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?