my thoughts somewhat relatable; maybe you also experienced this when you were 23, or maybe you are also facing the crossroad at the moment. My advice would be: It is ok to cry out your feelings if you are stuck in a dark spot. It is ok if you haven’t made the decision yet. Of course, you would have to make a decision sooner or later, that’s no lie. However, sometimes it might not be that easy.

If you are at the stage of feeling lost, panicking, or unmotivated: simply take a rest and reset yourself. Listen to your favorite music, read a novel, or watch some interesting videos. A quote goes, “Taking a rest now is meant for a more stable, long-term path in the future.”

Are you still figuring out your life path at age 23, or maybe at an older age? It’s ok, me too.