The Student After Life

Valuable lessons to take away from college as the real world approaches

The dreaded question…

on February 1, 2012

When children are growing up, they’re often asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Common answers included:

* Astronaut


* Doctor/Veterinarian

* Professional athlete

My answer one time when I was very, very little was, “Mommy, I don’t want to be a boy!!” (Insert laughing here). Well here I am, some 20 years later, still a girl. MISSION. ACCOMPLISHED.

Now that we’ve all had a good laugh, let’s begin with the real reason behind this blog. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” A simple question that offered up some carefree, funny answers when we were kids now sends us into a panic. (Not panicking at the sight of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” How about this: “How many of you know what you want to do after you graduate?)

Wait…you mean, “How many of you know what you want to do after you grow up?”, yeah? No? Are you sure? Cuz I still feel like a 16 year old trapped in a 22 year old’s body. Growing up and graduating are two different things…..right?

As much as we try to avoid this question like the plague, we must come to realize that “growing up” and “graduate” are interchangeable. “I don’t know” is an acceptable answer for a freshmen, sophomore, and it can maybe slide by if you’re a junior. Us seniors are expected to know what we want to do and how we’re going to go about getting into that career field.

I’ve always been jealous of the people who’ve known what they wanted to do since they were kids. And if that category applies to anyone reading this– good for you, I wish you all the best. But for those of us who it took a little longer to figure out…DON’T PANIC. I didn’t figure out that I love to film and edit stuff until my fall semester of my fifth year. Do I think I’m going to walk across that stage in May and immediately be able to find a job? Helllllll no. Do I think people are going to rephrase this dreaded question to sound something like, “What are you going to do now?” Helllllll yes.

You’re going to find something at college that you absolutely love to do. You’re going to find stuff you absolutely hate. If you aren’t sure what you want to do just yet and people decide to ask you the dreaded question, flip it and say, “Well I know for sure that I DON’T want to do/be _______.”¬† They’ll be impressed and think you’re sitting in your dorm or apartment really thinking about and weighing your career options.

But if that doesn’t work, tell them that you’re really interested in a certain class and you want to see what careers you can relate to that.

If they’re still not satisfied, run. Clearly this person has been sent by the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Gods and will not accept any response that doesn’t include a definite career plan.

If running away doesn’t work for whatever reason, find Neverland and go live with Peter Pan. They don’t have to grow up there. Lucky bastards.

Until next time…




One response to “The dreaded question…

  1. This post rings so true for every college student these days. I totally agree with you, till this day i have 6 different career options. As a communication major I think there might be something wrong with me, because becoming a glass-blower is definetly in my top 5 career dreams. But I enjoy your humor on the situation, it definetly eases some of the worry that I think many of us believe that we’re the only ones who feel this way. If you have that map to Neverland, I could really use it right about now. lol


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