I’m a twenty-one year old female, completing my last year as a Biology major.
My dreams of medical school pretty much shattered after second year. I still liked what I was learning, and was eager to finish my undergraduate degree. It was the only subject I didn’t want to shoot myself in. However, as I continue on this path, I’m faced with the harsh reality of having to find a job. I’ve been extremely involved on campus, running for leadership positions that were very time-consuming. Although, I have no regrets pursuing them, I have to acknowledge that my academics took a hit. However, having met so many amazing individuals and growing on so many levels – I can’t say I regret my choice.
In the last couple of months, my level of anxiety and stress has increased over my lack of a career path or ambition. I have spent hours researching graduate schools, possible careers, etc. I should also note that both my parents are well educated and have always provided me with an extremely high standard of living. In fact, they moved and uprooted the entire family so that my brother and I have a better education. All this added expectations and pressure does not help.
Anyway, I still have no idea what I’m going to do with my life and am losing sleep over it. I realize that it’s very unhealthy and that these things have a way of working themselves out. I’ve considered it all: accounting, financial planning, community engagement professional, communications coordinator, lab technician. Or pursuing another degree which I can barely afford: genetic counselling, masters in business administration, sustainability management. Truth is, I do have a certain level of interest for all these things; but, I don’t think there is one thing I’m absolutely passionate about. At this point, I’m realizing passion is naive, and I should just focus on something I like and I’m interested in.
I constantly feel guilt that I have way more opportunities than most people and can’t do something about them. I constantly feel like a disappointment due to having not figured it out by now. I don’t have a five year plan, I barely have a one year plan.
Hello, Ritika. I experienced a similar situation during my freshman year at college. I was going to major in Psychology and minor in Physics and applied mathematics, as to better understand the inner and outer universe. But anyway, you’re looking for an answer, not my life story.
The best advice that i can give is that you don’t NEED even a one-year plan. there is no way that any of us can depict events that far into the future. we can plan them and hope the plan carries through, but that’s the extent of it. i think that the question you are asking yourself is not “what do i want to do with life?” but it is rather “what career should I pursue?” In my opinion, there is a large difference between these questions. If you are wanting to know what you are truly looking for in life, you might possibly consider the insane idea of something other than a career. I know this sounds crazy, you’re probably wondering, “what the hell am i supposed to do with my life without a career?” but i have realized personally that a career is not the only way to progress through life easily and happily. I am currently living in Portugal (I am originally from the United States) and I live in a town where the only “career” is sustaining yourself. I grow my own food, I have built my own house, and I get my other necessities and plenty of help from my neighbors and friends. There is no generated stress of needing to make enough money in order to afford a house that must be left empty all day while you work to afford it. There is no worry about how my grades need to be to make it to the next level of the educational system, where, in my opinion, you are stuffed into classes only to compete with each other to see who can work the hardest for your boss after college. I still study psychology and physics, but it is on my own. i have a small collection of books, videos, essays, etc. that i use to learn rather than paying ungodly amounts of money for the same knowledge. you have the tremendous ability to teach yourself anything, it just takes some extra motivation. Theres no conforming to a curriculum and you can start as simple or complex as you like.
I am not saying you need to pursue life as I did, nor am I saying that you should go through life without any kind of plan. I am saying that if you are looking for a path to take in life, maybe dare to think bigger than the concept of the conventional life with a conventional career.
as for the stress and anxiety, in case you don’t practice it already, meditation works wonders on relaxing and clearing the mind.
This is a very general answer, but i am hoping to just spark your interest, and leave room for you to create your own path.
Peace to you and your path in life.