“Hi, nice to meet you! My name is X. I’m studying X.”
After introducing myself, people often ask me:
“What kind of jobs are available for your major?”
“What can you do with your major?”
“Do you have a set plan with what sort of job you will be pursuing after graduation?”
When asked these questions, I can’t help but feel a little worried because I don’t have clear, straightforward answers for them. It’s assuring to have answers to questions about your future in the sense that you are telling yourself, “Hey, you know what you are doing!” It’s hard to plan out the journey when I don’t know where I want to go. I wish I knew exactly what I want to be just so that I wouldn’t have to worry anymore.
In our society, the jobs we pursue seem to be highly tied to our identities. When asked “What do you do?”, I usually hear people answer that question with a job title. Something like “I am a doctor.” I think we grow up with that mindset. The one question I was asked consistently through childhood was “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While I’ve thought about pursuing various job titles throughout my childhood, in reflection, I realized that I didn’t give my answers much thought nor did I understand what it would mean for me to be that job title. I answered what I thought was cool at the time since adults wanted an answer. Funny I say “adults”, I’m technically an adult too now.
Although our post-secondary education might lead us to that dream job title, I don’t think that is the purpose of our education. My undergraduate degree does not prepare me for one specific job. I learned to think critically about the world and analyze abstract concepts. I learned to solve problems creatively through collaboration and take initiative to turn ideas into reality despite the fear of failure. I also learned that I love learning and there are so many ways to learn outside of the classroom, which is just awesome!
I believe that there is strength within uncertainty. Because I didn’t have my dream job title nor a strategic plan for me to get there, I challenged myself to try new things and threw myself out of my comfort zone. I have explored and encountered failure from time to time, but also found out a lot more about myself. I learned about what I like, what I’m good at and what gets me really excited! I still get overwhelmed by the future, but that’s okay. I’ll stay curious, maintain an open-minded heart, and explore what the world has out there for me.