Talks About Future Careers Evokes Stress

Mackenzie Bill, columnist

I remember when I was in first grade and my class had to draw pictures of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Some kids drew astronauts because they wanted to reach for the stars, some drew superheroes because they wanted to save the world, and others drew that they wanted to be a mom or even an Olympic athlete. 

It took me a while to come up with a career I wanted to pursue. After all, we were in first grade. I finally decided that I wanted to draw a teacher. If you asked me a month after that activity in first grade I would’ve said something completely different. That was okay because I was only seven years old. But now as high schoolers, many of us are expected to know our career path, which adds unnecessary pressure to our already stress-filled lives.

Pursuing a passion is something I see every day at GBS. Students pursue any activities that add to the core of who they are. In high school, these interests are vital to how someone sees themself and how others see them. 

Sometimes these passions are dimmed when searching for a career because they are seen as impractical, while in reality they can be used as a strong compass for what students want to major in college. Focusing on what activities that are enjoyable is more valuable than adhering to the idea that the most financially beneficial career is the best option.

Talking to one of my friends, sophomore Madeline Gifargis, about career stress, she expanded on her parent’s influence on what her career choice should be. 

“My parents want me to go into a certain [career] field, even when I might not want to go into that”, Gifargis said. “It’s difficult because I don’t want to disappoint them but I also want to make myself happy and be happy with what I do every day”.

In the midst of searching for colleges myself, I understand the weariness of having to choose a school that is acceptable to me and also my parents. It’s also challenging to narrow down career options when I have so many interests that I can see as my job one day.

Last year GBS had a career day, where teachers or parents hosted sessions to talk about their careers for students to learn about. While looking at the possible options, I was perplexed by the dozens of unique jobs some adults had and how we could get a sneak peek of what that kind of career looked like. Rather than generic options like a lawyer, doctor, or teacher, there were jobs like chef, author, blogger, and much more. 

Towards the end of the day, I had a session with a writer who started as a journalist and eventually became a successful author. I remember her saying that if you truly enjoy something you should pursue it despite the challenges you may encounter. This author did what motivated her to get out of bed every day. Her advice was something that stuck with me because of her encouragement towards persevering through setbacks. 

GBS students should focus on trying out new activities and experiences in high school to help them decide what their future career might be rather than stressing the right or wrong choice.  Our lives are already filled with academic and extracurricular stress. A Big part of high school is trial and error, or trial and success. Exploring your interests and hobbies are an important part of your high school experience, and finding your future career will come along the way. I hope that you follow any career that adds to who you are as a person, whether it’s a teacher, astronaut, or even a superhero.