July 13, 2024

The biggest decision of adult life

This archived article was written by: Cj Jelsma

College students will face the toughest decision of their lives during the next couple of years, what career to choose.
This was recently discovered by me after working in the communications area during the last year. This is a difficult area to work in with plenty of reasons not to do it at all, including low pay. Not that wages are the most important thing to consider when deciding what job you will be doing for the rest of your life, they are not, but it should have a part in the decision, shouldn’t it?
High stress was another reason I started doubting the journalism and communications field. Actually, that was the breaker for me. I cannot handle that much stress and definitely would not want to for who knows how many more years with what would become many ulcers and eventually a slow and painful death.
But what if we are meant to have one career? Each of us built with the talent to make it in just one area. Everyone told me that I was meant to write, since I was a child. That was my talent. Is it the only one or is there another talent inside that can be molded into a lifetime career?
All throughout school, children think they have their decision made on what they will do when they head out into the world, but 15 years from now, who actually can say that they are doing what they said they would when they were 10.
For me, I was going to be in the Army, a veterinarian, an artist, a designer, a musician, a doctor, a medical examiner, a nurse, a graphic artist, a journalist and a million other careers along the way. Here I am at 19 with two years of college behind me and no idea where to go with this funny reality that we call life.
There were breaking points for each of my careers along the way, as I’m sure everyone has had.
Some careers had too much schooling, four years here, three more there, some odd amount of time interning. Who wants to do that to become an overworked doctor, veterinarian or medical examiner?
Then there were the jobs where the work was awesome and you like doing it but there just wasn’t enough call for it. Too many workers and not enough jobs for the graphic artists out there.
Some just didn’t have enough action for me. I can’t spend the rest of my life with my butt parked in front of a computer screen, hunched over a keyboard or shuffling through stacks of papers and folders, destined to only enjoy life on the weekends away from a boring job that will be hated for good reason.
Then there is money. My mother always asked about how much money each job I thought about doing would make me. Growing up counting pennies can lead to money worries, but who cares as long as it makes you happy, right? That’s all that really matters anyway, being happy. A job isn’t worth anything if you don’t feel that you are accomplishing something by having it.
Even if wages are completely ignored, there are still a million jobs out there to be considered and no way to decide on which one to choose. How can someone who is barely 18 or 19 years old make a decision that huge? But when it comes down to it, the decision has to be made.
How do we decide what we actually are going to do with our lives? Is everyone else afraid that they are going to screw up royally and end up deciding to change careers five or 10 years from now anyway? I hope I’m not the only one that has doubts about the future, that would concern me more.
But how do you stop regret from happening after making the wrong decision about your career choice? How do you make up your mind and decide on a career that you will be happy with for the rest of your working life. A job that gives you something to wake up for in the morning, come home from and feel completed and satisfied, something to look forward to when you get ready for bed. Is there such a job actually out there? Hopefully.
The perfect career for me (probably anyone) needs to be the right mix of fun, action and excitement, not to mention reliability, stability and enough pay to keep a roof over my head, clothing on my back and food on the table. If anyone has any idea what job this would be, be sure to let me know, I’m still looking.