Finding a Career Path is a Rocky Road

By Ginny Kleaver on June 06, 2013
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August 25
New school year, new journal. I’m a senior — there’s a scary thought. I’ll be 18 in six months, and this time next year I’ll be moving into my dorm room. And I have no idea what I want to do. Last year, I wanted to run my own quirky little jewelry business, but after my job shadowing experience from hell, I realized that customer service isn’t really my forte. People annoy me way too much for me to try and sell stuff to them without feeling violent impulses.

Every year my goal in life changes. I’ve wanted to be a psychologist, a teacher, a doctor, a rock star, a vet, and god only knows what else. But these great ideas of mine never work out.

I can’t be a shrink because I probably need one; I stopped wanting to teach when I found out that most teachers make an average of $3.50 a year; my doctor streak burned out when I realized that the sight of bodily gore makes me lightheaded, I can’t sing, and I think most members of the animal kingdom have a predisposition to hating me. Obviously, that only leaves one choice — I’ll have to live alone in a hut in Africa and drink river water until I get dysentery. This is my life.

October 25
Today the first issue of our newspaper came out. It so rocks to see my words published for all the world (well, school) to see. I kept turning to page two to look at my article, to look at my title, to look at my byline. And this is just in a piddly little school paper. I can’t even imagine seeing an article of mine in, like, the New York Times. I’d probably start frothing at the mouth and pass out! My newspaper teacher gave me info on a scholarship for students with a journalism major. I’m heavily thinking about applying for it.

January 5
In government class today, we took these tests that are supposed to tell us what to do with our lives. I felt vaguely violated as I sat there, listening to the perky drone of the woman running the seminar; the woman who happened to be a recruiter for University of Blah, but who, of course, is not there to pressure us into joining the college she represents, only to help us figure out who we are, and what we want to do with our future (but feel free to check the box at the bottom for more information about enrolling in U of B.!).

I ended up in the visual/spatial category, or some daft thing, which said I’d be a good writer, or good in a media/communication field. To tell the truth, I don’t think I want to major in journalism anymore. I used to really love writing, but newspaper class has burnt me out. I can barely churn out articles for my class; I’m having some serious feelings of doubt as to whether or not I could do this for a living. But the media/communications thing made me think. I’m in advanced Radio/TV class, and I really like making music videos and movies and documentaries. Visual art inspires me in a way that writing can’t anymore.

January 7
I still haven’t heard from any of the colleges I applied to. I only applied to two, but I got my applications in late, so I hope I’m still eligible. I couldn’t decide on a major, and I kept putting everything off. I haven’t applied for any scholarships, either.

I keep putting off everything that has to do with college, careers, or my future in general, because I don’t know what I want to do. It seems as though every time I find something I enjoy, something I could see myself doing for a living, I get turned off by it within a matter of months. I really don’t want to end up working a 9-to-5 job, but I can’t seem to find my ideal career. Maybe I was destined for work involving paper hats and super-sizing.

February 12
I’ve been frustrated with everything lately, and I feel like there’s so much pressure being put on me to figure out what I want to do. My counselor and my parents have told me that there’s nothing wrong with going into college without a planned career or major, but I’m afraid that I won’t find anything I enjoy in college.

I’ve lost interest in making videos and movies since I found out that I couldn’t enter my music video in a contest because it was too “controversial.” I feel disenchanted and old. Lately, on the bus rides to and from school, I’ve been thinking about making jewelry again, and I’ve been thinking about designing clothes. I would love to be a designer, but don’t know if I’d be any good at it. I’ve been designing and making jewelry for years now, and clothing design is kind of an extension of that. But I’m afraid that if I take designing classes in college, I’ll either end up hating it, or it’ll turn out that I design hideously ugly clothes!

March 14
I’m at a definitive point of indecision right now. Am I ready to go to college right now, with so little sense of direction? I’ve been thinking about joining the Navy; I’d get money for college, get to travel and see the world, and hopefully figure out who I am and what I want to do with that person. I guess that’s what it all comes down to: finding myself, and deciding what it is I love in life.

I want to find a career that I wake up excited about; I don’t want to spend my days working just to “make a living.” I want a career, not a job. I want to make my mark on the world. Of course, if bad comes to worse, I could always get to work on my little grass hut.

About the Author

Ginny Kleaver

Ginny Kleaver

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