Growing up can be hard and oftentimes quite confusing. Do you remember trying to choose what college to attend? What major to commit to? I used to hate when people asked me what I was majoring in, as if the answer to this question was what defined the rest of my life. This question scared me. Eventually, I succumbed to the pressures of this question and spontaneously chose a major my freshman year. I convinced myself that I needed to have an answer to the “major” question and that I would just have to settle for something that I was unsure about, at least for a little while. I was happy that I finally had my answer. Or so I thought.
Four semesters into college, during my semester abroad, I realized two things. First, life is too short not to do be doing something that you love. Second, it is actually OK if you do not know what your future looks like.
I recently went on a networking trip to Nashville, Tennessee, with the Public Relations Organization. On our trip we were able to visit and talk with professionals at organizations all across the PR spectrum, including a small agency, a corporate business and a large nonprofit. One day we were able to sit down and have lunch with Mark Slagle, co-founder of Good Spread. It was incredible to listen and watch how passionate he was about his company. I could tell by listening to him that he loved what he was doing. There was a spark in his eyes and a calm in his voice that assured you that his job brought him joy. One of the things that he said stuck out to me: “Find something that you are passionate about and do that.”
I want to encourage you not to feel pressured into choosing a profession because it’s what your parents want you to do, because it is the easy thing to do or because you want to have an answer to give people. Life is too short not to love what you do.
So when people ask you questions about what you want to do after graduation or what your dream job is, it is okay not to have an answer. It is normal not to have it all figured out. Take the time to truly figure out what you love and do that. The next time you get asked one of these questions, try responding with “I don’t know — but it will be something that I love.”