advice, future, rants, school

Life Choices at 16

Hey guys!

I’ve been thinking about how much pressure is put on young people about what they want to do when they grow up. I’m sure you’ve all been asked that question a billion times, especially when you were younger. I mean, I have an endless list of all the things I’ve wanted to do when I grow up- ranging from a ballerina, to a librarian (with long golden hair), an Olympic swimmer to a teacher, an actress to a speech and language therapist… and also an Air Hostess…

The point is that in the UK, once you reach the age of 16 you are expected to make huge decisions about what you want to do. Are you going to go to University? What do you want to study? What job is that going to get you? What A-levels do you have to take? What a lot of people don’t realize, is that people can change their minds. When I was 16, I wanted to either be a journalist or an actress. So I took subjects relating to that. However, about a quarter of my way through Year 12, I stumbled across the idea of Speech and Language Therapy, which I thought looked amazing. When I researched it in a little more depth, however, I realized that I would’ve had to have taken A-level Biology and/or Psychology to do this. It was a bit of a let down, but I got on with it.

When thinking about what to study at University, I’ve always thought that English Literature would be the way to go because I love it so much. Also, it can lead to a number of potential jobs, including journalism, so that’s why I decided not to do a journalism course, because I didn’t want to get half way through it and realize that journalism wasn’t what I wanted to do anymore. I think, in a way, the same thing goes for Speech and Language Therapy. I mean, I could always do a Post-Grad in the subject, but the fact remains that I haven’t done a science at A-level. So… now it feels like I’m in an endless loop of what I really want to do when I grow up. Do I want to be a journalist? A teacher? A Speech and Language Therapist?

I think people really need to lessen the pressure put on young people. You can’t just expect a teenager to know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, because it’s theirs. I have friends who want to be doctors, but recently one of them questioned whether it was suited for their personality because they wanted to do something “more ethical” or something… and this is someone who’s wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember.

I’ve said before how it’s okay to change your mind. If you’re not happy doing something, then for God’s sake don’t carry on doing it just because it’s going to make someone else happy. They’ll get over it. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

So that’s what I think about the whole thing… what about you?

-The Storyteller


5 thoughts on “Life Choices at 16”

  1. This is me!!!! You explained it perfectly. I’m currently at university studying English with Serbian, and I wanted to be a teacher, which is why I ended up here. I now have no idea what I want to do with myself! I no longer want to be a teacher but now I feel so restricted because of my qualifications. Also there is a lot of family pressure on me doing something ‘successful’ – they mean successful as in, super big job with lots of money. But I just want to find something that will make me happy. I just haven’t found it yet! 😦

    1. Ooh Serbian! That does sound interesting! I think if and when you find something else you want to do, which may not be the “successful career your family was hoping for”, i think it’s important to explain to them that this is what makes you happy and they should be happy that you’re happy… If that makes sense. I think my parents would act the same way but at the end of the day it’s your choice and not theirs

  2. I think its uN fair to ask our children when they are 16 “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Because its so far away. Apparently I said (I don’t remember but my cousin swears I said it) I wanted to be a Mother and house wife (boring) but its what I have become and Im ok at it.. Point is.. How can you KNOW when you haven’t had time to live a little? Sure you can have ideas, but then as you mature and your likes and interests change so does your mind about what you want to be. My children were the same, they didnt know either. My 13 yr old is the only one who has a Clue what he wants to be and is working towards that, but even that could change due to i jury or just life… Life is too hard to decide at 16. My advice to MY children was as long as you enjoy doing it. You have to work such a long time don’t do something you hate!
    Just popped in from the A-Z challenge, fellow blogger

    Kim in Australia

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