Montag, 7. Juli 2014

And what do you want to be when you grow up?

Today’s post was written by Jil – the idea to write it in the first place was hers as well.
Enjoy ;)!

If you just graduated from high school/finished a gap year, if you find yourself studying for a major that leaves you unhappy, or if you are in a similar situation – this is for you.

Note to all moms:
Please take it in and pass it on, when appropriate.

I received my Abitur (German high school diploma) in 2013 and applied to colleges for this fall.
I took a year off and worked (which will answer a lot of questions already).
During the past year I kept spending a lot of time talking to other high school graduates, college students, but also to graduates from other types of schools than mine, school drop-outs, etc.

One thing seems to be common among newly-graduates: 
They don’t really know how to proceed.
They might have a vague idea or a plan in their heads, but there’s rarely anyone who actually knows which direction to take.
And after the great euphoria about being done with school forever, the average graduate feels left alone.
Suddenly there’s nobody who tells you which step to take next and when to take it.  
You start feeling a bit like a little lost lamb, often accompanied by a slight panic about what on earth to fill the rest of your life with.

Here is my personal guide on this subject, my experience with the title: “Help! The Future is here.”.  

1. Right after the situation.

You just graduated from high school?
Congratulations, first of all be happy about it and take a deep, deep breath.  
The first graduation is always a process accompanied by a lot of pressure, you survived it and for now that’s all that counts. 
Take a whole week off completely. 
Sleep in every day, go eat ice-cream every day.
My prescription for you are long party nights, short pants and dancing, A LOT.
That’s the first and most important, strictly prescribed rule.

2. Get a job.

Let’s assume you are one of those unorganized people that don’t bring their application documents along to their senior graduation night.  
So after your 1-3 weeks of the relaxation-ice-cream-party regimen, you now have permission to take the next step. 
The beautiful thing about it: there are so many possibilities!
If you feel passionate about a country – take a trip there.
Work&travel doesn’t only exist in Australia.
If you have always wanted to know what it is like to work for a magazine – apply.

No matter what your situation is, with regards to the time right after finishing school I can only say one thing:
- don’t let them confuse and befuddle you,
- don’t start something half-heartedly (“I’m going to study Chinese, although I don’t feel like it.”),
- find a job.
The ones who don’t have a plan just rake in dough for now.  
You will always need it, and for everyone whose parents are in a position to pay for everything: doesn’t matter, find a job anyway. 
As this will lead to...

3. Let go of the idea that there is a specific path leading towards your future.

Open your mind towards everything around you.
The first question I ask as soon as I meet somebody who obviously enjoys his/her profession:
„How come you became a XYZ?”

And I have heard all sorts of stories, from all kinds of perspectives.  
This input is worth its weight in gold, extract everything that inspires you about it for yourself.
All the while one common denominator becomes apparent: these people all work with a great passion, independent of how many ups and downs they went through.  
Only very few do exactly what their training/college education prepared them for.
Which means there’s no need to put pressure on yourself to decide right now what you are going to do for the rest of your life.
Gather information instead, look beyond your own nose, be courageous enough to ask people about their careers.  
There are endless possibilities, shortcuts and hidden paths.

4. Stay true to yourself.

This is a very important point, read it carefully and understand:
It doesn’t matter, not at all, what your next step looks like, YOU ARE TAKING IT FOR YOURSELF.

For once try to switch off all of your parents’, your friends’ and your boyfriend’s expectations. Your decisions have to be made independent of them.

I am convinced that all of us carry a vocation inside of us.  
Your intuition, your gut feeling has probably known for a long time already which direction to follow. 
But we are all exposed to the influence of so many people every day, people that tell us about their worries, concerns, opinions, experiences, and this is how we unlearn to listen to ourselves.

„My cousin wanted to move to this city, too and she was looking for an apartment for HALF a year and applied to 83639 universities and didn’t get accepted anywhere!”
„Well, it is very, very difficult to get into this program..”
„You won’t make any money with this.”
„And what exactly do you use this for later?”

You are literally showered with well-intentioned advice.
But at the end of the day it is YOU who will walk down this path!
It is YOU who will attend these lectures, train for this profession, be the intern.  
YOU decide. 
Now you will put YOURSELF in first place.

The same way you don’t make a decision based on income or fame you can gain with it.
A brief example: suddenly everybody turns into a DJ. Or a model. Or a blogger. Or….

Are you choosing this direction to make big bucks fast?
Gain the most recognition possible? 
So you can upload awesome pictures/status notifications/videos?  
To prove to the world what you have achieved?
What’s your motivation and how much are YOU actually involved in it?

What would you like to do, once all social media sites are switched off and nobody passes judgment about who you are and what you do?

You have to recognize that you can be extremely successful in any area, with any profession, under any circumstances. 
This is why you take your own path, step by step, calmly and very much in touch with your inner self.

5. Stay motivated.

And now, while you are completely concentrating on yourself, switch off all negative influences around you. 
Just switch them off.
You don’t have to justify, explain, discuss anything.

Once you have discovered the next step and decided to take it – take it already. Nothing and nobody has the right to discourage or doubt you, not even for a split second.  
If something doesn’t work out, you will find another way, or you will try again.
All the while you never have to despair, get wound up or grow impatient, you don’t have to pretend in order to advance, and you don’t need to act like a bootlicker or a backstabber either.
Now that you are learning to trust your intuition you will also get to know your personality more and more.
"Oh yes, great, this is easy for me, for that I need help, for this I have to gather some more information.”
Stay alert, maybe accept unpleasant things, but keep going.   
If you went the wrong way, no problem at all, there’s a solution out there.

If someone had told me a year ago which direction I would take…never in my life would I have thought of that - no way, José!

We progress every second of our lives, we change direction, take a little detour.
What exactly am I going to do later?
How big are the chances to become successful with it?
I don’t know, but it isn’t important.

My parents have always asked me: 
if money didn’t matter and you couldn’t fail, what would you do?
A thought crosses your mind?
You discern a path?

I have decided for myself: this is exactly what I’m passionate about right now.  
This is exactly my vantage point, it fits.

What’s your fit?


Thank you, Ginnell Studio, for translating this post!

2 Kommentare:

  1. Great post! It's pleasure to read ur and ur mother's posts. U both seem to be very warm and charming ppl. What was ur fit? What have u decided to do? Wish u all the best! Kind regards Anna

  2. Great post! It's pleasure to read ur and ur mother's posts. U both seem to be very warm and charming ppl. What was ur fit? What have u decided to do? Wish u all the best! Kind regards Anna