Embracing uncertainty enables self-discovery


Carolina Rodriguez, co-opinions editor

“What do you want to be when you grow up?” It is a question I’ve been asked ever since I was in kindergarten. 

I would often change my answer to this question. When I was 10, I wanted to be an actor, then, when I was 15,I wanted to go into psychiatry. This answer has never been concrete. 

Although it’s ok to have a preferred career, it is also acceptable to be unsure about the right job for you. 

In the past, I chose jobs based on salary, and I didn’t focus on what I liked to do. This mindset began when I participated in a career fair in fifth grade which gave me a chance to explore and research careers. 

I chose to research an author as my career. As I worked on my project, I looked around at everyone else’s jobs and realized that mine had the lowest salary. In the United States, the median salary for authors is about $62,553according to ziprecruiter.com. One of my best friends at the time chose to be an anesthesiologist. The median salary for an anesthesiologist is $234,970, according to forbes.com. 

This experience gave me an unhealthy mindset that if my future job doesn’t make a lot of money, then it isn’t worth it. From that day on, I started telling people that I wanted to go into psychiatry. Although psychiatry may be a passion for others, it wasn’t the right job for me because my only interest was the salary.

 In eighth grade, I snapped out of the financially-focused career mindset after having the option to choose my electives for high school. Looking at all the different classes South had to offer was overwhelming at first. But after thinking about it I realized that I should take what I was interested in and I ended up taking an Intro to Journalism class. By taking a class that genuinely interested me, I found my passion.

 I didn’t let uncertainty control me. I realized that I need to embrace uncertainty and take my time to explore my interests. Because I explored my interests, I have found my place at South in The Oracle.

 It is completely normal to be uncertain about your future right now. That’s what high school and college are all about; they give us an opportunity to find ourselves. Because we get so many opportunities to explore, our interests aresubject to change. In fact, it is common for college students to change their major. At least 80 percent of students change their major throughout their college career, according to withfrank.org. 

Even in vocational jobs, people change their professions all the time. Also, it is estimated that most people will have twelve jobs during their lives, according to appollotechnical.com. 

 Listening to people who have their entire life figured out stresses me out. I have met people who know exactly what they want to do with their lives which makes me feel like I’m a step behind everyone. It makes me feel hopeless that I will never find a career that fits my interests. But when I do feel like this, I remember that I have time. 

I embrace uncertainty and I don’t let fear control me. I let it motivate me to try new things and step out of my comfort zone to to find the best path in life based on what I like to do. Settling on a career that pays a lot isn’t worth it if you don’t enjoy what you are doing. 

Uncertainty isn’t a bad thing in some situations. Having this period of unknowingness can be looked at in a positive light. It can be a chance for us to explore what we are good at. We can try new things and discover what we like and don’t like to do. 

Everyone always expects you to have an answer for what career or job you want to pursue. Just remember that it’s ok to not have a complex multi step plan of your future. 

Don’t settle on the career with the most money, do what you truly enjoy, even if it takes time to find out.