Most young boys envision spending their adult years fighting fires, soaring in space or busting bad guys. Some of my most vivid childhood memories were working on the S.W.A.T. team, riding a motorcycle and viciously inhaling cigarettes. What can I say, Joe Camel was my babysitter.
As long as I can recall, I have been either completely unsure or partially unsure as to what I wanted to be when I grew up, ranging from pro wrestler (then) to crime fighter (now). If I had a quarter of a Ninja Turtle for every profession I wanted to pursue, I would have Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael in full form and Donatello’s right arm.
For most of us who were not born with an occupational therapist present, college was always declared as the holiest of holy lands, where your profession would be presented to you in a series of hallucinations and classes. For a long time, I thought the best thing to do was to float along and eventually a fortune cookie or friendly school janitor would fill me in as to what on this earth I should do as a career. I still agree with that in a way – our career choices and many of our personal traits are purely circumstantial, as are our reactions to those circumstances. But it is only this year that I truly realized that we “lost children” must actively do something while recognizing the “Kindergarten Cop” type chaos of the process.
Just let me hop up on my soapbox for a moment and shell out some free advice. Don’t just wallow in a stagnant pond of self-pity, Cheetos and confusion. However drunk or stressed you get, recall that we are at college to learn. Slurp up the knowledge with a slurpie straw. Make sure you both listen and speak.
We are still in a position to be influenced by others, as we were in younger years, except this time we have our own developed voice, however neurotic or absurd that voice is. One major reason why I can’t decide what I want to become after college is that I am afraid to make the wrong decision. Then I reminded myself over 50 percent of Americans change their careers at least once in their lifetime.
So, I speculate, the best thing to do is to pick something, or let something pick you, and be the best at it, however simple that sounds. If you don’t want to listen to me, picture me as a 76-year-old man in a rocking chair and then listen to me. If I’m wrong, at least self-delusion will put you at ease. And, perchance you find some golden profession, let me know. As long as you become personally involved in finding a future for yourself, don’t fret about it.
Micah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.