Lately, I’ve been obsessed with the podcast Earth to Us. It’s all about “the art of paying attention” and touches on all sorts of topics I find myself pondering on the daily. It’s incredibly inspiring, and I’m so excited to have finally started listening! A couple days ago, I listened to Episode 029, where hosts Evan and Hannah talked about how Millennials (aka my generation) are conditioned from an early age to “chase after our wildest dreams” and to never settle working just any job, but to try to strive to get (or create) our “dream job”.
The reason this podcast episode in particular sparked my interest is because this is a topic I’m very passionate about, and it’s becoming more salient now more than ever as I am about to graduate from college – without having a clear-cut plan for my future.
I’m enrolled in my “dream school”, or so I thought it would be at age 18. It’s the only university I saw myself going to, and if I had to do it all over again – I undoubtedly would. I’d probably go to a small, liberal arts college, which is funny, because everything I thought I’d love about my school has turned into something I feel so disconnected from now 3 years later. This goes to show how much we grow and change throughout life!
It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed my time here – I have. But, regardless of it all, I’m still pretty happy with my choice to come here and I have definitely grown a lot as a person and learned a LOT in my 3 years here thus far. Plus, I have a totally different outlook on life than I did when I came here, which is pretty cool.
I’ll graduate next month with a BA degree, my major being in communication arts. Out of all the majors at this school (and trust me, I looked at alllll the majors), this was the only one that really sparked my interest and that I was also “good at”. I get to learn about television, film, culture, society – all things that fascinate me. And because of how small my major is – credits wise – I’ve also had the opportunity to take a wide variety of other courses not related to my major, but that simply sparked my interest. That’s the beauty of a liberal arts degree, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve learned a lot about culture, how the world works, and more.
But, I don’t want to go into film or television production, nor do I want to work in the industry in any way. And, I don’t ever see myself working in a corporate setting – the whole 9-to-5, desk job, business casual thing just doesn’t appeal to me. I love working on my feet, and I love writing, I love creating things, I love cooking, I love photography (particularly food photography), and most of all – I love sharing my thoughts and opinions with the world. I don’t know what my exact “dream job” is because it’s not a traditional job. It’s something I’ll be creating from the ground up.
Some might ask, “well, do you think college was a waste of time since you don’t want to go into the field you majored in?” And to that I respond: no. Like I said, college is more than just a pathway to a job. It is about higher education, the chance to study one field in great depth, personal development, and learning how to think. Especially for liberal arts majors.
I have always known from a young age that I was destined to do something non-traditional. I’m just not a traditional type of person who is looking for a traditional type of life (can I say traditional one more time?). I’ve always loved doing my own thing. When I was a kid, I hated coloring books because I wanted to draw my own pictures. When I played board games, I always made up my own rules to suit my liking. And lately, I’ve been learning about how to reconnect with my inner child and remembering what made little me happy. Doing things like this made (and continues to make) me happy! Instead of following the rules, I’ve always liked to make my own and create my own path.
Right now, I have a “day job” that I work part-time since I’m still in school. After I graduate next month, I’m hoping to increase my hours there to make it close to full-time. I also want to continue writing, creating recipes, and honing my photography skills (which are pretty elementary at the moment, tbh) – my current “passion projects”. I want to live a creative life, one where I’m able to work for myself and work from anywhere in the world. And most of all, I want to inspire others to do the same.
Now, there is nothing wrong with pursuing a “traditional” life. Plenty of people want to do this and are perfectly happy with this kind of life. And that’s great! But I know that I have always wanted something a little different than the typical life. I don’t want my life to be typical, and I don’t think my life journey will be. I know that not necessarily having a concrete plan is a little stressful, but I know that following my heart, trusting my intuition, and continuing to pursue my passions will lead me to exactly where I belong.
So yes, I don’t have a solid, concrete plan in place for when I graduate from college. And I don’t think that most people do! And it’s OKAY! I am 21 years old, that is SO YOUNG. I have years to figure it all out, and for now, I’m just enjoying the ride and trying to figure out who I am. I know that taking the road less traveled means I’ll have to work harder, hustle constantly, and get creative in ways to make money, but that’s okay. In fact, to me, living a life where I “do” many different things seems wayyyy more exciting than working the same job for years at a time, “doing” only one thing. In the end, life is about being happy, doing something you love, and hopefully paying the bills with it somehow.
And right now, the “somehow” is what I’m working on. I’m allowing myself to be uncertain. I’m allowing myself to take time to get to where I want to be. I’m allowing myself to dream big, and to make those dreams happen – one day at a time.