First, let’s start by saying you’re an absolute boss! You do not have to be preoccupied with thoughts of your future, scenarios of failure, or feeling like a fraud. You do not need to have everything figured out right now. Honestly, as an adult, you still won’t have things completely figured out. That’s okay! There’s so much pressure to plan out your whole life by the time you graduate high school; our lives have barely begun. There’s so much to learn about yourself, education, careers, and humanity.
Here’s my advice, dear. Take the time to explore your many interests, without fear. Having varied fascinations from biology, psychology, sociology, to the theater, graphic design, advertising, and writing, does not make you confused or fickle. You do not need your parents or guidance counselor’s permission to give yourself space to explore these interests and find out what truly excites you. You have a smart head on your shoulders, don’t doubt that or your instincts. Even if you make a decision that didn’t pan out as planned, you can always make another choice. You’re not stuck, you didn’t fail, and those decisions do not define you.
Listen to your heart and the gnawing desires that seem scary. Though we are socialized to question ourselves, remember that no one knows you better than you. You can receive advice and other opinions; they don’t have to override your inner thoughts and feelings. You create, hone, and maintain your talent. It is yours. No one can claim them or take them away from you. Your natural ability to learn and challenge yourself will make other envious, but it doesn’t mean you’re doing the wrong thing. Keep going! If you feel uneasy about a work environment, question it, even leave it. If you feel uncomfortable going after something that interests you, do it. Sit with these feelings and use them to motivate you. Again, I have to reiterate, when you make a decision, you’re doing what’s best with the information you have on hand. If you receive new information or something changes, that’s okay. It doesn’t reflect badly on you, reflect on the lesson, take the information, and make new decisions.
No matter what you do, you’re going places. You should be proud of yourself now and always. Now is not the time for stressing or worrying about your future. Now is the time to be open to learning, exploring your passions and values, and having fun. You’re in the driver’s seat(congrats on getting your license!), you can dictate where you want to go, and who comes along. Keep growing and learning!
What advice would you give your younger self?